If you want to make sure your mutt stays your best friend, you'd better take him to the Houston Humane Society's Greek in the Streets K-9 Fun Run and Walk. Not only will Rover love the workout, he'll also appreciate the plethora of sniffing opportunities. The event includes a competitive one-mile run for dogs and their owners, with awards in six categories based on the gender of the human and the weight of the pooch. "This one is for people who have pretrained with their dogs and can clip right along," explains Stacey Wilbanks, spokesperson for the Houston Humane Society.
In addition, there will be a noncompetitive one-mile dog jog and a one-mile walk, with or without Fido, which is the event's most popular division. Afterward, human participants are entitled to a couple of free brewskies, and their canines can splash around in kiddie pools or saunter through the crowd dressed as deviled eggs and ballerinas for the doggy costume contest.
If pet royalty is more your speed, hit the society's SpokesDog and SpokesCat coronation ceremony. For obvious reasons, no other kitties are allowed on the premises. Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. For information, call 713-433-6421, extension 5538, or visit www.houstonhumane.org. $25 for advance registration; $30 on the day of the race. Costume contest free. -- Bliss Foster
Bey Area Brawl
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The bizarre lovechild of Pokémon and a game of marbles, Beyblade is the latest anime-inspired craze to tantalize U.S. kids and exasperate their parents. Essentially, kids aim a Beyblade launcher, yank the ripcord and try to blast each other out of a Beystadium. And when they're not busy playing, many of them follow the adventures of the blue-haired, puppy-eyed, ambiguously gendered characters on the Beyblade TV series. This weekend, Houston Beybladers (ages eight and up, with parents' permission) can get their Blade on in a qualifying tournament at the Beyblade Battle Association Blader Jam Finals at Space Center Houston. The winner will move on to the national competition, and the winner of that showdown, of course, will try to conquer the world. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 20. 1601 NASA Road 1. For information, call 281-244-2100 or visit www.beyblade.com. $15 for competitors; $13.95 to $17.95 for spectators. -- Steve Devadanam