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This Doghouse Is Nicer Than My Apartment

There's a reason "in the doghouse" became a metaphor for a bad situation, as the term is generally associated with a dirty plywood shack behind the garage filled with dust and insects and lord knows what else. That is, unless the phrase refers to one of the canine domiciles featured at Barkitecture Houston. In that case, the doghouse is a fabulously designed dwelling to inhabit, perhaps even nicer than most human habitats (ours, at least).

On Saturday, October 15, from noon to 6 p.m., Houston Pavilions will host the third annual Barkitecture Houston, a showcase of doghouse designs from top architecture firms, design houses and artists that challenge the idea of how a backyard pup pad should look. This year's lineup includes a silent auction for the pieces on display, pet adoptions, a Kid Zone, food, drinks, a raffle for prizes, and live music courtesy of The Allen Oldies Band. The festivities, stretching from House of Blues on Caroline to Books-a-Million at Main, even include a doggy model search, described to us as "think America's Next Top Model for dogs." Those pooches better know how to "smize," dammit.

A panel of judges will decide first, second and third place winners, but the public is encouraged to vote for "People's Choice" and "Kid's Choice" with a $1 donation.

The event kicks off the night before on Friday, October 14, with a "Yappy Hour" from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Center Court outside of McCormick & Schmick's, with a $10 suggested donation good for two drink tickets and a door prize drawing entry. 100 percent of the proceeds from both days benefit Pup Squad Animal Rescue, an organization dedicated to placing orphaned puppies, nursing litters and their moms in loving homes, as well as providing education and support to those that adopt them.

"Barkitecture Houston is unlike any other event," says Julie Landry, co-founder of Pup Squad, adding, "It's not just about seeing and bidding on the architecturally amazing dog houses. There's also live music, activities for the kids, the Art+Bark dog photography gallery, adoptions -- and you are helping save homeless puppies. It's a day of fun for all ages."

Landry has high praise for The Houston Pavilions as well, saying, "I think it's important to note that every dollar raised goes back to Pup Squad. No one else does that for a rescue group. We are very lucky."

Barkitecture Houston is free and open to the public. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash. For more information visit www.barkitecturehouston.com

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