@SAVWienerDog is the voice of the annual Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Races in Morrell Park on River Street. This year's races are Oct. 5.
DO: Why are wiener dog races so popular?
@SAVWienerDog: It may sound a little arrogant, but dachshunds really are the best racers. We are long, sleek - aerodynamic. We get a lot of lift out of the floppy ears, too. Just ask any Gulfstream engineer. We're regular G650s. Seeing is believing.
How early in the year do you start your race prep?
I prepare all year. The best practice regimen I've found is chasing squirrels. You can test acceleration capacity - they force you to kick it in quickly while maintaining a line.
Do you have a morning routine before the race?
You know, I've found every winner has his or her own routine. I'm pretty precise.
I ask my staff to wake me up at daybreak. It's important for me to get a few things out of my system and stretch well. Then, I expect my breakfast, with a high-protein mix of wet and dry food. Just before I race, my staffers take me off to a corner for some business, and then I'm ready to roll.
What advice would you give a new participant?
Give it some swagger when you hit the infield - let competitors get a look at you. Let your staff put you in the chute and focus on where you want to be at the end.
Tell your assistant to hold up a toy or snack so you can find them in the masses. You want to be able to cut a straight line to the finish without a lot of sniffing.
Do you find the crowd helps or hinders you?
Oh, I love a crowd! I like the Savannah races because there are lots of kids -they have a great appreciation for what we're trying to do. Some of them aren't that far from crawling on all fours, so they remember the challenges.
The judges are almost all military personnel, so we try to put on a show for them.
What can you tell us about Morrell Park?
It's a great place to race and wander around, sniffing out fans and competitors. That's why so many of us come back every year. This year, we've got about 30 returning competitors out of what we think will be 100 or so dogs.
The grassy area, the crowd doing the Wiener Cheer, the smells of beer and brats ... Morrell Park is a cathedral for this stuff. If they'd replace that stupid collie on the Waving Girl statue with a dachshund, it'd be perfect.