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House full of dogs

When Erika Angell opens the door to her house and walks in, she instantly has several paws reaching for her legs, tongues lapping at her hands and loving eyes looking up at her excitedly.

Angell owns The Groom Room, a pet grooming shop in Middletown — but these eight dogs clamoring for her attention are actually her own pets.

The woman bends over and pets each one affectionately, trying to show no favoritism. Then she tries to get them to calm down, which isn’t as easy.

Angell, 48, recently reopened her business in Middletown, where she has lived for the past 10 years. Angell, a native of Germany, moved to the United States 28 years ago.

“I was working for a local pet shop in Anderson and they had a groomer there,” she said. “I kind of watched her. One day, a lady came in and wanted her cocker spaniel shaved down. The groomer wasn’t in that day, so I thought I could do it. It looked easy.

“It took me three to four hours, and by the time I got done, the dog didn’t look pretty,” Angell said, laughing.

Angell realized that was what she wanted to do, become a pet groomer. But she also knew she needed to learn a thing or two before she did.

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