If Mark Twain were alive today, he would blog; and Twain would blog about Wiener Racing. One need only read his classic, “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” to understand the inspiration that vertically challenged, racing Dachshunds would be to the modern day Twain.
Adding to the aforementioned absurdity, the similarity of flowing hair between Twain and the long-haired variety of the Dachshund breed would not be lost on arguably the greatest American humorist. One can only imagine Oscar, a fleet-of-foot example of the long hair Doxie, and Mr. Twain conversing. We have it on good authority that Twain could speak dog.
While I would never presume to communicate on a level with the great Sam Clemens (gimme a break, I was overusing Twain), I would presume to talk with furballs. And so, I endeavored to ascertain from Oscar the secret to his success and to his shortcomings (I know, this was cheap, but I already caveated my lack of Twain like ability).
I met up with Oscar shortly after his afternoon workout at Thomas Square. We grabbed a bit of shade, we sat, we talked.
“Oscar, do you mind if I call you Oscar?”
“No, please do.”
“So, Oscar, I noticed that with your long flowing hair, you were one of the more beautiful runners in the 2010 Hawaii Wiener Derby.”
“For me, it really is about that look. You noticed that I bounced quite a bit more than the short-hairs. I practice that. I find that there is a perfect speed and a perfect bounce that actually best displays my beautiful coat.”
“You did win your heat.”
“Indeed! Indeed, I did, but that was not the goal.”
“Really, I would think that a dog putting in the time and effort that you do to prepare for the Wiener Race would be disappointed with anything less than victory.”
“Had you been here a few moments earlier, you would have seen that I was actually striving to perfect my pace. We do videotape. We find the rhythm. We match a song to the beat, load it into my iPod, and then, I bounce.”
“What if you didn’t have rhythm?
“No self-respecting long-hair would be without rhythm! At that point, you might as well go to a groomer and get it all cut-off so that you look like a short-hair. No one notices that short-hairs have no rhythm. Look at them, do they really need to bounce?”
I thanked him. As I drove away, I could not help but think how privileged I had been to sit in the park with someone with such overwhelming self-confidence and bold self-awareness.
Good luck, Oscar.
The 3rd Annual, 2011 Hawaii Wiener Derby will be held May 14, 2011, from 10 – 6 at Thomas Square.