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IN PROFILE: Leon Fugit Jr.

BUSINESS: Owner Big Dogs Grooming and Boarding

AGE: 67

BACKGROUND: “I’m a Vietnam veteran and when I came back, I went to barber school. I worked in the field for 20 years until I went to work with my sister in Las Vegas grooming animals. I found I like it better. Animals don’t have expectations of looking 20 years younger when I’m finished. I am the only dog boarding business in town that works with special-needs pets, like diabetes. I get up in the middle of the night if that’s when the medication is due.”

FIRST JOB: “I worked in construction with my father in Kentucky before I joined the military.”

YEARS IN BUSINESS: “I’ve lived here for 16 years and been in business for 14 years. I used to volunteer with the Nye County Animal Shelter and some of the other rescues here. I’ve also worked with special needs children and in fact, adopted two boys and raised them on my own.”

PERSONAL: “I’ve just recently gotten a group of people together to explore the desert around here. We visit old mines and ghost towns and just generally enjoy living here.”

BUSINESS CLIMATE: “I think Pahrump is a good place for businesses. It’s better now than it was 16 years ago because the caliber of people living here now. People are so much nicer.

“Shopping locally is important to keep the tax money here. Businesses are more friendly and give better service than they used to, and it’s important to keep your repeat customers.”

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