Check out our slide show for a closer look at the racing chihuahuas, and the rare breed of owners who trained their dogs for this.
One-hundred and fifty nine Chihuahuas came to the parking lot Saturday morning, but by high noon there was only Charlie. Flanked by his entire family on the first-place podium, he posed for photos with a trophy as tall as he was.
Winded though he must have been, Charlie didn't show it -- not just the fastest dog in Dallas's regional chihuahua races, but also one of the coolest. Course, it's easy to look cool when the next guy's stuffed in a shoulder bag wearing a gold-accented pair of wings.
For the second straight year, the Prestonwood Petco hosted the regional races in Dallas, one of seven cities sending winners to the August 29 national championship in New York City.
For three hours Saturday morning, in heat after heat, dogs raced down the 30-foot track, coaxed across the finish line by screaming dog owners waving arms, treat jars, stuffed animals and articles of clothing -- whatever it took to get the animals' attention. In a given race, half the dogs veered off to one side, chased other dogs in circles, or tried to paw their way back through the starting gates.
More photos from race day follow after the jump, and we've got an up-close look at the slack-tongued athletes with their owners in this photo gallery as well.
Owners help point out the finish line for their dogs.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.