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Jenny Munro talks to Nicola McCreery

Nicola McCreeryNICOLA McCreery, 19, recently opened a dog grooming business in Lisburn called `Dapper Dogz'. The former beauty therapist decided she wanted a new career after having spent some time working at a local dog grooming parlour.

She completed several courses including dog grooming and setting up in business before opening `Dapper Dogz', which is located at Rushmore Drive on the Knockmore Road.

Nicola lives in Culcavey with her family and enjoys working with animals.

I get up at 6.45am on weekday mornings and get ready before having breakfast.

I leave the house at 8am and when I get into work I spend the first hour cleaning and making sure the place smells nice for when the first dog arrives with its owner.

I cater for all breeds. New clients must sign a statement that to the best of their knowledge their dog is in good health before I can start grooming.

I look at the dog's coat and check for any signs of illness. If a dog is ill or looks in poor condition I make a note and inform its owners that their pet may need to see a vet.

The dog is washed with special organic treatments and Tea-tree ointment may be put in the animal's ears. Then I blast dry the dog and brush its coat.

The dogs are normally with me for an average of two hours and I usually have between one and three dogs at any time. Depending on how busy the appointment book is I might manage to get a short break for lunch and go somewhere close by for a sandwich.

If I am not too busy 1 update animal records and do general administration as well as taking bookings over the phone.

I usually finish at 5pm but before I leave 1 disinfect the grooming room, tidy the record cards and put on the answering machine. When I get home I'll have dinner with my family and some evenings I carry out beauty procedures on my friends and family. I trained as a beauty therapist and it's a nice past time.

I use a room in my parents' house and the treatments I do include waxing, tinting, massages, pedicures, manicures and facials.

I also spend a lot of time in the evenings with my fianc� Ronnie. I enjoy going to the cinema, watching TV and socialising with friends.

I have quite a few dogs to take care off too. I love animals and if I ever come across a stray dog or cat I'll try and find a home for it. If an injured animal comes across my path I have to make sure it receives proper attention from my local vet who is getting to know me very well!

Before going to bed I listen to music to help me relax and I might read a novel. I enjoy my work, as I love animals. I'm lucky my family and fiancé have given me so much support in starting up my own business.

Ulster Star