WienerFest 2011 held at the Shell Factory
The wiener dog races were on held Sunday when the SW Florida Wiener Dog Club and the Shell Factory hosted WienerFest 2011.
Puppy and adult dachshunds ran the 50-yard course straight to their owners, though some got distracted by the many cheering spectators.
“The wiener dog population has really grown in this area,” said Richard Dunmire, coordinator of the Shell Factory’s Doggy Heaven Dog Sports Park. “That’s because of our dog park and the wiener dog races and club.
“All types of dogs came with their owners to the event. We have people from all over Southwest Florida, including Naples, and from other places in Florida, like some folks and their dogs from Miami,” he said.
Some racing winners shared their secrets. Cape Coral’s Amanda Stotler won second place with her dog Ruby.
“We practice,” she said. “I use Ruby’s favorite toys to have her come to me and brought them to the race.”
Sam Bostic of Lehigh Acres, a talented young singer who has been studying in New York, started the event by singing the national anthem.
The North Cape Coral Publix on Pine Island Road sponsored The Fastest Wiener Eater hot dog contest, and contests, including Wieners On Parade, were also part of the festivities.
Club organizer Peggy Kay was the emcee for the event with judge Vicki Tighe, owner of SunCoast DockDogs of The Southwest Florida, a club that also trains at the dog park.
Gatekeepers were Joe Sanders and Jim Kay. Other supporters included DJ Gary Bostic and 95.3 The River’s Amy Lynn.
Donations from a photo opportunity on the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile went to local non-profits Forever Pets Animal Adoptions, Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue and the Shell Factory s Nature Park.
The Wiener Mobile is an antique toy car usually on display at the Shell Factory Doggy Heaven Shop, within its shop complex.
SW Florida Wiener Dog Club organizer Kay invites all wiener dog lovers to join the club; yearly dues are only $20.
“We have Wiener Racing 101 every week. It is a get-together, practice and trials held the third Sunday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the park. The interaction at the 101 is also a great way to socialize your dog.”
The group then has a late breakfast or early lunch at Shell Factory’s Dogbones Cafe (a pet-friendly restaurant). They also meet with their dogs at Canines and Cocktails there Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30.
The park is home to several groups, including SW Florida Wiener Dog Club, SunCoast Dock Dogs, Calusa Dog Agility Club and the Lee County Dog Obedience Club.
For information on the Wiener Dog Club, go to Swfloridawienerdogs.com or call the group at 458-3294.
For information on the dog park, call The Shell Factory at 995-2141.