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Penny at work with Pomeranian cross Tessa. PHOTO: Jeff Searle

Ruff guide to surviving lockdown

MANY businesses have had to close under the weight of Covid lockdowns, but one woman who is keeping hers afloat – just – is well-known Bridgwater dog groomer Penny Randle.

Penny, who has been in the business for more than 20 years and trades under the names of Yuppy Pups, was hit hard when the first lockdown hit last March.

While some groomers stayed open, Penny was unsure if her business was protected under the Animal Welfare Act and decided anyway to act responsibly by closing for more than three months.

“Financially it was absolutely diabolical,” said Penny. “I didn’t get any help from the Government until six weeks later and even with that loan I lost quite a bit of money.

“As a single mum with a teenager it was very hard.”

Penny was forced to cut costs by giving up the lease on her small shop in Salmon Parade and convert the garage at her home in Woolavington into a parlour.

She is now “very relieved” to be back in business but it still only able to see about half the amount of dogs she did before because of all the extra cleaning and other precautions she has to take between clients.

And she is keeping her fingers crossed that the virus and restrictions go away as quickly as possible.

One good thing to come out of the past few months is that Penny’s work is appreciated more by her clients.

She said: “Some people think what we do is easy but when they have to do it themselves they realise how much there is to it.

“And we are not here just to clean the dogs up. A large part of our work is welfare. That includes unmatting hair, tidying up nails, and making sure problems are caught quickly to prevent more pain.”

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