Owning a dog or cat is a joy. That little bundle of fur just oozes unconditional love and devotion. But it's not all fun and games. Pets, unlike that carnival monkey you won by spraying water into a clown's mouth, need shots and medication. And, like humans, they get sick. So what do you do when Fido is filled with fleas or Tiger is yakking all over because she ate a bad lizard? You take your little friend to the Coconut Grove Animal Hospital. It's been around since 1965. One look at the wood paneling reveals that nothing has really changed since then — including the old-fashioned care you would have expected 40-some years ago. Dr. Michael Marmesh Jr. and his daughter Dr. Kate Marmesh attend to your darling with the gentleness of a small-town vet who stepped out of the pages of the Saturday Evening Post. The clinic is open six days a week and you don't need an appointment (except for surgery, dental work, and boarding), which means that if you forgot to renew Minky's rabies tag the day before your big vacation, you can just waltz her right in and be seen. Don't you wish your shrink had the same open-door policy?

Shopping on Lincoln Road brings a mismatch of national retailers and cheesy tourist traps. That's why Alchemist easily stands out. With two locations on either end of the pedestrian mall, Alchemist doesn't need to advertise with double-D-size mannequins. Instead, it takes a minimalist approach — think Paris or New York — with its layout and décor, which, while stunning, isn't noisy and doesn't overwhelm the selection of both men's and women's clothing, accessories, and shoes. Our favorite location is the carefully curated store at 1111, inside the flashy designer parking garage, that affords a view of Miami Beach and beyond from its fifth-floor perch. Labels and designers such as Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Lydia Courteille, Alaïa, and Givenchy can be found here. That also means you better have disposable income or a credit card with a high spending limit if you plan on taking anything home — prices range from $225 for a top to $45,000 for jewelry. However, the salespeople are friendly and helpful to everyone who stops by, meaning you won't get shooed away if you don't look the part. There's a bonus attraction too: If you are shopping at the 1111 location, look up. Those mirrors above you do more than give off a reflection. Installed by rAndom International, the 44 mirrors are part of a kinetic installation that moves as shoppers walk around the store, making a visit to Alchemist a true interactive experience.

Dog Bar
Nicholas Olivera

Talk about full-service! Where else can you go in Miami for a cut, blow-dry, and pedicure before shopping for an entirely new wardrobe? Oh, and while you're at it, pick up food for the week, some treats to nosh on, plus something for that annoying butt itch! Did we mention those things are all for your dog? In all seriousness, pampered pets dress better than their human counterparts. Take a walk down Lincoln Road any Saturday afternoon and you'll find Chihuahuas in tiny Juicy tracksuits, spaniels in Ed Hardy shirts, and poodles in Pucci. See that Yorkie in the tiny Heat jersey? His mom bought that at Dog Bar. How about the bulldog in the "Bitches Love Me" tank? Yep, Dog Bar. This place has a fashion for every clotheshound — from the Dalmation that's a dominatrix (in a leather studded collar) to the terrier for Trayvon (in a dog hoodie). Add in designer bedding, nutritious foods, a grooming salon, and a holistic remedy selection where everything from flea bites to separation anxiety is addressed, and you have yourself the Bal Harbor of bitches.

Waggle Bros Pet Resort & Spa

We let our dog write this one: Hi! My name is Rocco! You don't have any chicken, do you? I like chicken! I like my family! Sometimes they leave me. Why do they leave me? Do they not love Rocco? Was I bad? Did they find that turd behind the couch? I thought that was the perfect crime! But it's OK that they're leaving me! Because I like the place I go when they leave! There are no cages! There are lots of buddies and room to play! There's a bunch of stupid cats in another room! The people are nice to me! It's called — I don't know what it's called. I don't know where it is. I just get there by getting in the car! I don't know how much it costs! I don't even know what costs means! I forgot — did you say if you have any chicken? I like chicken! (Ahem: It costs $37 to $44 nightly.)

Guns! Guns! Guns for everyone! Guns for the whole family! How about a Taurus .40 for you, sir? A song at $449.99. And what about a sweet piece for your sweet piece? She'll be the envy of her friends at Junior League when she's packing a hot-pink Taurus .380, hers for only $349.99. We have the ammo too, but maybe first you might want to get her one of these nice engagement rings like she's been asking for. Treating yourself? We have a wide variety of AR-15 semiautomatic rifles — starting at $499 to keep in your weekend bag and up to $1,299 for this honey of a conversation starter. Guns aren't your speed, you say? Not even antique pistols? What about swords? No? What about this fotocopiadora here for $375? It used to belong to a little old lady right here in Allapattah who used it only a few times to copy her ass cheeks. Fine, then how about a rocking horse for five bucks? A Ms. Pac-Man arcade game in near-mint condition for $999? You'll stay up all night playing it, but that's no problem because we have several dozen coffeemakers for only $9.99 each. What's that, sir? Good eye. You've spotted the small sign behind my bulletproof glass here. Yes, "We Have XXX Movies." Things are bad for masturbators in this economy, but their loss is your gain. Name your price, but don't go so low that you turn something beautiful into something cheap. ATVs for $925 apiece? Guitar Hero III for ten smackers? Most of our adding machines are $14 to $16, but you can have this one for six bucks — as is, of course.

