Yes, Vancouver Has an Annual Wiener Dog Race

It's wiener takes all at the Hastings Racecourse.

July 3, 2018

By Maia Odegard / Photo: Carlo Ricci

At the Hastings Racecourse daschund race, it’s wiener take all. Last summer, these elite contenders took to the track between horse races as their proud owners cheered from the sidelines—or begged their furry friends to at least try to run in the general direction of the finish line. This year’s wiener dog weekend runs July 14 and 15, but if corgis or bulldogs are more your speed, look for two other dog-themed races hitting the tracks this season.

From Left to Right:

Max: 3 years old; 2017 champion; “In 2016, Max was the first one out of the gate, then a lady said, ‘Look, he’s first!’ It startled him and he looked up, so that didn’t turn out well. He loves his Chuckit ball, though. You could walk by him with a rib-eye steak, and nothing would deter him. That’s the ace in our back pocket: don’t forget the Chuckit.”Susanne Rheinschmitt s, 52, Starbucks store manager

Chloe: 4½ years old; “Chloe is either stupidly brave or bravely stupid. A few years ago she was in Banff with my folks, and there was a grizzly at a rest stop that they’d pulled into. She got between my parents and the grizzly and just barked and whined and made all these other-worldly sounds until the bear finally went away. Somehow she didn’t end up as an hors d’oeuvre.” —Jeremy Sally d, 30, marketing coordinator

Boris: 4 years old; “We didn’t really train him that much—it was more like separate him from [partner] Chris, and he gets really amped up when he wants to get back to him. That’s how Boris won in 2016: we handed him to my sister and said, ‘Okay, hold him.’ Chris whistled and he just zoned in, and bam. The whistle is the secret, and separation anxiety is the advantage.”—Vanessa Klobucar, 30, server

Chester: 8 years old; “Chester’s really fast, and he loves water bottles. If you stand at the finish line with a water bottle, he will run like crazy to get it. He even helps with recycling: give him a water bottle, he takes the lid off and he squishes it down. That’s his advantage: as soon as he hears the squeak of a plastic bottle, he’s off.” Laura Willis, 34, accounting professional

Enzo: 5 years old; “Enzo didn’t cross the finish line this time. It’s his third year doing it, and he has yet to finish a race. Last year he went backwards; the year before that, he went into the grass field and the event organizer had to chase him. This year he actually went forward but straight to the exit. It’s become a family tradition: throw him in and see how he does.”Cam Pitcher, 21, metal shop worker

Harley: 1 year old; “Harley is known at daycare as Silly Sausage. She is the most friendly little girl you’ll ever meet. I originally wanted to call her Frankie—I always thought I’d get a wiener dog named Frankie. Then we were looking through names and Harley just stuck out. People think she’s a boy because of Harley-Davidson, but I tell them it’s like Harley Quinn.“ —Jordana Gallison, 29, criminology instructor at SFU

Frank Longbottom: 3 years old; “Frank’s name is a Harry Potter reference. I was going between the classic wiener dog names and various hot dog things, but the love of Harry Potter prevailed: he has a long bottom—there it is! Every year for his birthday we make a little cake, either with dog bones on it or shaped like a bone—that’s probably why he’s so fat.” Caitlyn Birdsell, 27, pastry chef


More from our “Modern Family” series:

Meet Vancouver’s Culinary Crusaders

Meet the Women of Tayybeh

Meet Vancouver’s Sikh Motorcycle Club

Meet Vancouver’s Santa Clauses


 

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