How's traffic look today? Denver's city Web site offers computer users a way to find out quickly. The traffic pages feature maps that offer real-time views from cameras located at key intersections, like Broadway and Colfax, and 17th and Welton streets. Also included are links to a Colorado Department of Transportation site that provides access to cameras peeking at sections of I-70 and I-25. Before you drive, click.


Cats and dogs do the darnedest things. They like to eat floorboards, pee on bath towels when a litter box is available and stage passive-aggressive coups against their slumbering masters. Why, why, why do they do it? The staff that mans the Denver Dumb Friends League Animal Behavior Helpline has a few theories -- and they're willing to share with anyone who rings them up. After a telephone consultation (extension 346 for dogs, extension 348 for cats) during which a pet owner spells out the trouble, League workers propose a plan to correct the undesirable activity. If that doesn't work, the owner can call again and again. (The League also offers inexpensive classes on dog and cat behavior.) Phone in your pet peeves, or e-mail behavior@ddfl.org at any time, and the staff will get back to you during business hours with sage advice. And that's the straight poop. Or the lack of it!


A dog and his owner are both happier when the four-legged one has learned to mind his manners. Even if your corgi seems incorrigible, trainer Terri Desnica can help. Desnica has been training canines for years, and she offers a seven-week basic obedience class at Hounds on the Hill, as well as a puppy kindergarten and advanced courses. With practice, your errant hound could become a well-mannered mutt in just a few weeks. Who knows? Maybe he can fetch a Best in Show award someday.


You don't have to be in the doghouse to visit the yellow house on 6th Avenue. This indie store is packed to the collar with natural food and treats, grooming products, toys and even doggie driver's licenses. Catering mostly to dogs and cats (and their owners), the store also has gear for fish, hamsters and turtles. Pets are welcome in the store -- but watch out for the resident black cat.


At this country club, Muffy and Biff aren't just nicknames -- they're status symbols woven into guests' collars and leashes. While you're off at the rat race all day, your furry companion will be racing around on the Golden Bone's padded floors and playing with other doggies in age-appropriate groups under the supervision of the pooch-loving staff. And, like some daycare situations, it's not all about the little ones. There are extras for parents, too: convenient weekday and weekend hours; social events, including wine and biscuit tastings, obedience classes, pet massage and psychics. And don't worry about separation anxiety -- just drive up, drop off and pick up a cuppa joe for the road without leaving your car.

Best Place to Rent a Down-and-Out Ritzy Pooch

St. Regis Hotel

Some hotels are pet-friendly, and then there are really pet-friendly hotels. Not only will the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen let you bring your pooch, but they'll even find one for you to borrow. Concierge Tim Sanders helps those missing the comfort of their canines find solace in a companion from the Aspen Animal Shelter. And they're on loan by the hour, day or week. In fact, a few couples have become so attached that they adopted their new furry friends. Sorry, no such luck for the feline fanatics among you. For more info, sniff out www.dogsaspen.com.


Sit. Siiiiit. Good dog! Now watch the birdie, but don't chomp on it. Of course, that may not be the exact way they do it at Doggone It, Every Dog's a Diva, but the result of their approach is an inexpensive way to commemorate man's best friend with photographs that illustrate each dog's personality. The service, which costs $54.95 and lasts about an hour, leaves owners with something better than a smelly bone: three different 5 x 7 prints, and a CD-ROM of all the good photos. Portraits can be taken of a dog alone, multiple dogs, or dogs with their owners. Free barking.


Summers in Colorado may be dry, the fountains off and the lakes low, but the Maxfund Animal Adoption Center offers a little relief for your pooch's paws. With just a five-spot donation, Fido or Fifi can take a swim in the therapy pool. The Turkish baths it's not, but the water is cool and available year round, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- without an appointment. (They're closed Wednesdays.) And if you're short on funds but still need to get your unsuspecting mutt spayed or neutered, the no-kill shelter's new clinic offers low-cost surgeries right next door.


The ballyhooed "new urbanist" development at Lowry is a mixed bag, with much of it looking more suburban than citified. But the Town Center, by Denver architect David Owen Tryba, is true to new urbanism's best intentions: It's pedestrian-oriented and designed to a human scale, with parking lots hidden from view. The idea is to get people out of their cars and on their feet, and to make walking fun. The center has about two dozen retailers; stores face a narrow street that's lined with cheerful banners, wrought-iron benches and bicycle racks. Better for feet than the Foothills!


A branch of The Store That Must Not be Named may squat just outside Golden, but Meyer Hardware has been a downtown fixture for 58 years and has no intention of leaving. Owner Steve Schaefer took it over from his father, who took it over from his father-in-law. And now Steve's son patrols the aisles when on break from college. The friendly staff -- thankfully sans orange aprons -- is ready to assist with any project, whether you be a homeowner or contractor. They have nuts and bolts, flies and rods, doors and windows, hammers and nails, tents and tackle boxes, toolboxes and stoves. And that's just the beginning. Upstairs you'll find everything from red KitchenAid blenders to Calphalon pans -- and sometimes even Steve's mother, Marilyn, who also wraps beautiful confections during the holidays. And Tracy downstairs in hardware is an institution unto herself.


Best Of Denver®

Best Of