STAFF PICK: Jetting off to Jamaica and feeling a bit heartsick about leaving little Fluffy behind? No need for penitence with this posh palace for pooches. The lobby gift shop alone, stocked with trinkets and treats, will help ease the guilt. That "Bone to Be Wild" biscuit gift pack is tempting. Standard rooms, which far surpass your basic kennel, are furnished with cozy lamb's skin blanket and "poochy cot." When only the best will do, book a spacious suite where your pampered pal can lounge luxuriously on a child-size bed while watching color television tuned to--what else, Animal Planet. Guest cats have a separate community all their own, complete with aquarium and color TV. Occupants of Kitty City can even sneak a peak of the lobby from their apartments and condos. Although a picture window allows them to watch their canine counterparts come and go, they won't hear a woof (or catch a whiff), thanks to smell- and soundproof walls.
LOOSE CHANGE: Creature Comforts, 2104 E. 13th St.; 7031 N. Camino Martin. In an unlikely semi-industrial neighborhood, this kennel stands out for its whimsical mural depicting all manner of pets in a resort setting, sipping tropical drinks and catching some rays. While this is not what actually happens to your animal when you drop him or her off, this family-operated business does everything possible to keep your precious ones happy while you are away. Owners are encouraged to bring familiar toys, dishes and bedding, and dogs are rotated to the play yard all day long. There is even a separate room for cats with all manner of lounging platforms and scratching posts. Next time you're on vacation, leave your guilt behind. Your beasties will hardly miss you.