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Hampton pet shop owner retires after a "whirlwind" decade
A pet shop owner is hanging up her apron after 10 years dishing out dog biscuits, cat litter and fish food.
Claire Matthews has sold pet supplies to the guinea pig fanciers and goldfish enthusiasts of Hampton from her shop, Tail End, in Station Road for the past 10 years.
The 39-year-old, who has two pugs called Blossom and Percy, is leaving because of health reasons having offered advice to customers, helped home animals and sometimes just enjoyed chatting with elderly cat owners.
She said: “It’s just been 10 years of whirlwind. It’s gone so fast I haven’t had one day when I haven’t wanted to go into work.
“It’s an industry that’s once you’re in it you absolutely love it.
“It’s been brilliant I will miss the customers and the contact.”
The shop owner and dog behaviourist recently moved to Sandhurst but has lived in Hampton most of her life and said she would miss the neighbourhood.
She said: “We have some characters come in absolutely. I have got a medium that comes in the shop and does tea leaf readings.
“There are so many people round her that really love their pets.
“Since the recession over the last few years we have had people trying to give us their pets because all the rescues are full. It’s really sad and can be hard.
“It’s still a crazy village. It’s got that village feel and that core of shops and we have got our own traders association and work closely together.”
The shop will continue trading under the watchful eye of a new owner who has been working with Miss Matthews for the past few weeks to get to know customers and the shop and ensure a smooth transition.
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