A Thongsbridge woman has the world by the tail after bounding to glory at a prestigious invitation-only dog grooming championship.
Canine mad Alison Rogers had judges going ‘bow wow wow’ at the Oster Invitational European Tournament of Champions where she gave her pet dog Pogie a haircut to remember.
Pitting herself against more than 50 of the best groomers from across the continent, they proved to be no match for the Pretty Paws salon owner, whose impressive skills saw the four-year-old pooch transformed from a cotton wool ball explosion into the best looking gal in town.
It is the biggest accolade so far for Alison, 39, whose passion for grooming began when she was only in her teens.
She said: “The contest was invite only and I just couldn’t believe it when I was picked to take part.
“Just having the opportunity to be in the same room as top groomers from across Europe was amazing and it’s great to be considered on a par with these people. It was a real honour.”
It was a race against the clock for Alison, who was given only two hours to turn Bichon Frise Pogie’s thick and hard to control hair into a pawfect finish before she was put under the judges’ examining lens.
And the judgement must have felt even more of an achievement to Alison, who bred Pogie herself.
“I was just in shock. I didn’t think I had a chance of winning and it didn’t sink in until I had got back to the UK.”
She has added the award to her cabinet of other trophies. She has also been twice winner of the British groomer of the year, won the Liz Paul achievement award and was nominated for the Cardinal Crystal international groomer of the year award in 2012.
It has been the work of more than half a lifetime for Alison, who first picked up her dog comb when she was 16.
She then decided to set up her own company, which is based in Albion Mills, when she was only 20.
She said: “I was working in a kennel and we decided to start grooming the dogs that came in to help improve their chances of getting re-homed.
“It was lovely to see them given another chance in life and it just gave me a great sense of achievement and purpose.
“I don’t groom dogs for the awards. I do it because I like to help dogs who don’t like getting groomed and struggle to behave to feel comfortable with it.
“Getting their fur in shape helps avoid unnecessary trips to the vets to try sort out the problems that overgrown coats can cause.”