HUNTINGTON BEACH The last time I talked to Brittany Hayes we were in China, at the world’s grandest sporting event, discussing the possibility of being a champion, an Olympic champion.
Now, I’m talking to Hayes here, at a nearly empty park, but still discussing the possibility of a champion, one who stands 10 inches high and weighs 12 pounds.
And, in mid-question, someone’s dog jumps on my lap.
This rarely happens at Lakers practice, although no one is ever sure what’s coming next from Ron Artest.
“I’m an Olympian,” Hayes says, “and my dog is more famous than me.”
In recent days, I’ve written about Phil Jackson, Mike Scioscia and Vladimir Guerrero. Generally, whomever I write about is a big dog.
Today, I’m writing about a wiener dog.
But, no, not just any wiener dog. This wiener dog is one of the fastest wiener dogs around.
Hey, I do have standards and Riley does measure up, even if he’s so short he could limbo under a bathroom rug.
He already has won the Octoberfest event at Old World Village in Huntington Beach and the wiener dog races that are part of Long Beach State’s homecoming. When your school doesn’t have a football team, apparently you improvise.
Riley next will be going after the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals on Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course. The event mostly is for charity — benefitting the Seal Beach Animal Care Center — and for laughs.
But something quite significant also waits at the finish line — $1,000. That goes to the dog’s owner.
And the dog house in the shape of a Wienerschnitzel restaurant? That goes to the winning wiener.
What sets Riley apart — besides being Usain Bolt in a teeny chocolate-and-tan fur coat — is that his owner possesses an Olympic medal. Hayes, who played at Foothill High and USC, won silver with the U.S. women’s water polo team in 2008 in Beijing.
Now, she’s on dry land chasing another valued piece of sports hardware: a trophy inscribed with the words “Fastest Wiener in the West.”
So it’s not exactly “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but let’s see Michael Phelps race on all fours against opponents with names like Killer, Dude and Snuggles.
“I am competitive, of course,” Hayes says. “But Riley just loves to race. He’s a natural. People might think I’m a crazy dog lady. Well, I am a crazy dog lady but not one who goes crazy if my dog doesn’t win.”
When USA Water Polo wanted to do a story — complete with video — on Riley, Hayes was worried about what other people might think.
No one wants to be viewed as having the stability and perspective of a person who potentially one day could live alone with, say, 27 cats.
Well, Hayes isn’t that person. She has a boyfriend, Stefan Luedecke, and lives in a condo. The only hint of insanity is her desire to be an attorney; she just finished her first year at Loyola Law School.
But, be very certain, she does love her wiener dog.
“He’s our child,” Hayes says. “Everything revolves around him. He goes everywhere with us.”
Riley has been inside restaurants, hidden in a beach bag. He has gone grocery shopping. When she coaches, Hayes sometimes takes Riley to the pool, where he’ll sit in a bag with his head popping out.
He has a nice life, in part because he almost died before any of this racing business even began. Riley, who turns 2 in a couple weeks, was sick with bad allergies for five months.
There were times when Hayes had to hand-feed him baby food and carry him out to go to the bathroom, holding him up so he could do his business.
On this day, Riley appears completely healthy, and he sounds that way, too. The little guy enjoys a good bark.
“We say he has a split personality,” Hayes says. “He’s half Riley and half Chucky. He’ll yell at you for five minutes, and then he’ll be kissing you.”
Funny, Scioscia’s the same way.
But Riley is cuter. Scioscia wasn’t the one who dressed up like a fireman for Halloween and received 20,000 votes in an online costume contest.
“It’s really like he’s a human being sometimes,” Hayes says of Riley, not Scioscia. “It kind of scares us.”
On Saturday, Riley will attempt to let his legs do the barking. He will be trying to become a champion, trying to rise above the designation of mere wiener.
This isn’t the Olympics. This is bigger.
At the Games, first place means you get a spot on the top step. At the Wiener Nationals, first place means you get the whole house.
Source: OC Register
Nathan’s Annual Independence Day Hot Dog Eating Contest
New York, Boston and Washington are cities warming up crowds with entertainment events during the day, putting up traditional fireworks displays. And what Big Apple Fourth of July would be complete without Coney Island’s embrace of two of America’s biggest loves: hot dogs and competition or Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (2010).
Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest July Fourth is an annual competitive eating competition held at Nathan’s Famous Corporation’s original and best-known restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.
The event is held on July 4 and is regarded as the world’s most famous hot dog eating contest and a colorful tradition of Independence Day in the United States. In 2006, over 30,000 spectators attended the event, and an additional 1.5 million households watched it live on ESPN.
Three time defending champion Joey Chestnut faced off with his competition, and when all was said and done, Chestnut emerged victorious again capturing the title for 2010. The contest festivities started on Sunday, July 4 at noon. The contest has become a 4th of July tradition.
2010 winner ate 54 wieners and buns
Other cities around the country hold local versions of the contest.
Here are a few local audience photos of attendees
Too Much Fun
No Wiener Dogs Were Harmed…
July 5, 2010 Posted by justonemorepet | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories | 2008 Beijing Olympics, Brittany Hayes, China, Chiweenie, dachshund, Dachshund Races, dogs, pet contests, Princess, Riley, wiener dogs, Wiener Nationals | 4 Comments
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!