Carol Basta began grooming dogs for competitions six years ago.
Three years ago she started placing in her classes, and in 2006, she won two first-place awards with a black miniature poodle named Jimmy, owned by Carol Hagman of Watchung.
This year Carol — and Jimmy — won first place and Best in Show at 2007 Groom Expo in Hershey, Pa.
Competitors have one-and-a-half hours to groom a dog that is less than 16 inches at the shoulder and two hours to groom a dog taller than 16 inches, while being scrutinized by the judges.
“That’s why they expect perfection, a perfect example of your work,” said Basta. “It’s show-quality standards.”