Just because you get to go on vacation or take a weekend in Vegas doesn't mean you have to drop your dog off at the modern-day equivalent of the orphanage. And be real: Your friends do not want to "just drop by a few times" to feed and collect the droppings you'd rather not deal with. You're getting out of town for a change of scenery; why not do the same for your canine companion? Backyard and Beach is just that: room and board for your pup within quick walking distance of San Francisco's giant outdoor litter box-slash-unending stretch of doggie play area, Ocean Beach. If yours is a robust pup, he or she will frolick in the surf in your absence; if age is a consideration, there's the luxury of lounging in a safe, contained environment with professional pet-lovers. They won't know you were gone — more likely, they will regret your return and resent you until you leave again.