Practicing medicine is not for the faint of heart. Before prospective physicians even get to the parts that make most people queasy, it takes a lot of determination to make it through medical school. So if someone is willing to go through that more than once, it means they must really love the vocation. Dr. Livia Gadea completed her studies in Cuba in 1987, but she had to repeat some of the process to be able to set up a private practice in Miami in 2009. A specialist in family medicine, Dr. Gadea also performs outpatient procedures, pre-op, and general wellness and women's health exams. Patients looking to file immigration medical exams are also welcome, because she's a civil surgeon approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Dr. Gadea is also a caring and attentive communicator who takes her time with patients and offers holistic treatment plans based on their needs and lifestyles. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Comfortable Dentistry
Comfortable Dentistry

The fear of going to a dental appointment is real. The thought of those sharp metal tools and the impending shame of potential cavities can send you into a tizzy, especially if you've been shoveling sweets into your mouth like every day is Halloween. Fear no more, Miami, because Coral Gables' Dr. Raymond Kimsey specializes in treating anxious dental patients. Dr. Kimsey and his friendly staff provide quality care and topnotch services, including teeth whitening, dental implants, sinus augmentation, and even treatment plans to tackle dental phobia head-on. A visit here can actually be a pleasant experience despite past traumatic appointments with other dentists. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Miami Veterinary Specialists
Jessica Gibbs

It's 10 p.m. and you're winding down for bed. Your dog is being suspiciously quiet. You get up to investigate and find your sweet angel snout-deep in a dark-chocolate bunny you had sealed in a bag on the counter. A trip to the 24-hour emergency hospital is in order. The team at Miami Veterinary Specialists is more than equipped to handle your dog's late-night antics, and its state-of-the-art facilities and highly skilled team of board-certified specialists can tackle complex and unusual ailments that others in town aren't able to handle. The team at MVS is passionate about its four-legged patients and treats every fur baby like one of its own. The knowledgeable staff goes out of its way to ensure your pet is comfortable during times of need. Tail or no tail, everyone is family at MVS. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Compassionate Pug Rescue
Compassionate Pug Rescue

Nothing brings more joy to a home than a perfectly wound tail, loud snorts, and wet kisses. If you're looking for a best friend who can chill as hard as you on the couch, consider adopting a pug in need from South Florida's Compassionate Pug Rescue. The nonprofit is an all-volunteer, foster-home-based charity that provides food, shelter, medical care, and other necessities to the pugs that come into its care. The ultimate goal is to find these docile pets permanent homes. The application fee for prospective pup parents is $20, and depending upon the pug's health, adoption fees can range from $175 to $450. If you want to help but are unable to adopt, consider fostering a pug in your home, volunteering, or donating. Pugs are sweet, great with kids, and just want to love you 24/7.

Dog Bar
Nicholas Olivera

When his store debuted 23 years ago, Dog Bar owner Steven Cohen wanted to challenge the norms of shopping for man's best friend. Cohen's business model affirms that all dogs are worth spoiling. And if the pet-stroller trend is any indication, there's a sizable market for owners who want to treat their pups like four-legged royalty. South Beach's Dog Bar is a sophisticated department store for canines, selling everything from all-natural pet food to leather dog sofas imported from Italy ($450) and designer clothing brands like Sniffany & Co. and Chewnel. And if your pooches are still feeling stressed after lying on that Italian sofa all day, help them unwind with some Edibites ($9.99), CBD-infused dog treats. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Duke & Dutchess Pet Center
Nicholas Olivera

You leave for work and your dog is worried sick for eight hours straight. Your poor pooch agonizes over every nightmare scenario: "Where could they be? I hope the vacuum cleaner didn't get them." Then Fido stress-eats from the garbage can and makes a complete mess of himself. By the time the weekend arrives, you'll want to calm him down and treat him to a spa day at Duke & Dutchess Pet Center, where the staff has been keeping the pups of Miami Lakes fresh and fluffy for over 40 years. Haircuts start at $50 for small breeds — the service includes a bath, nail treatment, and even a complimentary bandanna or bow. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The world would be a better place if our dogs could go everywhere with us. What workday, shopping trip, weekend getaway, errand run, or dinner date wouldn't be better with your best pal by your side? Until the rest of the world gets onboard with all dogs all the time, you can feel good about leaving Fido at Woodland Pet Lodge. This place offers not only an outdoor pool area but also Friday movie nights with picks like 101 Dalmations and Lady and the Tramp. Dogs get daily walks and group playtime, so you don't have to worry about your pup being cooped up. Woodland Pet Lodge offers standard, six-by-three-foot rooms with a bed for $60 a night. Or if your dog is a very good boy, you can spoil him with an $80-a-night luxury suite, which comes with a private garden and Dog TV — a channel made for pooches. Best of all, Woodland Pet Lodge has a 24-hour live feed so you can check in when you inevitably miss your best bud. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Easel Art Supply Center
Mark Glicksman

Any place that lasts more than four decades in Miami deserves a celebration — and in the age of online shopping, the feat is all the more impressive for an arts and crafts store. Since 1978, Easel Art Supply has been a haven for students and artists who take advantage of the 10 percent discount on everything from huge canvases ($373 for six-by-eight foot) to easel rentals for just $5 a day. Part of the store's charm lies in its distinctly homey vibe: Cute handmade signs hang everywhere, special orders are phoned in right away, and prices are out in the open so there's no guesswork. And if owner Mark Glicksman is around, he's always down to chat; odds are he'll even give you his cell-phone number in case you ever need anything, art supplies or otherwise. So whether you're tapping into your inner Frida Kahlo on a budget with a small four-by-four-inch canvas ($3.09) or looking to become the next big street artist with some killer Montana spray paint ($7.95 a can), you'll want to start at Easel. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Coffee shops are fine, but when you really need to focus, there's just no beating the library. The Kendall branch, just off the Don Shula Expressway and Kendall Drive, is the ideal place to get lost in a state of deep concentration. The library has plenty of chairs and tables, plus an even distribution of power outlets for your laptop and cell-phone chargers. The vibe is quiet but not totally silent, so you won't be shamed for talking to a buddy if you're studying or working with others. Parking is free and plentiful, and best of all, the library is open until 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Recent renovations have made the Kendall branch even more inviting, with cozy booths and cubicles where you can truly concentrate on the task at hand. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday.

Exprezo
Jessica Lipscomb

You've been hanging out in South Beach all day when you realize you forgot to buy a key ingredient for dinner. No need to make another trip to the supermarket: Just off Lincoln Road is a bodega where you can find almost any last-minute essential. At Exprezo, you can pick up fresh produce, toiletries, packaged foods, cold beer, and even a bottle of wine in an entire aisle of it. If you're there before 2 p.m., don't sleep on the $6.49 breakfast sandwich, which includes a cup of coffee. The deli section offers Boar's Head sandwiches in the $6 range, or you can grab a cafecito and pastelitos from the ventanilla. The counter-style seating at the front window encourages people-watching, so settle in with your coffee and enjoy. Hours are 6 a.m. to midnight weekdays and 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®