Grantham’s Libby goes from iron lady to pamper pooches

Libby Simpson and her dog Tootsie.
Libby Simpson and her dog Tootsie.
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A Grantham businesswoman plans to stave off retirement by looking after our canine companions.

Libby Simpson, 64, has worked in Press Gang on London Road since 1995, taking it over in 2003.

But after 20 years of cleaning and ironing, she says the business became too pressing.

Now, she has applied to South Kesteven District Council to turn the laundrette into a dog day care centre.

Libby told the Journal: “I shall be taking dogs in to play. [Ideal for] someone who has an appointment, a training course, or work to go to, or they just want a break.

“I was fed up with ironing. I was looking for something I could enjoy. It was either that or I pack up work.”

Libby has “a passion for dogs,” and has two canines of her own, including a 13-year-old mongrel called Tootsie.

Her business would typically open from 8am to 6pm and would have enough room for five dogs.

She said: “I have a play room with a box full of toys. There would be pens for eating and sleeping. Some of the pens have a window. The dogs would be able to play with each other. They also have me and my dog. They can also go for a walk around the park.”

The businesswoman did some research for her idea, saying there is “some demand” for such a service. She believes a similar service also operates in the Grantham area, with another also going through the planning process.

Libby continued: “People want pets but they haven’t always got the hours the pet needs. Dogs don’t like being left alone for more than a couple of hours.”

Charges will vary according to the breed and their needs and Libby says Tootsie will help her with the business.

“She is well used to other dogs,” she said. “She will be checking them out. She has the say so. She is the manager.”

Libby plans to open the dog day care centre as soon as SKDC grants approval, if given.

If given the green light, the business will add to a profusion of pet-related businesses in the area, including a vet, pet store and a dog groomers.