No pugs, no problem—the 2013 Doggy Dash will go on

20th annual Doggy Dash

It's Hell Week for my 2-year-old pug, Bernie.

First, we did laps around Capitol Park—and even ran the stairs at the parking garage near the Crest Theatre. Twice. But I'm not a slave driver. After that, it was massages, rawhides and some Arrested Development on Netflix.

But too much leisure is for the weak, so the next day, we hit the dog park for wind sprints. Twenty-yard dashes, back and forth. You've never seen such explosiveness.

What a beast, my Lil B. (That's his nickname. I also call him Burn, Burner, BeeBee, Chooch, Little Buds, Berner Herzog, etc.)

It's all in the name of training. Unfortunately, the 2013 Pug Races at this weekend's Doggy Dash were canceled (too much heat for brachycephalics, I guess).

But that's OK, because there's still a 5,000-dog 5K walk (and a 2K for the short-legged ones), doggy-disk catching and pet-friendly businesses selling wares.

Bernie was pumped for these don't-miss moments: the seventh annual Pug Races and the Running of the Pugs. Because, when he's not smelling other dogs' butts, he smells victory.

Sadly, it wasn't meant to be in 2013. Still there's a silver lining: It's rumored that California's first dog, one Sutter Brown, will make an appearance at Saturday's Dash. And Bernie may get some one-on-one time with the famous corgi.

Maybe they can balance the state budget on time?

SPCA's 2013 Doggy Dash, Saturday, June 8, at William Land Park, 3800 South Land Park Drive. Some events are free, some require registration; find out more at