Hot dog! It’s time for Wiener Dog Races

He was found wandering the streets of Jacksonville, homeless, forlorn. Today, the hint of gray is the only clue as to what he might have suffered in his early life.

In fact, Peanut Sharpe is sleek, handsome and fit enough to race Saturday. For a dachshund, he’s come a loooooong way.

This is the one time of year Savannah gladly goes to the dogs. The Wiener Dog Races at Oktoberfest are always a hit, and proceeds benefit Dachshund Rescue of North America.

The local representative is Ellen Hatcher. “We rescue and find forever homes for dachshunds that have been abandoned,” Hatcher said. “Some come from shelters, some come from owners.”

The money raised helps pay veterinary bills. “Every one of our dogs is completely vetted,” Hatcher said. “If they need spayed or neutered or basic dental, it’s taken care of.”

Even though the race is all in fun, strict rules must be followed. Owners can’t take food on the track, although they can wave the dog’s favorite toy around.

“When they open the gate, sometimes they get one that really runs,” Hatcher said. “Sometimes they just stand there, waiting to see what they’re supposed to do.”

Murem Sharpe, owner of Peanut, is looking forward to the races. “He’s a fast little guy,” she said. “Who knows?”

Sharpe and her husband, Tom, had attended the races for years. When they lost their beloved English springer spaniel, they contacted Hatcher about adopting a dachshund.

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