The ancient house ferret, Bandit, rummages among the boarding cages filled with loved ones. Pepi, a black mutt abandoned by his owners because his hind legs were paralyzed, bounds four at a time about the premises. Kate is back for another week's vacation, little evidence remaining of the jaw reconstruction necessitated by an encounter with a car several months earlier. Kowalski detours from his morning walk to get his daily biscuit and hellos, dragging his owner. When the animals insist on coming, you know that Southside Place Animal Hospital isn't your typical vet shop. Owner and chief vet Alice Frye maintains an atmosphere of controlled chaos, just the way the critters prefer it. Frye has a way with the beasts that reassures even the most inbred purebred, and as Pepi and Kate will readily attest, she's both skilled and a soft touch. The staff is friendly and firm, rare qualities in tandem but necessary when dealing with psychotic pet owners. The prices, while not the lowest in town, are quite reasonable. And like an ethical mechanic, Frye gives only the care and treatment that are necessary. Purr.