If you heard Robyn Robbins dote about her child, whose name is D.O.G. Robbins you might not know that D.O.G. is a d-o-g.
“He’s just the best baby in the world,” says Robbin, who shares pet parenting responsibilities and a Statesville home with her husband, Kris.
“Every night we talk to him,” says Robyn, 41. “We stretch him out and tell him how long he is and how handsome he is.”
That’s the other thing you should know about D.O.G. He’s a 9-year-old wiener dog, or dachshund. On Oct. 7, D.O.G. will be participating in the annual Mooresville Wiener Race.
On the same day, Cornelius will host its own puppy promenade, the 17th annual All-American Dog Show.
The Cornelius dog show is a series of contests in which prizes are issued for Best Dressed, Best Kisser, and Best Puppy Dog Eyes, among others. The Mooresville Wiener Race crowns its champions for winning sprints to the finish line in several age divisions.
Both events will welcome dog- and pet-themed vendors and animal support groups.
The Mooresville Weiner Race is hosted by the Mooresville Downtown Commission. If you visit the event location at the corner of East Center Avenue and North Church Street and you just might hear D.O.G. Robbins’ bark. Don’t get that confused with Robbins Park, which is the new site of the Cornelius All-American Dog Show.
Organizers say the Cornelius dog show has annually drawn 100 to 150 contestants. The Wiener race has topped 200 runners but race directors have limited the number of entries to 180 this year.
“Wiener dogs just happen to be a lot of fun to watch them race,” said Tom Kilroe, the race director. “For whatever reason, they’re a hoot. They have the long bodies. One of two things usually happens. They come out of the box hot and strong and they go right for the finish line or they come out and they all kind of look at each other and sniff each other … and look around.”
UNC Charlotte professor Alan Rauch is an expert on humans’ interaction with animals. He has written works on the subject and teaches an honors class titled Animals, Culture and Society.
Rauch says that one of the reasons people love their dogs so much is the socialization that ownership and companionship provides.
“One of the things we do is socialize so well,” said Rauch. “One reason we love dogs, among other reasons, is if I walk my dog, all of a sudden, I’m socializing with the dog and the person who’s walking them. Nine times out of ten, I remember the dog’s name more than I remember the person’s name.”
Cornelius resident Mary Isaacs, 58, has attended more than half of the 17 All-American Dog Shows her town has hosted. Her current companions are 14-year-old Echo, a mutt who is likely a mixed breed of boxer and Jack Russell Terrier, and 3-year-old Sandy, one of the largest golden retrievers you’ll find anywhere.
Isaacs, who often takes Echo and Sandy to work with her to her architectural firm, is a good example of Rauch’s observation. She says she enjoys the socialization the dog show provides for her and her dogs.
“My dogs enjoy it,” she says. “After their initial barkfest, they calm down and enjoy the other dogs.
“I always love seeing the dogs interact and how my dogs do with some others. And I always have fun talking with the other dog owners.”
When Echo was a pup, she captured the dog show’s musical hula hoops title and won a prize from a local pizzeria for her owner. This year, Isaacs says she will probably enter Echo and Sandy in either the Best Coat or Cutest Dog contests.
Joe Habina is a freelance writer.