Alexandria Thorpe, 18, became a dog groomer

To read on The Border Mail website:

Wodonga teenager Alexandria Thorpe gets dream job as a dog groomer at Dog Education Centre

Jodie Bruton   1
Alexandria Thorpe

ANIMAL INSTINCTS: Wodonga’s Dog Education Centre dog groomer Alexandria Thorpe, with Wally, hopes to build up her regular dog client base. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

A BORDER teenager with an intellectual disability has landed her dream job.

Alexandria Thorpe, 18, became a dog groomer at the Wodonga business Dog Education Centre in March after long-term work experience with the tight-knit team.

A genuine animal lover, Alex is known for her calming influence on any dog that shows signs of anxiety.

Alex said she looked forward to working with all dog breeds.

“I love how they listen, they look at you and they just know what’s right,” she said.

The centre’s owner, Brydie Charlesworth, said Alex was a valued employee.

“She’s a hard worker and she’s always positive,” she said.

“The dogs love her and she has got a really calming influence on them.”

A former Belvoir Special School student, Alex did more than 160 hours of work experience at the centre over two years under the guidance of her workplace mentor Tracey Kellock and Ms Charlesworth.

Having been placed with Alex as part of a Circles of Employment pilot program and then in her role at Gateway Health, Ms Kellock was thrilled with the outcome.

The former veterinary nurse said Alex had persevered to learn the trade at her own pace.

“If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life; that goes for us both,” she said.

Alex, who already had regular customers Lightning, Odie and Wally, hoped to build up her client base.

She was learning how to clip dogs according to their breed and how to wash big, playful dogs like Lightning.

“Lightning is not a small dog and he’s full of character,” Lightning’s owner Jen Tait said.

“He just loves Allie and would like nothing more than the full spa treatment every day!”

Alex is studying her Certificate 1 in Animal Studies and is also a popular member of the Wodonga Netball Club All Abilities Squad.

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