Mobile Grooming Service Comes to Franklin County | Local News
Local dog 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 go,” she recently said.
Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Spaw offers baths, haircuts, paw care, and more from the back of a van that Clark had specially outfitted. The van is a fully self-contained pet lounge. It includes a full-size bathtub, electric table, air conditioning, furnace, hot water, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaner and dryer. She fills her van with 50 gallons of water every day, which allows her to groom between six and eight dogs.
The California native started grooming dogs at the age of 16 while working at a kennel. The owner raised poodles. One day, she asked Clark to cut the dogs’ hair. Since then, she grooms dogs. Clark has worked in veterinary practices, kennels and pet stores. “There’s a lot to learn for grooming. You don’t just groom the dog. You have to learn a lot about health and medicine. You see a lot of skin conditions and ear infections. You also have to learn to groom different breeds and hair types,” she said.
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She owned/operated a pet grooming service on Maui for 20 years. She first toyed with the idea of opening a salon with a storefront, but ended up going the mobile route due to a lack of overhead. She started providing services from her car, but later got a van.
“Everyone loves it. I’m mobile and I’m never going back to a salon again,” she said. “It’s so much easier to do it on mobile. People love it.”
Five years after launching her grooming service, she began breeding bulldogs.
It was through her breeding work that she met her companion. She got in touch with Neal Turner, a Connecticut man who now lives in Bassett, because she needed stud services. After ordering a terminally ill Aussie dog that she had to put down, she turned to Turner for her next dog. When he delivered the dog to her in October 2020, the two hit it off. “I threw everything to the wind in Maui and arrived on July 13,” she said.
Although she said moving from Maui to Ferrum was a pretty big change, she appreciates that she can now experience all four seasons. “I love this place. It’s beautiful. I’ve lived my whole life by the ocean. I was a bit bored in Hawaii. The warmth and the lifestyle had gotten to me. The cost of life is getting exorbitant. I’m ready to take it slow. I just turned 50 this year,” she said.
It took him about six months to get a van to use locally. She had planned to use the same van as in Maui, but decided to sell it and buy a new one instead.
Clark’s Mobile Unit serves Franklin County, including areas around Smith Mountain Lake and parts of Henry County. Although she does not want to travel more than 30 minutes outside of the Rocky Mount area, she is willing to do so, but will charge for travel time. Every day, she has between six and eight appointments.
The price, she says, depends on the type of dog and the service. Generally, she charges $110 per hour. Standard grooming for a small dog normally takes about an hour. It takes double the time for large dogs. Nail trimming is $30.
How often dogs need to be groomed, she explained, depends on the breed. A general rule, she says, is that most dogs should be groomed every four to six weeks.
Lindsey Hodge, a Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Spaw customer, posted a five-star review on Facebook on Jan. 13 after Clark treated her dog Joseph. She said he “came out 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 have ever had.
Clark said the benefit of using a mobile grooming service is that they come directly to the dog. She takes the hassle out of having to transport the animal, which she says can help reduce stress.
“I love it and really care about animals,” she said of her work.