Realising our passion for animals can be paired with earning an income seems to be a running theme in our clinic! Perhaps that is why we all get along so well and the average age of our nurses is a few years old than that of most other clinics.
I write this because Amelia who spent most of her childhood and early adulthood in Queensland managed to finish year 12 and quickly go on to earn herself a Bachelor of Early Childhood/Primary Education from Monash University! She even spent a few years as a relief teacher in primary schools before realising that her passion really lay with animals.
Amelia's childhood home was always home to a dog or two, the one she grew up with and the one whom will always have her heart was a beautiful Golden Retriever named Beethoven. She adored him and because of him will always have a big soft spot for the breed. Sadly he lost is battle with cancer in 2013. Every time a Golden Retriever walks through the clinic door, Amelia melts. You can see the love in her eyes and the memories of her beautiful furry friend.
In 2008 Amelia was able to choose her first very own fur baby and the decision of which breed could not have been more simple. Her Grandmother had a Cavalier when Amelia was just little and the memories of the sweet, playful, affectionate dog had stuck with her so, a Cavalier it was.
She welcomed Mia the adorable Blenheim Cavi into her family and with in a year welcomed Hamish another Blenheim cavalier to make the perfect pair. Although the two have their fair share of health problems, as we know all too well is so common with Cavaliers, they make up for the trips to the vet with endless love, cuddles and attention/ food demanding Cavalier style barks.
The passion for animals for Amelia is not limited to those we have frequent contact with, for her the biggest interest and love is for the Giant Panda! The love Amelia has for Giant Pandas is so strong that she drove with her Partner to Adelaide just to see them at the Adelaide Zoo - the only place you can see them in the Southern Hemisphere I've recently learnt!
One day no doubt, I will be rostering in leave for Amelia to head to Chengdu Research Centre , the base of Giant Panda breeding in China. It is her dream to travel to this centre to see the work they do to save the incredible breed, and hopefully even cuddle a baby Giant Panda!
In 2016 Amelia took the plunge and changed careers, she decided that despite the years of study and the budding career in teaching she had been fostering she could not ignore her passion for all things animal. She wanted to be part of ensuring their health and wellbeing, and spend as much time as she could ensuring she could make a positive difference in the lives of animals.
This career change was so fortunate for us! Amelia started studying Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at Box Hill mid 2016, she took on volunteer roles in shelters before finding the advertisement we had placed for work placement students.
The day Amelia arrived for her interview, I knew within moments that we wanted her to be part of our clinic. Not only because I learnt that she has Cavaliers (we all now they are my soft spot too) but because I could see the passion in her, her eagerness to learn and to succeed was blatantly obvious. I eagerly showed her around the clinic hoping I could entice her into a volunteer position.
Soon after commencing her volunteer position with us we were able to offer her a paid role as a trainee nurse, Amelia had taken to nursing as though it were what she were always meant to be doing.
As a true veterinary nurse... it was not long after starting with us that she took home her first kitten! This tiny bundle of fur was only two weeks old and needed around the clock feeding, Amelia jumped at the chance to give this tiny creature the chance he deserved. This, I am happy to say quickly resulted in Amelia's first fail... a foster fail.. where you foster an animal and realise you can't ever give them back. This tiny kitten is now known as Oliver or Ollie for short. He is a charming, handsome cat with the most incredibly fluffy tail!
Soon after Amelia welcomed Oliver into her home, she took home another litter of kittens. She wanted them to know what living in a home was like, and her new kitten Ollie simply adored playing with them all. Slowly they were adopted out, each going away to make another family happily...as the numbers dwindled Amelia found herself in a familiar situation... there was a very cute bundle of black and white fur that had stolen her heart. So, she named him Louie and decided that he would have to be her second foster fail.