Nina is my darling. I want to take her home, but 800 square feet and four felines tell me that's not a good idea. Instead, I visit her each weekend at the Maxfund Animal Adoption Center. She's been there since October, and all she really wants is a lap that can take her 114 pounds of Rottweiler love. And someone to run with.
That's what an anticipated 500 of her nearest and dearest are going to be doing this Sunday at the seventh annual Lucky Mutt Strut 5K run/walk to benefit Maxfund. The pooches -- their humans in tow -- are taking over Washington Park to raise money for their brethren in doggie jail. Last year, they barked up $30,000 for the no-kill shelter.
"This is one of our largest and most important fundraising events of the year," says Strut organizer Elizabeth Stout. "There are so many animal-lovers in Colorado, and everyone loves coming out with their dogs to support a good cause. And all the proceeds go directly toward the care of the animals."
The race starts at 10 today -- pre-register online at www.maxfund.org, or at PetsMart, MacDonalds Hardwoods or in the park starting at 8:30 -- and the revelry lasts until 2 this afternoon. There will be a barbecue, with food donated by Rock Bottom Brewery, a canine Flyball competition, rescue dogs from Ground Zero doing ladder-walking demonstrations and other crazy pet tricks, drawings, and on-site microchipping and vaccinations ($5 from each goes to the shelter).
It costs $30 to get in, and Nina thanks you. -- Amy Haimerl
How high is the moon? It's the question that will be on everyone's mind during tonight's monthly Denver Astronomical Society Open House at DU's Chamberlin Observatory, 2930 East Warren Avenue. The event falls on a weeknight, in deference to a full-fledged astronomical event: a total lunar eclipse that begins at the convenient hour of 8 tonight.But if you ask any of the amateur astronomers on hand, you'll learn that you haven't really seen an eclipse until you've seen it through Chamberlin's mighty twenty-inch aperture, f/15 Alvan Clark-George Saegmuller refractor, the 1890 landmark observatory's pièce de résistance. Get in line: The family-friendly event can attract a good crowd, especially if the sky is clear and the weather nice. Some of the younger attendees, DU spokesman Warren Smith says, can be expected to run amok with night fever. (He recalls a past eclipse night when an exasperated mom exclaimed, "Come here -- you're missing the moon!")
The magic, however, is in the primordial shared experience, Smith notes: "It's really easy to project yourself back in time and imagine how primitive people must have reacted to this thing happening in the sky. You get some of that sense of awe and wonder. Often, the moon gets red at the height of the eclipse, and you can really imagine how that might give those ancient people the willies." For more info, log on to www.denverastrosociety.org -- Susan Froyd
Bloomin' Good Time
Stop and smell the wildflowers -- and learn something, too
It may be jumping the gun in Colorado to declare it Wildflower Week when a good amount of our high-country flora is still waiting it out under a blanket of spring snow. But we can dream, can't we? And anyway, out on the Eastern plains, it's the high season for a blooming frenzy of native plants. Beginning today, the Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates National Wildflower Awareness Week with informational and educational activities offered daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through May 23. The DBG will also hand out coloring books and host a native-plant coloring contest for kids ages five to eleven. The Gardens are at 1005 York Street; for details, log on to www. botanicgardens.com. --Susan Froyd
Bikram Yoga founder instructs Boulder
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Rejoice, Colorado yoga bears: Your teacher is coming. Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury, creators of the popular "hot yoga" series, are coming to town this weekend for an intense two-day Boulder Bikram Yoga Seminar."I have so many students who are new to the practice, who haven't had the opportunity to experience Bikram in person," explains Radha Garcia, founder of Boulder's Bikram Yoga College of India and organizer of the event. "It's such a privilege to have him come here."
One of Choudhury's first disciples, Garcia swears by Bikram Yoga's therapeutic effects -- mainly because the 26 postures are done in a studio heated to over 100 degrees. "Miracles happen around this yoga," she says. "It has a really incredible, profound effect on the body."
The seminar, held at Boulder's Millennium Harvest Hotel, 1345 28th Street, is open to students of all levels, but it's limited to 300 people, at $250 per person. The fee includes classes, clinics, lectures and gourmet lunches. Register online at www.boulderbikramyoga.com, or call 303-473-9003 for more information. Discount lodging rates are available.
"We're going to get really in-depth studying the postures and the philosophy behind hot yoga," Garcia promises. --Julie Dunn