My dog knows two tricks: "eat," which involves devouring any and all food products within a 50-foot radius, and "look cute," a gift she has mastered and used to her advantage since birth. With the exception of the rare "sit," "stay," and "off," this is, sadly, the extent of her abilities.
Needless to say, she is not participating in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. This annual showcase for crafty canines travels across the country in search of the most talented of four-legged friends, who flock to the games to show off amazing feats of athleticism and agility. The top dogs go on to the prestigious championships in St. Louis to vie for the coveted national title. Events such as Diving Dog, Freestyle Flying Disc, Agility, Assistance Dog, 60 Weave Pole, and, last but not least, the Jack Russell Hurdle Race are presented for your and man's best friend's pleasure. Come check out these charismatic critters live and in person -- there'll be games, prizes, and oodles more for the pooches and their human escorts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sharon Meadow, Kezar & John F. Kennedy, Golden Gate Park. Admission is free; call (800) 229-4758 or visit www.dogchow.com. -- Sunny Andersen
An easy way to volunteer
Community service isn't just for ex-cons and high school students. On the contrary, all of us could afford to lend a helping hand. During Hands on San Francisco Day, more than 1,500 volunteers are expected to contribute 6,000 hours of service to a variety of causes and organizations.
There's more than one way to give back at this daylong event. Got a green thumb? Plant a tree. Handy around the house? Help build a home for low-income residents. Do-gooders can work solo or with a group of friends, so long as they raise a minimum of $25 through sponsorships or donations.
Registration and breakfast start at 8 a.m. at Yerba Buena Gardens (Third & Mission streets). Pat yourself on the back at a volunteer shindig at 2 p.m. at the Gardens and at the Metreon (101 Fourth St. at Mission). Call 541-9616. -- Lisa Hom
Bright Lights, Big City
KFOG sets the night sky ablaze
Fourth of July comes just once a year, but thanks to the annual incendiary waterfront extravaganza KFOG KaBoom!, pyromaniacs don't have to wait till July to get fired up. Classic rockers Steve Winwood, Susan Tedeschi, Nickel Creek, and Keller Williams, among others, will be on hand to provide the tunes.
The free event is broadcast on 104.5-FM in San Francisco and 97.7-FM in San Jose, but radio doesn't do it justice; more than seven tons of explosives are shot from a group of barges the size of a football field. Festivities begin at 4 p.m., with the fireworks display at 9 p.m., at Piers 30-32, Embarcadero & Main, S.F. Call 817-5364 or visit www.kfog.com. -- Lisa Hom
Spring has sprung -- birds sing, flowers bloom, and a young man's fancy turns to love. Everyone else's fancy, however, turns to the true sign of warm weather: garage sales. Starting the season off is the 28th annual Fair Oaks Neighbors Flea Market and Street Fair, aka five glorious blocks of other people's crap for cheap. Nine a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fair Oaks from 21st to 26th streets (between Dolores and Guerrero). -- Hiya Swanhuyser