These Incredible Sculptures Are Breathing Because They Are Dogs

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If the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show had a more freewheeling, hair-dying, loud, and eccentric sibling, it’d be the Intergroom international grooming conference, held once yearly in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Extreme makeovers, lip-sync challenges, and “style and couture runway walk” are just a few of the contests available to the intrepid handlers and their dogs, many of whom travel across the country, and in some cases the world, to attend.

We followed New Jersey native Milena Kon and her dog, Soleil — a standard poodle who, because of a chipped tooth, wasn’t allowed to fraternize with the likes of standard poodles in a Westminster show ring — to see how their wild Africa-themed look came together and, more importantly, whether the two could take Best in Show.

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Milena and the Technicolor Dog Coat