Johnson Firearms

The Stars and Stripes flaps triumphantly near the entry to a rectangular fortified warehouse near midtown Miami. A sign over the metal front door announces, "Guns for the Good Guys." A year since opening his 4,000-square-foot armory, gun shop owner Dave Johnson has quickly become the go-to guy for folks preparing for the improbable zombie apocalypse or the very real threat of a ghoulish hurricane. Three long glass cabinets are stocked with a stunning inventory of pistols, from Berettas to Glocks to Smith & Wessons to Walthers. Prices for new guns range from $200 to $1,200. "We have more [assault] rifles than any gun store in Florida," Johnson boasts. "We also do a lot of consignment sales, as well as buying and trading used guns." It'll take more than just bullets to survive the walking dead, so Johnson offers end-of-days survivalists all the equipment they can use to stay alive when the electricity goes out. For instance, you can buy a hearty supply of freeze-dried gourmet food with a shelf life of 25 years. Dishes include savory stroganoff, pasta alfredo, cheesy lasagna, and teriyaki chicken and rice. In the event you need to pull off a quick escape from a horde of brain eaters, Johnson's Firearms sells $325 bug-out bags, which contain all the things you would need to survive on the run for 72 hours, such as a small ax to chop tree limbs for a fire, a first-aid kit, a hunting knife, a map of the continental United States, and trail mix. Of course, it helps to know how to defend yourself against different types of threats should all hell break loose. Johnson offers a specialized $90 course led by NRA-certified instructors who teach you how to shoot a gun, properly handle a shotgun or rifle, and defend your family in a home invasion scenario. Johnson also takes great care in helping first-time gun buyers choose the right firearm. "We take the time to sit with our customers to find out why they want a gun, whether it is for home defense or for carrying it concealed," he says. "A new gun user doesn't understand the difference between a concealed .380 and a large-frame .45 for competitive shooting."

Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar
Photo courtesy of Joshua Ceballos

Vintage Liquors has a multiple personality complex. Is it the hipster liquor store with staff that can tell you the difference between the $20 bourbon and the $200 Pappy Van Winkle? Is it the cute wine bar that you might find in some back alley in Paris? Or is it an old-school no-nonsense place to grab a bottle of tequila for the condo party you're going to? Frankly, it's yes to all of those questions. And why shouldn't it be? This little store is filled with surprises. Like a kid in an adult-candy store, you'll want to try every flavor of the potent potables sold here. But what to buy? Monthly tastings and events such as Vodkapalooza and a tequila run allow you to try before dropping cash on a new kind of booze. The wine bar, complete with Enomatic pouring robots, turns a trip to the liquor store into an evening out.

News Cafe

Sunrise in Miami Beach. The clubbers are back in their hotel rooms, and the international papers have just been delivered to News Café. Two tables away: She's not wearing any makeup but for a gentle dab of red lipstick, most of which has been kissed onto her cigarette. Her eyes are inscrutable behind sunglasses. Then she opens her $5.20 copy of Le Figaro and you know to say something mildly xenophobic, perhaps about Arabs, and within moments you're making love on the sand across Ocean Drive. Or she's reading La Gazzetta Dello Sport ($5) and you lower your demitasse long enough to say that Inter has been merda since Mourinho left, and then it's back-of-the-net back in her suite. Or she's reading the Daily Racing Form ($7) and, even though the sun isn't fully up yet, you buy her something cheap and strong and next thing you know, you're seeing just how sturdy the locks are in the café's tastefully decorated bathrooms. News Café has pared back its selection in recent years but still offers six international papers Monday through Saturday, plus the Guardian Weekly ($4.50), dozens of foreign magazines, and all the New York newspapers (except Newsday, which beautiful strangers do not read). It's one of the last places in Miami Beach to get a newsy dose of the real world 24 hours a day.

Vilar Cigar Shop

Want to find the real Miami? Stop in Vilar Cigar Shop on a Friday or Saturday night, buy yourself a Maximus Double Corona — you might spend $17.50 on the stogy, but honestly, the extravagance is kind of the point — and walk upstairs to the lounge with supple leather armchairs. The place will be crowded with successful men of all ilk — doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs — shrouded in fragrant tobacco clouds and animatedly arguing in English, Spanish, and glorious Spanglish. The owner is Henry Vilar, who is also a baseball agent specializing in representing players from Cuba and the rest of Latin America. Shoot the shit, drink beer or rum, slam dominoes, and puff away. This isn't the kind of scene you can find in Minnesota.

Hey there, fella. It's time to let that special lady in your life know that your love is meant to be. But where to buy the rock to show how much she rocks? For more than a quarter-century, Elena and Arie Paz, owners of Richard's Gems & Jewelry, have helped thousands of grooms design eye-popping, ice-encrusted I-will-never-leave-or-hurt-you bands for their brides-to-be. Customers can watch the on-site master jeweler mold the ring and set the stones in it from start to finish. Or you can pick a big diamond rock that can be put on more than a hundred styles of mounting rings decorated with smaller round-cut diamonds that range in price from $875 to $4,500. If you're the kind of guy who wants to show your fine lady she is worthy of wearing a crown, splurge on the $6,700 blue-sapphire and diamond ring — inspired by the one Prince William gave to Kate Middleton. For the stoic man celebrating 60 years of marital bliss, Richard's stocks a blinding array of diamond bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that will remind her why she's the inspiration in your life. We recommend the 3.46-carat diamond pendant shaped like shooting stars set in white gold (only $4,489!) or the absolutely exquisite 2.80-carat pavé-diamond circle pendant that goes for $5,512. Located in the Seybold Building in downtown Miami, Richard's is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®