An ex-police officer has given up her logbook and handcuffs to run a dog training and massage therapy business in Donington.
Caroline Durrant (37) ended a promising career with Hertfordshire Constabulary in March this year to become a full-time dog agility trainer at her home in the South Holland village which she moved to in June.
When I started competing with my dogs, I became quite successful and qualifyed for a lot of finalsCaroline Durrant, Crossgate Canines of Donington
Instead of detecting crime and arresting lawbreakers, Caroline now runs training classes for puppies, rescue dogs and household pets, as well as dog behaviour classes in Gosberton Risegate.
Caroline, owner of Crossgate Canines of Donington, said: “I started training dogs in my spare time and I got into agility with my dogs as a sport about seven years ago.
“Then I started to help out at other dog clubs in Hertfordshire and it got to the point where I was enjoying my work with dogs more than my day job.
“Being a police officer was quite demanding on my time and when I started competing with my dogs, I had to work a lot of nights and weekends at the same time.
“I was becoming quite successful and qualifying for a lot of finals with my dogs.
“But the limits of my police work pushed me over the edge and I made the decision to go.”
So far, Caroline’s decision seems to have paid off with more than 20 dogs and the owners coming to her weekly dog agility classes in Donington, including people from Spalding, Boston and Heckington.
Caroline is also a qualified Galen Canine myotherapist, a form of specialised, “hands-on” muscle treatment for dogs with leg, knee and pelvic problems.
“I started Crossgate Canines in June 2016 after I thought of giving dog training a go full-time,” Caroline said.
“But I wanted the land to do it on and after six months of house-hunting with my partner, we ended up in Donington.
“We fell in love with the house and the village very quickly, although my partner is still a police officer in Hertfordshire so I only see him at weekends.
“I obtained a qualification in dog agility instruction in 2014 and also qualified as a canine massager in March 2015.
“But when we moved up to Donington, a lot of work went on with the property to adapt it for dog training, canine massage and some dog behaviour work as well.”
Caroline said that despite its “exciting and interesting” nature, she had no plans to go back to policing.
She added: “It was a massive risk to take but I’m very happy and I wouldn’t change it.”
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