It would be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when America went dog crazy, but it was probably sometime between 1776 and Bill Murray's watershed "Americans are mutts" speech in Stripes. That's a range of, like, 1,400 dog years or something, so forgive us if we can't nail down a date. What matters is that dogs now have their own spas, hotels, counselors and psychics. Add to that list Bark in the Park, which is a quasi-business seminar for the canine crowd. And they got it all without ever learning to speak! Who's a good dog? Who's a good dog? Awwww ...
Bark in the Park features obedience demonstrations, pet portraits, an agility course, a pledge walk for the Humane Society, a pack of vendors selling dog necessities (and impulse items, no doubt) and the heartwarming feeling you get from watching hundreds of dogs sniff each other's butts. It all takes place at Queeny Park (550 Weidman Road) from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; admission ranges from $5-$30. Call 314-951-1501 for more info, and please pick up after your dog before leaving. -- Paul Friswold
May the Forsch Be With You
Cards worshipers will be out in force to genuflect before the man who helped take the Redbirds to their last World Series victory (in 1982), pitched two no-hitters and labored for the Cardinals for fifteen years. Bob Forsch is making the rounds of local bookstores to plug his new behind-the-scenes memoir, Bob Forsch's Tales From the Cardinals Dugout, written with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tom Wheatley. Forsch's engaging collection of anecdotes features such tricks as how to confuse sign-stealers, the day Jim Kaat taught him how to doctor a baseball, the excitement of trading for Jack Clark in '85 and playing pranks on the superstitious Joaquin Andujar. Meet the stoic starter at a free 7 p.m. event at Borders Books & Music, 6601 North Illinois Street in Fairview Heights, Illinois (618-397-6097). Visit www.sportspublishingllc.com for more. -- Byron Kerman
Return of the Sports Extravaganza
At last year's Classic Visions St. Louis Sports Extravaganza, former Harlem Globetrotter Gator Rivers put on a dribbling show that left a huge grin on every face. He's back for this year's free traveling show, at Kiener Plaza (Seventh and Market streets, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., 800-293-5949), along with the chance to meet Ian Naismith, grandson of basketball inventor James Naismith, who will share original documents on the rules of the game (they call for two baskets, two foul lines and a chair for Bobby Knight) and enjoy a tennis clinic and a display from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, featuring an appearance by former Kansas City Monarch Buck O'Neil. -- Byron Kerman