It was a challenging race, but La Crescenta's own Jimmy the wiener dog showed himself a true competitor in last month's 13th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals in Los Alamitos, coming in fourth in his heat. Jimmy was one of 87 dogs to compete in the race, which was won by Max, a dachshund from Hemet, who also came in first place in Jimmy's heat.
â€œCongratulations to Max, who won a perfect race,â€ said Laura Miller, Jimmy's La Crescenta owner. â€œJimmy was proud to be in a race with Max who would become the champion that day.â€ Jimmy is well known to the Crescenta Valley for his stylish attire that has won him many best-dressed pet awards, including in competitions at Montrose's annual Oktoberfest.
The Wiener Nationals is a fundraiser for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-profit group that finds homes for stray animals in Orange County. The event generates about $20,000 each year for the facility.
Race participants were selected for the event based on written entries from their owners.
Jimmy is a 7-year-old dachshund. He was born in Montrose and lives in La Crescenta with his human family, Laura and Neal Miller and their three children, Jordan, 15, Jake, 12, and Lillian, 10.
Jordan Miller said he was proud of the family dog. â€œWe're lucky to have a dachshund that can be part of such an exciting, well-attended event,â€ he said. â€œJimmy did well in his race and didn't run back to the starting line, like two of his competitors did.â€
Laura Miller added that the cheese and chicken Jimmy knew was waiting for him at the end of the race was a great incentive to complete the course. â€œHe raced in a timely manner to receive his reward,â€ she said.
In addition to running the race in front of more than 12,000 people, Jimmy was featured in a segment of KTLA's morning news the day before the competition, and since then, he's been seen by folks around the world in an Internet YouTube video segment.
The day before the race, Jimmy showed signs of promise in pre-race heats; however, on the big day, his placement between two female wiener dogs â€” named Leela and Hottie â€” may have had an impact on his performance, Laura Miller said, adding that the girl dogs were a â€œpleasant distractionâ€ for Jimmy.
Although he wasn't top dog in the Naitonals, his family is proud of Jimmy, who â€œran a good race,â€ Laura Miller said. â€œOverall, Jimmy had a fun time, meeting many new friends and re-acquainting himself with old ones.â€
And, though he didn't earn a trophy in the competition, his human cousin, Brandon, made him a nice ceramic â€œFirst Rate Dogâ€ award, which Jimmy and his family is sure to treasure for a long time to come.
Miller said she's not sure if Jimmy will race again in next year's nationals, but she thinks he will probably retire and pass the torch on to a younger dachshund friend, named Badger, and encourage that dog to enter the competition.
â€œBut, if Jimmy's in town in October,â€ she said, â€œhe'll be gearing up for Montrose's Oktoberfest 'Best Dressed Dog' contest.â€