There are of course some very good dog grooming establishments, both the ones you visit and the ones who can come to you, in the Littleport area. Within a half-mile radius of Main Street there is Cheryl’s Clip & Cut (6 Monkswood, 07887916297) Riverview Mobile Grooming (6 New River Bank, 01353862204) and roughly one mile away, what was Elaine’s Grooming – now Northfen Grooming (01353863006)…All of whom have good reputations and regular clientele writes our Roving Reporter, Cathy Gibb.
Now I have never taken any pet of mine to a pampering parlour, so I was curious to find out more about this popular resource when a friend of mine told me she took her pet to Elaine Power (nee Cole) a well respected local dog and cat groomer, who having run her own ‘Elaine’s Grooming Service’ in the Black Bank Business Centre had decided to retire in July after 45 years in the business.
I met up with Elaine one Thursday afternoon while she was obviously still heavily involved with the trimming and blow drying of many well behaved doggies of all shapes and sizes.
“I thought you had retired?” I questioned Elaine.
“I have really, but I am training Natasha Chamberlain who has taken over the business and we are into 16 months now, and I have total belief in her,” replied Elaine.
I had met Natasha before. She was showing her 2 year old Shetland Collie cross, Indie, in the novice agility outdoor event at the Littleport Leisure Centre in June, and was sporting a section winner’s red rosette. It is a doggie event that is regularly run by Tony and Alma Ryman who have decades of experience in the field of dog agility including qualification for the 2011 Crufts agility event with their Sheltie, ‘Bluie’. And they too do their bit for charity by raising funds for the Milton Children’s Centre from the homemade cakes which they sell on site.
Northfen Grooming formerly Elaine’s Grooming based as you would guess in North Fen, Little Downham, is the new brand name – and the premises are where Tasha also has her home.
Elaine’s retirement has come at a time in her life where she can take a more relaxed view and as she says it will make more time for her many grandchildren.
“My hands and fingers were becoming painfully arthritic and I suffer from repetitive strain injury so I really felt it was time to call it a day,” Elaine told Littleport Life..
Elaine caught the ‘animal bug’ from mother Sylvia Cole who ran the ‘Yappy Kennels’ in Little Downham, and bred Westies for over 30 years. And it was in her Mum’s business that the young 9 year old Elaine remembers grooming her first dog – a Lassie dog called Trixie, as well as the numerous strays which were brought in to her mother’s kennels.
Elaine then trained as a dog groomer with poodle breeder and exhibitor Mrs Ogden, who lived in the March area, which prompted Elaine to start up her own business at the age of 16, and the rest is history.
“I did work experience which was part of my annual management course working with Elaine and I just never left,” said Natasha, who will be looking to recruit an assistant in the future.
Elaine has groomed cats for over 20 years, and dispels the myth that cats don’t like water by saying, “Cats don’t like falling into water, but on the whole they are really good and well behaved”.
Northfen Grooming is open 6 days a week starting at 9.30 am up to when they finish.
Elaine may be retiring but Natasha has a growing good reputation and everyone knows her since she has been working dog grooming expert Elaine.
Many of the dogs and cats they groom have been coming to them since they were youngsters so are used to having their coats washed and dried, nails clipped, and anal glands squeezed.
“We give all these customers pets a full MOT which means a thorough health check, and advise the customers accordingly. All we would ask the customer is to love and look after their pets”, stated Elaine, who will continue to groom one loyal customer’s 19 year old doggie, and concluded, “I am happy to leave the business in Natasha’s capable hands”.
Elaine will still carry on with the many numerous voluntary jobs which includes the ‘Save and Rescue Team’ (The Cambridgeshire Emergency Response Search and Rescue Team) designed to help the full time emergency services throughout the county when a person goes missing.