For as long as she can remember Clare Adlam has been afraid of dogs.
Even before she was bitten by an Alsation when she was an 11-year-old schoolgirl the mother of one has been nervous around the animals.
But remarkably, Miss Adlam, from Rowley Regis, has now turned her back on her computer and IT equipment sales business and has opened up her very own mobile pet grooming company after overcoming her fears.
The 42-year-old, who lives with partner Sally Stokes, also 42, in Eagle Close, Rowley Regis, said: “I got bitten by an Alsation when I was little, I have always been scared.
“As long as I can remember I have always been scared of dogs unless they were small and I knew them, but even then I was nervous.”
Despite her nerves, Clare has owned dogs of her own. Mongrel Maisie passed away two years ago, while she now owns two Shih Tzu’s – Jasmine and Teddy. And it was while running her former business, The Comp Port at Blackheath Market, for the last 13 years selling computer and IT equipment and mobile accessories, that she began to overcome her fears of other dogs.
As she worked on the stall, she started to gain confidence with animals, which would be taken to the nearby pet stall at the market. She eventually took over The Pet Stall, which she continues to run today.
And it was after taking one of her own pets to a grooming salon that she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Clare, who has a daughter Trudie Prince, 23, said: “What led me to grooming was Jasmine is quite a nervous dog and she came back from the groomers and she was sick, she wouldn’t eat and was shaking.
“They were too rough with the clippers and she was really not herself for two weeks.
“I was not sending her to another groomers because this isn’t fair on her to come back so upset, so I bought myself the home kit and did it myself.”
Enjoying it so much, Clare embarked on a dog grooming course at All Breed Academy in Pensnett in May, sold her IT business and now runs her own mobile company – The Mobile Dog Spa.
“I’m just absolutely loving it,” added Clare, who is trained in canine first aid and has taken her City & Guilds Dog Grooming Level 3.
“I cannot believe I have been this scared for so long and now I couldn’t imagine a life without dogs.”
To find out more, visit the website www.themobiledogspa.co.uk, or call 07532 199199.