A 44-year-old woman has launched a new dog grooming business after a cancer diagnosis made her rethink her career path.

Emma Donlan has started taking clients for her business, Scruffs 2 Crufts, based at her home in Bradenham near Dereham.

Ms Dolan was a nursery nurse in the Yorkshire Dales for 20 years before she received a health diagnosis that would change the direction of her career.

Eastern Daily Press: Cooper helped Emma through her recoveryCooper helped Emma through her recovery (Image: Emma Donlan)

"Just as the lockdown kicked in, I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer," she said.

"All my family had to move out while I went through chemotherapy because obviously with the virus I was very vulnerable.

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"I had a really tough six months losing my hair and breasts and I tried to go back to work but I was just feeling absolutely shattered at the end of the day."

Ms Donlan had always wanted to be a dog groomer and took this as an opportunity to train in the field.

Eastern Daily Press: Emma had always wanted to become a dog groomerEmma had always wanted to become a dog groomer (Image: Emma Donlan)

Once qualified, she moved with her family to Norfolk and thought her new garden would be the perfect place to meet canine clients.

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"A lot of groomers are on main roads or streets and I now have a shed in a huge enclosed garden on a farm with trees and wildlife.

"I thought that while the dogs are waiting to be seen, they could play and run around while their owners have a cup of tea and a chat."

Eastern Daily Press: The new business will run from Ms Donlan's gardenThe new business will run from Ms Donlan's garden (Image: Emma Donlan)

Eastern Daily Press: There is plenty of green space for the dogs to run around between appointmentsThere is plenty of green space for the dogs to run around between appointments (Image: Emma Donlan)

Ms Donlan's own dog, Cooper the Pomeranian-Chihuahua cross, has helped her through the process of her recovery so she understands how important animals are to people.

"He has been my therapy," she added. "If it wasn't for my dog when I was going through chemotherapy, I probably wouldn't have gotten out and had any fresh air, which is good for you not only physically but mentally too."