A North Cumbrian vets practice has taken on more staff, thanks to a boom in people buying pets during the pandemic.
And both the new recruits, Louise Watson and Vevila McGeoch, at Paragon Veterinary Group prove that it is never too late to start a career in veterinary medicine.
Louise, 47, made the switch in her 20s after working at Cumbrian Newspapers.
She qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2006 and joined Paragon in January this year.
“I’m enjoying it, I really like it,” she said. “I like the way they do things.
“It wasn’t my first career but in my 20s I decided to retrain because it’s what I always wanted to do
“I have an interest in felines, anything to do with cats, and I like working in the hospital.”
Part-time working helps with looking after her young daughter and away from work Louise enjoys motorbikes and fell walking, “if I ever get the chance now as I’ve got a four-year-old to run around after”.
Her colleague Vevila only joined in May and for her too it was the fulfilment of a long-standing ambition.
“I always wanted to be a vet nurse,” said the 29-year-old.
“So I did a bit of training when I left school but then life got in the way and I ended up doing something else. But it was always a passion of mine.”
Originally from Canonbie, she lived in Glasgow for five years but has now returned to the Borders after starting work as an animal care assistant at Paragon.
Her aim now is to study to become a veterinary nurse.
“I knew it was something I always wanted to do so I applied and was fortunate enough to get the job. Everybody here is so nice and it’s such a great team to work for.
“Every day is different, I really enjoy it.”
Veterinary surgeon Graham Lewis said: “There has been a boom in pet ownership during Covid-19 and our team has had to expand and adapt to continue to provide the level of service we try to offer our clients and their pets.
“Fortunately, the new staff we have recruited share our values of great client care and clinical excellence and have fitted into the team really well.
“Both Louise and Vevila have been fantastic since starting with us. It already feels like they have always been important parts of the team and are great to work with.”