The latest trend in dog grooming goes way beyond a simple cut - making dogs into virtual living works of art.

Groomer Catherine "Cat" Opson has mastered the technique of dog colouring and frequently lends her talents to the clients of her salon, Estrella Pet Grooming in Capistrano Beach, California.

Opson most recently transformed her poodle, Kobe, into an amalgam of various "Sesame Street" characters: the pup's front resembles Big Bird, Elmo on one side, and Bert and Ernie on the other. The design took first prize in a major dog-grooming competition.

"Probably total in all, over the course of a month, I put in around 40 or 50 hours working on them between trimming them and colouring and everything," said Opson, whose education in cosmetology inspired her doggy designs.

For her creations Opson said she uses special dog-friendly dyes that are free of harmful bleaches, ammonia, or any other chemicals that could hurt the animals. She knows some people may think her designs are ridiculous, or even a form of animal abuse, but to those people she says, just have an open mind.

And in the end, her dogs don't seem to mind being Techni-coloured. Her other poodle, Porsche, seemed more than happy to get her red roots touched up. Her design will be transformed into a collection of "The Simpsons" characters.

Other creations Opson has cooked up include a doggy koi pond, complete with goldfish, and a tropical jungle theme, with parrots and frogs.

Presented by Adam Justice