Allison Handley and her 1-year-old miniature dachshund, Minka, have been following a loose weekly training regimen in anticipation of the race. Minka has been running wind sprints with Frank Johnson, her in-laws’ dachshund, using a special race-only toy.
“It’s this little parrot that when you squeeze it, it makes this chirping sound,” Handley said.
Hopes for Minka are high but not unreasonably so.
“I feel she could do well if she stays focused,” Handley said. “I just don’t want her to take last; that’s my only concern.”
A kennel-based simulation will be added to the training this week, she said, to get Minka ready for the horse racing-style gate on the big day.
“We’re going to practice putting her in the kennel, and then opening it, but we mostly just hold them and my husband squeaks that toy, and we let her and Frank go, and they run down to him,” she said.
It’s the gates, McCormick explained, that make the race regulation and allows the winner to proceed to regionals. “It’s an official gate — any dog that runs out of that gate is qualified to run at nationals,” she said.
Good luck, Minka, from the Daily Doxie.
Meanwhile in Abilene, Texas, the SPCA’s “Rescue the Animals” is holding dachshund races to benefit homeless pets. Corgis and Bassets will also be racing. Who knew there were so many corgis in Abilene? Details here.