These win­ning wiener dogs and their own­ers are o to the races.

Vancouver Magazine - - CONTENT - AS TOLD TO Maia Ode­gaard PHOTO BY Carlo Ricci Por­trait taken at Hast­ings Race­course, July 30, 2017

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.

1 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

2 Chloe: 4½ years old

“Chloe is ei­ther stupidly brave or bravely stupid. A few years ago she was in Ban 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 oth­er­worldly sounds un­til the bear fi­nally went away. Some­how she didn’t end up as an hors d’oeu­vre.” —Jeremy Sally d, 30, mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor

3 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

4 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 o and he squishes it down. That’s his ad­van­tage: as soon as he hears the squeak of a plas­tic bot­tle, he’s o .” —Laura Wil­lis, 34, ac­count­ing pro­fes­sional

5 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

6 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

7 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

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