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Hot dog dogs have their day

 Jim Mange and daughter Chloe, 8, set up their chocolate and tan dachshund Flash for a trick where the pup balances a treat on his nose and raises one paw. Flash, whose first birthday is in a week-and-a-half, was too excited to spend an afternoon with a dozen fellow dachshunds and their owners, so his performance was sloppier than usual. - Photo by Valentina Petrova
Jim Mange and daughter Chloe, 8, set up their chocolate and tan dachshund Flash for a trick where the pup balances a treat on his nose and raises one paw. Flash, whose first birthday is in a week-and-a-half, was too excited to spend an afternoon with a dozen fellow dachshunds and their owners, so his performance was sloppier than usual.
— image credit: Photo by Valentina Petrova

It could have easily turned into an exercise of herding cats. But it didn’t.

The 10 dachshunds chose to take the race seriously, or at least as serious as rushing across the lawn for a treat can be. Yukon, the only long-haired pup of the bunch, won the boys’ race but Lucy beat him in the final run off.

The race was one of the activities Linda Hemry thought up for the first King’s West Dachshund Fellowship meeting. Hemry, a second-grade teacher at King’s West School in Chico, has a 4-year-old dachshund named Sarah.

Sarah likes to come to school once in a while and eventually Hemry learned that some of her students were getting dachshunds of their own.

They’re very spunky, energetic, friendly, smart and enjoy people and parties, Hemry said, explaining why the wiener dogs are such perfect companions for kids.

Hemry sported a hot dog-shaped hat and dachshund-shaped earrings Wednesday afternoon as she hosted the first gathering of short hounds who brought their owners out to the field behind King’s West.

The event started off with introductions of each dachshund and their human. Then a display of tricks and a race followed. By the end of the meeting, each four-legged attendee got an award.

Yukon surrendered the “most athletic” designation to Lucy, but he picked up the “best hairdo” ribbon.

Yukon brought 6-year-old Chayse Miller, a King’s West kindergartner, to show off one of his tricks — raising up on his short legs to snag a treat she held up for him.

“They’re such wonderful dogs and they’re good with kids,” said Chayse’s mom Debi Miller, of Tiger Lake.

The Millers have always had a dachshund, Yukon being only the newest member of the family.

It was different for the Manges.

Jim Mange, of Silverdale, said two golden retrievers have been the family staple. But when searching for the right dog for 8-year-old Chloe, a second-grader in Hemry’s class, the family opted for a dachshund named Flash who turned out to be Sarah’s nephew.

“He’s great, he thinks he belongs on your lap and that’s what we wanted,” Mange said.

Flash and Chloe met last August on Chloe’s Gotcha Day, marking the date she was adopted. Flash, who is just as full of energy as his name suggests, likes to walk Chloe and snuggle with her and the two play dress up, Jim Mange said.

“His favorite activity though is bossing our two golden retrievers,” he added. “He thinks he’s the same size as they are.”

Flash stole the Mr. Charming award for best personality at the dachshund gathering. He wiggled around under Chloe’s grip while waiting for his name to be called.

“He can’t settle down,” laughed Jim Mange, taking pictures of Flash and Chloe during the award ceremony. “He thinks he’s the alpha wiener.”

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