Posts Tagged 'Dachshund'

“My heart has drifted out into a place I cannot find.”

Here’s another short I submitted to workshop. Direct quote from my professor on the piece: “I like this–it’s not very edgy (what I expect from you), but there is more attention to language and voice.” Hm. Thanks, I guess. Pretty good critique for a first draft I suppose.

Dash

We started training back in February. Initially, we would go on walks together around the neighborhood. When we would get back within two blocks of the house, she’d want to race me. We’d take off, the wind in our ears and the first couple times I beat her, but very quickly, she became faster than me. I assumed she must have been practicing. We had tried to go jogging together before, but she just couldn’t go the distance—she never lasted and it didn’t help that she’d been built with such stubby legs. I’d end up waiting for her on the curb, half of a mile in. I guess sprinting was her thing and I’m sure she loved the fact that she was better at it than me. I had run track in high school and so I took it upon myself to become her trainer.

We still went on walks, but having the long, narrow backyard that we did, made for a perfect 100-meter-dash practice track. I bought a stop watch and built her a starting block out of some wood scraps I got from dad, who would also help out, standing at the finish line with me, calling her, cheering her on. She loved the extra motivation and the treats he usually had waiting for her.

Training wasn’t always easy. She would get bored and run into the house, ignoring my calls or get distracted and wander down the opposite side of the yard. This is usually when her selective hearing would kick in; when the cookies or jerky weren’t worth her time. But I was relentless and somehow we managed to get a good solid training in at least five days a week. And at the end of practice, you could tell that she felt good, that she was proud of herself, that she was top dog.

The day of the big race was finally upon us. We both woke up a little nervous, but she was obviously more excited than anything else. You could tell by the way she kept running and jumping around the house. I kept having to tell her to calm down; save that nervous energy to propel her in the race. When we got down to the Del Mar fairground the crowd was a lot larger than I had expected. We checked in and picked up her numbered jersey, which I promptly helped her into. We walked down to the track to see if we could get a quick warm up in and size up the competition. Being an open race made for a pretty diverse group. There were a lot of younger, leaner looking runners, but overall, I was confident in her abilities.

An announcement was made that the race would start in 10 minutes and that runners, coaches and spectators needed to take their places. We looked at each other—it was time. I wished her luck, gave her a quick kiss on the head and left her at the starting block. I walked down to the finish line, my stomach in knots.

It all came down to this:  the Weiner Nationals—the annual dachshund race hosted by Wienerschnitzel.

Advertisements