Dogs really have people fooled. They walk around wagging their tails and panting and looking all cute, and they have you picking up after them, sharing your bed and giving them treats when they lift a paw. It's quite amazing really. You know what else is amazing? That man's best friends have convinced people to hold contests for them, so the pups can run and play and jump and hang out with other canines, all while competing to win even more treats. Events like the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge are all part of the plan. At this competition, happening at Purina Farms (200 Checkerboard Drive, Gray Summit; www.purina.com/events), some of the most athletic dogs around catch Frisbees, jump hurdles, dive and more, and one of them will be crowned national champion. But the other pups won't feel bad, because they just like the sport of it — their smiles prove it. To check out some happy, happy dogs, head out to the farm at 11 a.m. on Friday to watch practice runs and at 11 a.m. on Saturday to catch the real thing (October 3 and 4). Admission is free both days, and it doesn't cost anything to pet the competitors either.
Fri., Oct. 3; Sat., Oct. 4, 2008