The 2006 eighth-ranked dog groomer in the United States lives in La Salle County and has opened her own shop.
Diva Dogs in Marseilles, “the ultimate in canine styling,” is located in the home of Anita Leinard, award-winning dog stylist. She has been working around dogs since she was in high school.
“College wasn’t a possibility for me, and I knew that,” Leinard said. So she began working at a kennel. The owner asked her to begin grooming, which she now has been doing for more than 20 years.
Leinard began competing in dog grooming in 2001, and by 2006 was named the eighth-best dog groomer in the country by Groom Team USA, a nonprofit organization in which dog stylists from across the country showcase their talents and compete for rankings.
“It’s pretty unheard of, as I had only been competing for five years,” she said. “I was competing against people who have been competing for seven or 10 years.”