Uggie in OC

"The Artist" pooch'll cameo at America's Family Pet Expo.

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CANINE CAMEO: It didn't happen for us, during Oscar season. Nope, we're not talking about the nomination we've longed for -- why won't the phone ever ring when the Academy makes those pre-dawn announcements? -- but our lunch date with Uggie, the Jack Russell Terrier who practically stole "The Artist." And given the fact that "The Artist" won the Best Picture this year, that's no small feat for the four-footed celebrity. But we can still get a glance at the dog and other famous animals at America's Family Pet Expo, which will once again unfurl in Costa Mesa. The 2012 dates are Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22.

BEYOND THE STARS... The Expo isn't merely about the cameos, though; it is really a come-one-come-all, get-all-sorts-of-info convention for anyone who takes care of a bird or an iguana or a tabby or a muttly. It does, in fact, bill itself as "the world's largest pet and pet product expo," meaning you'll spend the better part of a Saturday or Sunday picking up literature and pocketing samples and chatting with experts about housebreaking and proper diet and treat time and sleep issues. There's a lot of entertainment, too, so it isn't merely about the booths; look for a host of entertaining and pet-focused to-dos. We will add this important note: Your own pet should remain at home. (A fun update: An Expo rep says that dogs will be allowed on Friday only -- arf!) Good? Good. Now, onward to Uggie, and all the things we need to take care of our own small superstars.

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