That Ain't Kibble

Chowing down the Incredible Dog Challenge

SAT 10/4

If you think this is a Christopher Guest movie, you're barking up the wrong tree. This is the Purina Dog Chow Incredible Dog Challenge, bitch, and the canines competing here have already proven themselves in regional contests -- sniff these butts and you'll find the most athletic dogs in the United States and Canada.

The competition will be on Pax TV and NBC at the end of November, but if you like your hot canine action live, be sure to show up by 10 a.m., when six Jack Russell terriers will jump hurdles and sprint through an 8-by-12-inch tunnel. First dog out wins! At 11:15 a.m. it's the Frisbee-catching competition with musical accompaniment. Who let the dogs out? At 12:15 p.m. the dogs competitively dive off a ramp into a pool. At 1 p.m., catch the "Incredible Agility Competition" and then, at 2 p.m., the "Incredible Puppy Race." Bow-wow-wow, yippie-yo, yippie-yay.

It gets a little more boring with the high jump competition at 2:30 p.m., but at 3 p.m. it's the "Incredible Duck Herding Practice," where the dogs try to get a bunch of ducks through gates and over obstacles. In addition to the events, vendors will be selling hamburgers and dogs (not those kind) to chow down on, and you can adopt some pups from Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation.

Don't dog it, dawg; the event's free at the Purina Farms in Gray Summit (I-44 to exit 253, right onto Highway 100, left on Highway MM, one mile ahead; www.dogchow.com; 1-800-229-4758, ext. 343). -- Ben Westhoff

Sugar High

BOOM! That's the rectum-vibrating roar of an actual black-powder cannon shooting Tootsie Rolls and Starburst high into the air. The candy rains down onto the fields of various St. Louis County Parks events (like the Mountain Man Fest at Sioux Passage Park, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, October 4, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, October 5, Old Jamestown Road, a half-mile east of Vaile Road, 314-615-4FUN, $4/carload), and then squealing kids run forth to collect it. If you hear park ranger Deb Bonnert ringing her old-fashioned dinner bell this weekend, follow her to the "candy cannon" and a thundershower of sweets. -- Byron Kerman

Phat Farm

SAT 10/4

Now that "agribusiness" has gone the way of conglomerate-driven land takeovers and genetic engineering, kids should know about the fun side of farming: straw hats, romps in the hay and looking your meals in the eye before preparing them.

You can do all of the above at the Suson Farm Fair (Suson Park, 6073 Wells Road, 10:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., $3-$5). There'll be butter churning, goat milking, pedal-tractor races and country music by DJ "Farmer Earl" Mangrum, plus you'll have a chance to buy the farm with your winnings from the Best Dressed Farm Family contest at 12:15 p.m. Give 'em a holler at 314-638-2100 or www.stlouisco.com/parks. -- Tom R. Arterburn

Udder Enjoyment

TUES 10/7

The joys of milk have been well-documented by people more qualified than we are (that Quik Rabbit comes to mind), but if you need more convincing, get thee to Chesterfield Mall (I-64 at Clarkson Road) from 5-9 p.m. for the Got Milk? Tour. The famous Got Milk? RV will be there, you can have your photo taken whilst mustachioed with leche, partake in a karaoke contest (not milk-themed, but the ultimate winner will visit the 2004 MTV Beach House) and you can take in a local battle of the bands featuring two St. Louis acts. All this and stronger bones, too? What a deal! Visit www.whymilk.com for more information. -- Paul Friswold

 
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