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Hot dog, it's a race.

Byline: Randi Bjornstad The Register-Guard

COTTAGE GROVE - All dogs were welcome to chum around at Saturday's Wiener Dog Races, a fundraiser organized by the Cottage Grove Board of Realtors to benefit the Cottage Grove Humane Society and South Valley Little League. But as the name implies, the dozens of dachshunds that attended were the stars.

The warm-ups to the doxie-only races included a costume competition - a girl pug named Norton came dressed as a lobster but failed to place in the Top Five - followed by a dog-and-owner look alike contest, won by 4-year-old Cottage Grove resident Drake Dupay and his 5-year-old dachshund, Chewy, both dressed as police officers.

In fact, egged on by Drake's mom, Melody Dupay, Chewy also took second place in the costume event, where he impersonated "Congressman Wiener," a take-off on disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, who sent inappropriate e-mail pictures of himself to several young women and ended up resigning on June 16 from the U.S. House of Representatives.

"With all the stuff that's been going on, that idea seemed like a natural," Dupay said. She used the collar from a real white shirt and cut down a real man's necktie for Chewy's getup and hung a cellphone - with a picture of Congressman Weiner's face on the screen - on one side, and a paper cutout of a briefcase on the other.

Emcee Shane May, president of the Cottage Grove Board of Realtors, had a tougher time getting contestants for the talent portion of the dogfest.

After several calls for entrants, he plaintively asked, "No dogs have any talent here?" before a few brave owners came forward with their pooches. And it was a sparse field, except for 8-year-old Ruby, a Cottage Grove doxie put through her paces by owner Andrea Hummel.

On command, Ruby flipped around and turned over, stood up tall on her hind legs, sang, boxed and dropped flat as a pancake on the ground, garnering the lion's share of the audience's appreciation.

"I should have brought some of her equipment," Hummel said after picking up her trophy. "She jumps through a hoop, bullfights and knows how to win a shell game - of course, that's when the prize is a dog treat she can sniff out."

While waiting for the pice de resistance - the vaunted Wiener Dog Races - Cori Bell walked through the crowd, gathering signatures on a petition to create a dog park in Cottage Grove.

"Anyone interested can contact me by e-mail, at peppermint132@yahoo.com," Bell said.

But everything else, including the hot dog and hamburger lunches and the T-shirt booth that advertised, "2-minute T-shirts, $8. You pick color, size and picture," paled when it came time for the Wiener Dog Races, conducted in heats of five dogs each, followed by run-offs to find the champion.

Some doxies streaked, some scampered and others strolled - and a few refused to start at all - but the ultimate winner was never in doubt: 14-month-old Kittie, the darling of Cottage Grove residents Josh King and Kaitlin McKinnon, left everyone else in the dust.

Asked why they chose a dachshund in the first place, McKinnon quickly gave the same answer any proud parent would.

"She was adorable," she said.
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Title Annotation:Local News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 26, 2011
Words:535
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