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In the DogHouse and loving it

Posted: November 12, 2008 10:27 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Jack shows his appreciation to Teresa Schwan after she groomed him Saturday afternoon at the newly opened DogHouse pet salon in Valencia.

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Kerry sat patiently as the groomer trimmed the long brown bangs around a little face that revealed a wide-eyed stare.

In a nearby bathing room, Bear, a black lab, lolled his tongue and flashed his white choppers as water cascaded gently down his lustrous coat.

Bear and Kerry were two of the first to experience the services at Valencia's DogHouse, a full-service pet grooming spa and boutique that opened Saturday at Newhall Ranch Road and Dickason Drive.

Margo Michaels always wanted her own business. A year and half ago, she decided to take that desire along with her family's love for dogs and turn a vision into a reality with the help of her two daughters, Arianna and Julienne.

"We've been wanting to do this for a long time," said 14-year-old Arianna Michaels. "Our whole family loves dogs. It's been good to see how you start a business."

Margo showed her daughters some business basics and allowed them to play a major part in the store's creation.

Using her passion and talents, Margo and her daughters designed the wall decor and organized the black-and-white photos that hang in the entrance. Arianna wants to be an interior designer.

"Most parents don't really do this. So it's exciting that she's doing this," Arianna said.

Julienne, 12, bakes healthy treats for dogs she said are free of preservatives and chemicals.

"It's been a good experience for them learning about business," Margo said.

The store also features canine artwork, an original line of dog clothes, many custom-made accessories and two experienced groomers, Rose Jans and Teresa Schwan. The two have groomed dogs of all breeds for years.

As the holidays approach, the store will host family activities and creative canine gift ideas, Margo said.

"Our hope is that Valencia's DogHouse will be a destination that dogs and their owners enjoy spending time at," she said.

Luke the greyhound stood with his owners, Emily and Amy Svec, while sniffing out the new salon.

Amy was happy a new grooming store opened so close to her house.

"He might get his nails trimmed," said Amy, 46 of Valencia.

"We're getting him used to the place. He's kind of shy."

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