Lois Dalton describes her training days with Groom Team England and what the Aesculap scholarship scheme means to her

Part of the winning package for an Aesculap scholar is the chance to take up two days free training with a Groom Team England (GTE)committee member’s training school. Lois Dalton, the youngest scholar at 19 opted to spend her days with Peter and Becki Ensell and Jitka Krisova.

‘Winning the scholarship has enabled me to fulfil a life-long dream to run my own business. Before I won the scholarship I had even considered giving grooming up. But the prize of grooming equipment, the training and the Aesculap clippers has given me that opportunity,” says Lois. “The range of products, the discount vouchers and the kit bag, which everyone is envious of is amazing – I’m so grateful, “ says Lois. “Being short-listed for the scholarship was brilliant but then to be chosen was amazing – it really is the best thing that has ever happened to me!”

At Peter and Becki Ensell’s she did a clipped Fox Terrier and a scissored Kerry Blue. Lois explains: “I worked with Becki on the Fox Terrier and she gave me some breed specific tips to help the dog’s conformation, for instance how to clip with a longer blade to make the neck look wider, which made the dog appear shorter in the back. Peter showed me a technique for trimming round the ears to get a closer finish on the Kerry Blue, which I would never have had the confidence to do and how to use different types of scissor such as thinning scissors on heads and faces to help the coat blend in better. They also advised me on where I could get away with clipping and where to scissor. These will be an invaluable time-saving tips for running my own business.”

“At Jitka’s I had the chance to handstrip two Westies. I’ve never done this before so it was like starting from scratch. Jitka showed me how to improve the top line by leaving the coat in the middle part of the back a bit longer so the back looked straighter. In fact Jitka has offered me the dog to use at competitions if I’d like to! I’ve got a Cocker Spaniel at home – Baker who’s five months old – which I’m hoping to take to competitions. Jitka’s advised me which parts to clip and which parts to handstrip and also gave me some competition advice which was to take my dog to as many competitions as possible to get him used to the atmosphere.”

Jitka, Peter and Becki were all impressed with Lois’ work, her enthusiasm and her ability to absorb information. In fact, Jitka thinks Lois could be a star in the making. She commented: “It’s unusual to see someone so young so talented and the finished result on the Westie was brilliant!”

Lois officially started trading in her own business – Vanity Furr – on August 9th. She can be contacted on 07931 654456.