Pet boarding has gone upscale. Video cameras, plasma televisions, spa days and swimming pools have made it easier to tamp down the separation anxiety associated with leaving your furballs behind when you're out of town or busy during the day. These perks don't come free, but the return on investment is easily recouped in peace of mind. Paradise 4 Paws' DFW facility markets itself as a pet resort, and rightfully so. Dogs can get mud baths, individual walks, time in the pool and "cuddle time" at night. Cats have a jungle gym area to roam. For those traveling from Love Field, they have a "boarding lounge" service that will ferry pets to their Airfield Drive location in a van. Here's a tip: Leave your vehicle at the pet resort, take the ride P4P offers and save yourself from the steep airport parking charges.

Pawliday Inn

Dropping off Rover at his first day of doggy daycare feels like dropping a kid off at preschool. You worry about his ability to fit in with the other pups, whether he'll get bullied, if he'll have fun, and most of all you hope the person responsible for watching him is attentive and nurturing. Pawliday Inn in The Cedars just south of downtown may not be much to look at, but the friendly staff really loves your pup. They play fetch with your pooch, run around with him and send you Snapchat videos or photos to put you at ease. At affordable prices like $22 for a full day and $11 for up to six hours, it's hard to turn down a day of fun for your four-legged friend.

The guilt is real. Your dog is spending another day waiting by the door of your cramped boring apartment. Even with a dog walker, your pup may only get an hour or less of exercise. But Dallas has many day care options that offer pups a fun environment with plenty of frocklicking friends. The best for small dogs is Urban Paws in Deep Ellum. This facility has many clients under 40 pounds. Having an abundance of smaller cohorts is essential if your mini French boxer is a major menace to larger dogs. Urban Paws also offers bathing and grooming, training classes and overnight boarding. Best of all, they offer curbside pooch pick-up and drop-off.

John Ramos doesn't just sell urban chickens and urban chicken habitats (called "coops" by rural persons). He builds custom shelters (coops), does shelter (coop) cleaning, provides chicken-sitting services and, perhaps of greatest value to city chicken guardians, provides consulting services. He can answer just about any question the typical urban chicken-tender might come up with, like, "What's that white stuff all over the ground?" Answer: That's what you hire John Ramos to take care of for you. Check out his web page: Some of those habitats would be cool to have even without the chickens. You could put origami chickens out there, really, and achieve the same effect without the white stuff.

The southeast corner of Central Expressway and Royal Lane is known to most as "oh, yeah right, that's where the Chicken Express is." But behind those fried tenders are strong, knowing hands with the power to relax even the most fried Dallasite. Knowledge of pressure points or reflexology isn't required; leave that to the practitioners at Foot Therapy. Also, the name could not be more of an undersell, in the most amazing way: For a freakishly low rate per hour, customers receive foot reflexology (as one would expect), as well as a full body rub that manages to both relax and invigorate. From scalp to toe, virtually every body part is either massaged, thumped, pounded or stretched, depending on the intensity requested by each client, and the problem areas pointed out by the client or simply sussed out by the therapist. And wow, can they suss. Aside from shoes and socks, clothes stay on, so the massage area is communal, but very calm — save the thumping sounds — and the cushy chair-pallets are so comfortable that under the face-covering towel, the outside world is quickly forgotten.

More and more people are getting hip to the fact that Dallas is, well, hip. And while natives like us are enjoying this long-awaited moment of validation, it also comes with downsides. More people moving here means it's harder to find an affordable apartment with a washer and dryer. But thankfully, if you're tired of twiddling your thumbs at the laundromat every week, we have a solution: JR Coin Laundry, a laundry that also offers an excellent and cheap wash and fold service. For just 99 cents a pound they'll wash your clothes for you and even hang them when necessary. If you get there by early afternoon you can almost always pick them back up the same day. When you do you'll find your items have been handled as carefully as if you'd washed them yourself, and best of all, you don't have to pair your socks.

The Denton Independent Maker Exchange, or DIME store, is a shared collective of makers in Denton, giving local crafters a physical alternative to Etsy. The store carries hand-crafted goods like embroidered wooden jewelry, bow ties for dogs, organic soy candles, plush mushroom characters and prideful Denton paraphernalia. The store resides in a quaint house less than half a mile off the courthouse square. Besides shopping, DIME offers crafting courses like hand lettering, calligraphy, embroidery and weaving. The collective also participates with First Fridays, staying open late once a month to offer late night shopping with refreshments.

Readers' Pick:

Resurrected Designs

Connie Chantilis is an artist who works in a variety of materials — glass, stone, shells, shattered pots — to create bewitching mosaics. She wraps her work around furniture, hangs it as wall pieces, builds it up from the ground as garden sculpture. She never creates a piece you wouldn't enjoy standing before and studying for at least an hour. The best way to see her work is on her web page, where she also lists a full calendar of shows around town and around the country where she is invited to exhibit.

Best Extremely Expensive Landfill Antiques

B Gover Ltd.

Looking for a paint-peeling chicken-farm egg rack with dodgy looking substances still stuck in the cracks for $1,800? No, didn't think you were, but it might be an interesting field trip for you anyway to visit this shop on the far outer edge of the antique-o-sphere, way beyond primitive, light years past shabby chic, in the land of antique deconstructivism where a French fainting couch can look, well, sort of deconstructed, with all the upholstery peeled off and springs sticking out and a price that makes you faint all over again. This is the place to go if you want to see where it's all headed. Landfill chic? Dystopian dope? Who knows? But it's all right here and not really anywhere else — a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view.

Note that we did not say cheapest or best buy or anything. Handmade in their studio at Regalos de la Tierra Pottery in Silver City, New Mexico, these rain barrels are terra cotta sculpture, so prepare yourself for a little bit of sticker shock. But the other way to look at it is this: Those big ugly green and brown plastic rain barrels look sort of like emergency septic tanks. The rain barrels from Regalos de la Tierra are truly beautiful complements to the garden plants around them.

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