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August 24, 2008|Geoff Boucher; Tony Barboza; Randy Harvey

BEIJING — SOUNDBOARD

Who wants to be a roadie?

Want to be a substitute for another guy?

It ain't cheap. The Who has an auction at eBay for a fan who wants to pay to be a roadie for a day during its U.S. tour. The bidding hit $20,000 after four days, and it may go higher by Sunday's cutoff.

The auction is for a good cause: Roger Daltrey is saving up for a villa in the south of France. No, that's just a joke. The auction is a fundraiser for the Santa Monica nonprofit group K9 Connection, which brings at-risk teenagers together with homeless dogs.

The program shows the teens how to train the pooches in basic obedience, which makes the dogs more likely to be adopted while also imparting life lessons to the kids.

Speaking of basic obedience, here's what the lucky (and wealthy) winner of the "Be a Roadie for the Who" auction gets to do:

Start the day with a crew breakfast. Prepare the stage. Help with the load-in. See the show as the crew does. Meet and greet backstage with Roger Daltrey and other members of the band. Receive a videotaped memento of the special day, including parts of the concert.

If you do win the auction, please don't drop Pete Townshend's guitar. He doesn't think breaking them is cool anymore.

-- Geoff Boucher

From Soundboard: The L.A. Times music blog

For more, go to latimes.com/soundboard

UNLEASHED

Protecting your pet on the road

With lawmakers trying to ban driving with your pet on your lap in California, just how will you make sure your dog doesn't go flying out the window if you get in an accident?

According to Christina Selter, co-founder of Bark Buckle Up, a San Diego nonprofit group that educates drivers about safely transporting pets in vehicles, the only way to ensure a safe ride is by tethering your companion to the seat.

Ken Bensinger of The Times' automotive blog Up to Speed explains:

Not only can untethered dogs get seriously injured in accidents, but 80-pound Dobermans and 4-pound Chihuahuas alike can become fearsome projectiles upon impact, hurtling through the air and possibly hurting human passengers.

On top of that, Selter says, "in a crash, a big problem is that first responders open the door [and] the pet runs out; it can bite someone, cause another crash or get hit by a car."

Who knew driving Miss Fido could put so many lives on the line?

To address the species safety gap, Bark Buckle Up has been offering clinics, giving away pet safety kits that include allergy information and veterinarian contacts, and letting pet owners play with a range of harnesses, pet seats and tethers.

There's no shortage of options: pet car seats, harnesses, safety belts and straps -- even ramps to help the short-legged or elderly trot up and into the car.

-- Tony Barboza

From Unleashed: All things animal in Southern California and beyond

For more, go to latimes.com/unleashed

TICKET TO BEIJING

U.S. women claim third soccer gold

-- On Thursday, the U.S. women weren't having their best day at the Olympics.

The softball team, astonishingly, lost in the championship game to Japan, and the water polo team lost a heartbreaker in the final to the Netherlands.

(The U.S. women's sprint relay team botched a baton handoff, but so did the men.)

But the women rallied.

The soccer team, on a goal in overtime by Carli Lloyd, upset Brazil, 1-0, for the gold medal, the third in four Olympics for the U.S. team and the first without Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain and friends.

Goalie Hope Solo, famously benched in the World Cup final last year, earned redemption with a shutout.

And the basketball team, after leading Russia by one at halftime in the semifinals, won easily. In the finals, the U.S. women will face Australia.

-- Randy Harvey

From Ticket to Beijing: Daily dispatches from the Summer Games

For more, go to latimes.com/olympics_blog

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