Jim Burwell Rover Oaks Pet Resort offers boarding, grooming, classes and all the other amenities available at today's high-end pet facilities. But more important than the expensive clippers and gourmet dog food is owner-founder Jim Burwell, who has an uncanny ability to communicate with dogs. Not some weird "dog guy," he's more a gentle "dog whisperer." Even when coaching large groups of animals, his soothing tone and gentle demeanor have pooches eating out of his palm. Burwell can take on spastic Jack Russells or bossy, burly boxers and gentrify them into well-mannered mutts. (Does he secretly stash a steak in his pocket?) His pleasant persona is so reassuring, you wouldn't have a problem leaving your kids with him, much less your golden retriever. Burwell's Rover Oaks is the perfect place to let the dawgs out.

Christopher's Fine Wines The former Christopher's Wine Warehouse may have a new name and location, but the selection, ambience and staff expertise carry on in the tradition of excellence that longtime customers appreciate. Christopher Massie has been in the business for 20 years, so he knows his stuff. And if you hang out long enough at his shop, you will too. Oenophiles will delight over the wide selection, including labels from Europe, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. And bottles start at $10.99, so you don't have to break the bank. For those whose knowledge of wines is limited to the sweet nectar of Boone's Farm, Christopher's hosts a weekly wine seminar and frequent wine tastings. Private parties are also welcome.

Best Of Houston®

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