From Our Editors
Thanks to parents who encouraged a love of animals, Leslie Rosales woke up every morning to a chorus of whinnying horses, yapping dogs, mewing cats, and squawking chickens. Trimming the long locks of her stepmother's brood of cocker spaniels, Leslie quickly picked up grooming and animal-whispering skills. Over the course of a lengthy career as a vet tech, she grew fed up with what she considered poor treatment of pets, so she started her own grooming shop with a bankroll of just $400.
Years later, Leslie sold that shop and attempted to retire, but her clients prodded her to return to her beloved profession. Now, she can gaze across Pawcasso's Academy of Animal Arts’ open floor plan, which also allows pet owners to see firsthand what happens during grooming sessions. First-time sessions take a bit longer, Leslie warns, because she monitors the dog's reaction to each new touch. She clips a nail or two at a time or allows the scissors to lop off a few curls of hair around one ear, before stepping back to reward the dog with praise and love. The process eases pooches into the session and test’s each animal’s mood, much the way one dips a toe into a chocolate fountain to make sure it's warm enough to jump into.
Leslie expertly eradicates plaque and tartar from doggies' biters with a method free from anesthesia, and she whips up baked goods to help dogs celebrate birthdays or achievements in housebreaking. She also makes fresh food for dogs allergic to the standard canine diet of commercial pet kibble and mailman tears. The salon's Poop Patrol travels to clients' homes to clear outdoor areas, delivering food if desired and leaving a gift of home-baked goodies for Fido.