My Second Home_Jelena
Hitting the high notes: Jelena has quickly built a loyal fan base at the Little Gems salon in DIP-2 Image Credit: Supplied

Don’t be surprised if you hear jazz classics and Balkan arias being blasted from Dubai’s bustling new dog grooming salon.

The clatter of clippers and hum of hairdryers are often drowned-out by the beautiful and beguiling professional singing voice of My Second Home’s newest groomer, Jelena Milenkovic.

Hailing from the vibrant city of Kragujevac in Serbia, Jelena’s life has been a medley of melodies and mutts. A classically trained singer and pianist, her soulful performances have echoed through concert halls and party circuits from Switzerland to Vienna.

“I’ve always known that my heart belongs to two great loves: music and animals. While the stage offered me a spotlight, the company of dogs provided a sense of home,” explained Jelena, who graduated from Serbia’s renowned Filum Music Academy.

It took the Covid pandemic to persuade her to seize the moment and transition from grand pianos to grooming tables. Enrolling at the Royal Grooming Academy in Belgrade, she refined her skills away from ivory keys and onto the textures and contours of canine coats.

Jelena’s talent earned her a place at Belgrade’s premier grooming salon, where she combined precision with empathy and developed her simple philosophy — that every dog, like every audience, deserves a performance that caters to their unique spirit.

Jelena’s approach to grooming is influenced mainly by the time she spent working closely with her hugely talented mentor and namesake Jelena Tomic, as well as by celebrity groomer Valerie Khoo. While she respects the artistry of grooming for exhibitions, she firmly believes that a dog’s well-being should never play second fiddle to aesthetic trends. “A groomer’s purpose isn’t to change a dog’s natural beauty but to enhance it,” Jelena added.

When the opportunity to join her brother Vladimir, a veterinarian in Dubai, presented itself, Jelena saw it as a sign to expand her horizons, and quickly accepted an invitation to join the My Second Home grooming team.

Based at the group’s new Little Gems facility in Dubai Investment Park-2, Jelena’s days are now filled with the buzz of a different kind of composition, one in which snippets of jazz blend with the patter of paws.

At My Second Home, Jelena continues to hit the high notes of canine grooming, proving that when passion and profession meet, the result is awesome.

“For every dog that leaves my grooming table, I hope I’ve given a piece of my artistry, just as every audience once took a piece of my music,” she added.