Canines get Colorful with New Grooming Trend

Created: 2013-06-28 11:44 EST

Category: World > North America

Now that's a dog of a different color - the latest trend in dog grooming goes way beyond a simple cut - making dogs into virtual living works of art.

Groomer Catherine "Cat" Opson has mastered the technique of dog coloring and frequently lends her talents to the clients of her salon, Estrella Pet Grooming in Capistrano Beach, California.

Opson most recently transformed her poodle, Kobe, into an amalgam of various "Sesame Street" characters: the pup's front resembles Big Bird, Elmo on one side, and Bert and Ernie on the other. The design took first prize in a major dog-grooming competition.

"Probably total in all, over the course of a month, I put in around 40 or 50 hours working on them between trimming them and coloring and everything," said Opson, whose education in cosmetology inspired her doggy designs.

[Catherine "Cat" Opson, Owner of Estrella Pet Grooming]:
"I just work on it for maybe an hour, and then I let them have a break and then another hour. Probably total in all, over the course of a month, I put in around 40 or 50 hours working on them between trimming them and coloring and everything."

For her creations Opson said she uses special dog-friendly dyes that are free of harmful bleaches, ammonia, or any other chemicals that could hurt the animals. She knows some people may think her designs are ridiculous, or even a form of animal abuse, but to those people she says, just have an open mind.

[Catherine "Cat" Opson, Owner of Estrella Pet Grooming]:
"The dogs like all the attention that they get. If they don't like attention, if they're a shy dog, then they're not the right dog for this since they typically get a lot of attention, a lot of people take their picture and point at them. She just loves all the attention, so it's great for her."

And in the end, her dogs don't seem to mind being Technicolored. Her other poodle, Porsche, seemed more than happy to get her red roots touched up. Her design will be transformed into a collection of "The Simpsons" characters.

[Catherine "Cat" Opson, Owner of Estrella Pet Grooming]:
"The idea that it's abusive, I mean we use very pet safe products. They're made for pets. We do it in short increments. It's a misconception that they stand on tables for days at a time to get it done. They are only up here a short while. Then they get down; they take breaks. I can understand people not liking it and not thinking that it's for them, but just like people don't like tattoos that doesn't give you the right to judge people who have tattoos, that something's bad about them, or people with pink hair, or anything, just because it's something different but isn't your cup of tea, doesn't mean that it's not fine for other people."

Other creations Opson has cooked up include a doggy koi pond, complete with goldfish, and a tropical jungle theme, with parrots and and frogs.

Tags: dogs  grooming  groomer  pet  animals  cats  colors