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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Person

MTYelena Levchenko enjoys making dogs beautiful.
Yelena Levchenko, 37, dog groomer at Milord Salon for Dogs:

I started out by giving my own dog, Zero, haircuts back in 1987. Then a few people I would meet while walking my dog asked me to give their dogs haircuts. By the early '90s there was a fairly large demand for dog grooming. Three years ago I came here to Milord.

"Most of our customers are Yorkshire terrier owners, but we get some other breeds in here as well, different breeds of terriers, collies, and some others. There are four groomers here and we all cut pretty much the same way, although some people choose to come back to the same groomer each time. We have many different kinds of cuts and we show our customers photographs of the different styles. The most popular cut is probably the sporty cut where the hair is cut short everywhere but on the face.

"I've worked with many different kinds of dogs. I've never been bitten, but many dogs have wanted to bite me. We put a muzzle on the more aggressive breeds. All groomers have been clawed at, though.

"There is fairly big demand for this service. For the dog, it's important that their coat is well taken care of, that it's not matted and that there are no parasites on the skin. That's what's important for the dog. Everything else, like the style of the cut, is important for the owner. I think people like taking their dogs to the groomer because they want their dog to stand out, to look a little special.

"I enjoy everything about this job but my favorite thing about it is seeing the transformation the dogs make. They come in here these hairy little monsters and when I'm done they're beautiful."