Michelle Schwark has found a way to hang out at home with some of her favorite animals and make a living at the same time. She is the owner of K-9 Cuts, a dog-grooming service located north of Grenfell.
K-9 Cuts has been providing dog-grooming services including clipping, bathing and haircuts since 2007, when Shwark decided that she didn't want just a typical job.
"I was just looking for something I could do and still be home with my kids. Something to do from my home without having to drive every day to a job."
Schwark herself has three border collies and has always had a love for animals. With her business she found a way to combine her formal training, her love of animals and her desire to be at home.
"I just like working with the dogs, I love animals. I had taken a veterinary technician course in college and I wanted to do something from home so it just appealed to me. I've just always been an animal person."
Contrary to the image you see in movies of puffy poodles and show dogs, Schwark's customers consist mostly of people who don't have much of a choice when it comes to grooming their dogs.
"Most people who come are the type whose dogs need to be groomed on a regular basis. I get people come in with dogs, even farm dogs, that are in really bad need of a hair cut because they're matted. I get lots of requests to shave them or to bathe them, I do lots of nail clipping."
Then of course there are always people who simply want their pooch to look pretty.
"I have had one request, they wanted their dog done because it was going to be in wedding pictures."
K-9 Cuts, as the name suggests, primarily services dogs, but Schwark keeps an open mind about who she's willing to groom.
"I would take the odd cat if it was really needing it," she said.
Though most of her canine customers leave happy, there are certain dogs that just aren't open to change.
"I had one dog that I had to shave for the people and then he wouldn't come out of the kennel that he was in 'cause he was too embarrassed. He just sat in the corner with his head down and wouldn't come out for me or his owners. He was totally disgusted," Schwark laughed.
Even though she meets countless dogs at her job, Shwark still insists no two are alike.
"They're all so different - they're all so cute."