CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo David Martinez’s dachshund, Doc, was motivated down the dog track by his pet rock and took second place Saturday in wiener dog races at Hillcrest Park.
Dachshunds running can be a funny thing to watch.
That’s what Joe Gutierrez of Clovis guessed could explain why Hillcrest Park was crowded Saturday for the second annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals.
Gutierrez and his wife Maria’s dachshund, Lady Bug, took first place at the races after winning second last year.
Jim Hailey, owner of Wienerschnitzel in Clovis, said 80 dachshunds registered for the event, which benefited the Clovis Animal Welfare League.
Hailey said the Clovis racing event had more dogs than any other racing wiener dog event in the nation so far this year.
“It’s just hilarious to watch them run,” Guttierez said. “They sure can run for how short they are.”
Maria Gutierrez said Lady Bug probably got to be so fast because she chases cats out of their yard.
David and Laura Martinez didn’t have to guess why their dachshund, Doctor Martinez, placed second even though it was his first year competing.
“We coaxed him with his pet rock, not treats,” Laura Martinez said.
Martinez said Doc will go after his rock even if it’s hidden in a drawer or a pocket. He found the rock while living in Arizona and it’s been with him since. Even though the family has to hide the rock from Doc occasionally to give his gums a break, he won’t stand for it long, Martinez said.
Doc is one of three dachshunds the family owns, along with a basset hound. The group came out to watch the races.
“Dachshunds have the best personalities,” Martinez said. “They are loving, they snuggle with you under the covers. They are very well behaved. They’re protective.”
Martinez said the family has always had dachshunds but was surprised to find out how many people in Clovis have them.
“It was great just seeing everyone out with their dachshunds and all kinds of dogs,” Martinez said.
Hailey said the event, which was free to attend, went well despite the number of dogs racing decreasing by nine from last year.
“I think it was great for the community,” he said. “It was a time for families to come with their kids and dogs and just have a fun day at the park.”