Mobile grooming service comes to Franklin County – smithmountainlake.com
Local canine owners now have the option of having grooming services come to them.
After Allyson Clark moved from Maui, Hawaii to Ferrum last year, she decided to bring her mobile grooming service with her. “I’m so excited to be here. I just want to get going,” she recently said.
Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Spaw offers baths, haircuts, paw care and more all out of the back of a van that Clark had specifically outfitted. The van is a fully self-contained pet salon. It includes a full size tub, electric table, air conditioning, furnace, hot water, clippers, vacuum and blow-dryer. She fills her van up with 50 gallons of water every day, which allows her to groom between six and eight dogs.
The California native first started grooming dogs at the age of 16 while she was working at a boarding kennel. The owner bred poodles. One day she asked Clark to give the dogs a haircut. She has been grooming dogs ever since. Clark has worked in veterinary offices, kennels and pet stores. “It’s a lot to learn for grooming. You don’t just groom the dog. You have to learn a lot of health and medical stuff. You see a lot of skin conditions and ear infections. You also have to learn how to groom different breeds and hair types,” she said.
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She was the owner/operator of a pet grooming service in Maui for 20 years. She originally toyed with the idea of opening a salon with a store front, but ended up going the mobile route because of a lack of overhead. She started off providing services out of her car, but later obtained a van.
“Everybody loves it. I’m mobile and will never go back to a salon again,” she said. “It’s so much easier doing it mobile. People love it.”
Five years after she launching her grooming service, she started breeding bulldogs.
It was through her breeding work that she met her partner. She came into contact with Neal Turner, a Connecticut man who now lives in Bassett, because she needed stud services. After ordering a terminally ill dog from Australia that she had to put down, she turned to Turner for her next dog. When he delivered the dog to her in October of 2020, the two hit it off. “I threw everything to the wind in Maui and got here July 13,” she said.
Although she said going from Maui to Ferrum has been a rather large change, she’s enjoying the fact that she now gets to experience all four seasons. “I love it here. It’s beautiful. I’ve lived around the ocean my whole life. I was kind of bored in Hawaii. The heat and the lifestyle had been getting to me. The cost of living is getting outrageous. I’m ready to slow down. I just turned 50 this year,” she said.
It took roughly six months for her to get a van to use locally. She had planned on using the same van she did in Maui, but decided to sell it and buy a new one instead.
Clark’s mobile unit services Franklin County, including areas around Smith Mountain Lake, and parts of Henry County. Although she doesn’t want to travel more than 30 minutes outside of the Rocky Mount area, she’s willing to do so but will charge for travel time. On any given day, she has between six and eight appointments.
Pricing, she said, depends on the type of dog and the service. Generally, she charges $110 an hour. Standard grooming for a small dog normally takes around an hour. It takes double the amount of time for large dogs. Nail trimming costs $30.
The frequency by which dogs should be groomed, she explained, depends on the breed. A general rule, she said, is that most dogs should be groomed every four to six weeks.
Lindsey Hodge, a Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Spaw client, posted a five star Facebook review on Jan. 13 after Clark groomed her dog Joseph. She said he “came out looking so handsome.”
Pamela Farris Wagner posted on Facebook on Jan. 10 that she was pleased with Clark’s work. She said Clark provided her dogs with the best grooming her dogs had ever had.
Clark said the benefit of using a mobile grooming service is that it comes directly to the dog. She eliminates the hassle of having to transport the animal, which she said can help reduce stress.
“I love it and I genuinely care about the animals,” she said of her work.