By Randal Coombs
A bonkers dog groomer uses canine companions’ fur for crazy designs like tiger stripes, fox markings and tuxedoes.
Through her company in Atlanta, Georgia, Anais Hayden has elevated grooming from a mere tidying service to an animalistic artform.
Self-taught, the 31-year-old transforms her pet pooch Swinger, a Chinese crested powderpuff, into all different manner of creatures.
Always using pet-friendly and non-toxic products, her designs can take between two and seven hours to master, with her favourite design, a tie-dye number, taking five hours.
Anais said: “The highest compliment I’ve had is that many people strongly believe the designs that I put on them are their real markings.
“For instance, if I make a dog look like a tiger, they believe it’s a real tiger or that they were born with those markings.
“I have been creative and dog grooming for 16 years and have grooming certifications from Penn Foster, Creative Groomers Association and Nash Academy.”
Anais can charge up to $450 for her designs, with some remaining on the dog’s fur for a few months through washing, depending on the type of hair.
Throughout the process, the dogs get food breaks while Anais also eats and watches TV at her station.
Anais said: “The dogs love the attention the dye used on them brings and it gives people who see them so much joy.
“None of my clients have ever been harmed or sick after being dyed.
“Swinger has been my companion and walking billboard for years.
“I feel like none of my creative grooming work would have been discovered if it weren’t for him.
“Aside from being a major contributor to my career, he’s helped make my dreams come true.”
Anais might use her talents for special occasions, including doing a doggy makeover for Swinger for PRIDE events and St Patrick’s Day, but she also has used her talents for charity.
Anais said: “I have done pro bono work with the Atlanta Humane Society and Angels Among Us to help get sheltered dogs adopted.”