Little Dogs Make Big Splash In Annual Key West New Year's Parade
Key Westers and their canine companions, more specifically ones of the short-legged variety, took to the streets Wednesday for the island's 10th annual Dachshund Walk. This year an estimated 175 dachshunds took part, along with 75 dogs of other breeds, including a chihuahua flash mob.
Ruth Reiter started the event with her late dachshund Schumann, inspired by an event called HowlOWeenie in Atlanta where she used to live.
"After [Hurricane] Wilma, I just thought this town needed something fun, free and funky," she said.
It is that. Some of the dogs sport costumes, others wear signs or ride with their owners on motorized scooters. Participants traveled from all over the country.
"They asked to come," said Jeffrey Billinger of Los Angeles, who was at the parade with his dachshunds, Mr. Bailey and Bella Blue.
Besides dachshunds and chihuahuas, there were dogs of several short-legged varieties, such as Yorkies, basset hounds and Boston terriers. There were also a few of mixed breed and at least one golden retriever.
But according to the stickers handed out to the crowd, dachshunds are the "official dog of Key West."
"Why not bring the new year in with a little wiener?" asked organizer Les Steele. "It makes you smile."