On September 19 2015, we were introduced to more of Melbourne’s quirky character as on that day a German style celebration for sausage dogs would take place. Crowds rushed to a 25 or so metred track, 5 miniature lanes wide, to cheer on Daschund dogs in the annual event that marked the start of Oktoberfest.
As dog lovers, and with the promise that plenty of these adorable creatures would be in fancy dress, we couldn’t resist and fortunately we weren’t disappointed. Tucked away in a small but ample courtyard, the sun beamed down and we were immediately immersed in atmosphere that rivalled some major sporting events!
We worked our way through the crowd and a speaker blared out a 5 minute countdown until the ‘seniors’ race would take place but found myself faced with the same problem I have in festival and gig crowds, I couldn’t see. So James stepped up, or rather bent down, and I got on to his shoulders, only this time I was surrounded by families, children and dog owners cradling their pets…I tried to appear younger than I was to get away with it, determined to witness what all the hype was about.
I got my 10 seconds of miniature dog racing merriment and cheered along with the rest of the happy spectators once there appeared to be a winner, though the competition seemed to have lost site of the finish line and a couple had made swift U-turns back to the start.
We decided to step back from the front row action and wonder around the perimeter, suddenly envious of all the dog owners, in particular the ones who had successfully disguised their Dachshunds as spiders, horseback riding Cowboys and 80’s denim fashion symbols. I’m now warming to the idea of having one of these little darlings myself.
The event was a unique experience not to be missed, despite high expectations for these dogs to be able to run within their own lane, plus the weather was cracking and we spent the remainder of the day drinking in the sun along Southbank.