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Sunset Boulevard: Once known for streetwalkers, now full of dog walkers--at least in front of the new Unleashed by Petco store.

This just-opened pet-food and accessories boutique is cozy and full of top-quality organic and natural foods for dogs, cats and small animals. Though the store's locations (now in ten cities including San Diego and New York, with more opening nationwide) are affiliated with mega-retailer Petco, you'd hardly know it. There are no aisles of gerbils, parakeets and guppies to labor past, and there's a lot of sales staff eager to grab a couple of pig ears out of the back for Spot.

Best of all, Unleashed offers the sort of small-town promotions, advice and service we thought had gone out of style with the dime store. This month all pets showing up in costume get a free goody bag on Halloween day. At the counter, there are fresh-baked dog cookies for sale ($4 per pound), and the store offers recommendations for dog trainers, pet insurance and licensed, bonded dog walkers.

It's the new de rigueur stop after your morning latte with Fido in Runyon Canyon.

Unleashed by Petco, 7288 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-851-0133 or

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