— From the pages of FLL Issue #09 • Photo by Dani Nusbaum
You would think that a woman who deals with other people’s pets all day for a living might have one special friend at home right? After all, if you love animals enough to make them your business, it would just make sense for that person to have one, maybe even two pets of her own right? Wrong. Michele Gargano, owner and operator of A Pooch Parlor pet grooming salon in Hempfield, does not have a pet or two… she has five!
Yes, you read that right five pets. Actually, five dogs to be more precise. And while Michele is supposed to be the “hair and makeup” person for the furry half of My Best Friend and Me, not the subject of the feature, once we found out about her menagerie we had to make this page all about them.
The logistics of photographing five animals and one person are indeed a bit daunting so we asked Michele to pick one or two of the gang for the photo, and she chose the two opposite ends of the spectrum. First, there is Ivan, a Westie that has been with Michele for fourteen years. “Ivan is the calm fellow of the group,” she told us. “Although in his younger days he was quite an adventurer.” He is much of an adventurer, in fact, that his nickname is “Diggy” for his propensity to dig into everything.
Second, Michele brought Uma a French bulldog who has been with her for two years. This breed is referred to as the “clown dog” because of its big personality, and Uma was certainly living up to her heritage as, after the photo shoot, she proceeded to attack a stuffed dog in the shop quite enthusiastically. She was also quite friendly, looking for love and attention from any and all who would give it. Her boisterousness and plays for attention seemed to rankle Ivan a bit, however. He sat quietly waiting for his share of the attention rather than asking for it; and as his head was petted, he seemed to look towards Uma and then back to us with an expression that said, “Kids, what are you going to do?”