December 27th, friends. That is the day that Sammy Davis competes for our honor. Davis is a weiner dog, winner of this year's regional Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals (which took place during half-time of a Warriors game on November 24th, in case you missed it.) We scored an interview with his owner Sabrina Seiden, who along with partner Patrick Major is currently rubbing Davis' tiny shoulders in preparation for December 27th's Holiday Bowl in San Diego, where their pup -- the 2007 national champ, fancy! -- will expend every drop of energy in his wirey little body in pursuit of bringing home the top honor for the Bay.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: What kind of wiener is Sammy Davis? How did you know he was a winner?
Sabrina Seiden: Sammy Davis is a Double Dapple black and tan Tweenie. Tweenie means he is in between a standard and mini size. We knew he was a winner when we picked him because of his determination and alpha personality.
SFBG: How did you guys prepare for the race? Give me your game day routine.
SS: Certain secrets cannot be revealed, but we’re willing to let you in on a few tips. To train for the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, Patrick does a series of conditioning activities with Sammy Davis, which includes practicing running out of his kennel using his favorite squeaky ball as bait. The week of the race, we stop training to build up his energy and eagerness to see his toy ball again. On game day we make sure he eats two hours before the race and we have motivational talks with Sammy Davis to get him pumped up. As soon as we dress him in his Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals race vest he’s ready to go!
SFBG: Narrate the race itself for us.
SS: I hold Sammy Davis while Patrick waits at the finish line with the squeaky ball. Now remember, it’s been a week since Sammy Davis has seen his favorite toy so he’s more than eager to dash down the race track. During the qualifying heat, Sammy Davis was really squirmy and focused on Patrick and his ball. I could barely hold him and thought he would jump out of my arms. When I placed him in the Wienerschnitzel Wiener National starting gates, he was determined to get to his ball once again. I leaned down and told him "go, go, go!" and he shot out and won his heat. Patrick noticed that the other dogs hadn't even left the box and Sammy Davis was already three quarters of the way down the track.
Winning form: Sammy Davis on his November 30th gameday
During the final race we were both worried he wouldn't run because it was so loud in the stadium, and he was shaking. Sammy Davis doesn't like loud noises and tends to want to run and hide. We gave him our pep talk to keep him focused. I put him in the Wienerschnitzel starting gates earlier than usual to make him feel more secure and help settle his nerves. When Patrick watched him down at the other end of the track Sammy Davis had a determined look, which gave Patrick reassurance that he was going to be the champion!
Now it’s times to train for the Wienerschnitzel Wiener National Finals in San Diego! This is Sammy Davis’ second trip to Southern California. Warm weather and the $1,000 grand prize will be the perfect way to ring in the New Year.
SFBG: Where does Sammy hope to go with his career? What does success look like for him?
SS: Success to Sammy Davis is making people happy. Sammy Davis is an example of how dogs can help their owners overcome tough times with the comfort of their unconditional love. Patrick was sick for a long time and Sammy Davis’ companionship was key to his recovery. Sammy Davis and Patrick are a winning team on and off the Wienerschnitzel race tracks.
Patrick Major and Sabrina Seiden (right) with a boatload of cash and their intrepid canine Sammy Davis
SFBG: Does Sammy Davis eat wieners?
SS: Sammy Davis is on a strict dog food-only diet, but he does love to steal bagels with cream cheese when he can.
SFBG: What does he think of Scott Weiner's recent nudity ban?
SS: We’re so proud of Sammy Davis’ accomplishments at the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals and think a little exposure of our winning wiener doesn't hurt anybody.