Sophia joined the APR team in May 2018. She assists the therapists with the underwater treadmill sessions in the late afternoon/early evening and some Saturdays. Sophia also steps into Hayley’s shoes when needed and does a great job of looking after the therapists, the dogs and their owners if Hayley is on leave or unable to be at work for any other reason. Sophia keeps busy with teaching, entertaining and caring for young children when she is not working at APR. We appreciate her calmness and gentle kindness, as do the animals and their owners.

Sophia’s Story

In Grade 11 at Westerford High School, the students are assigned a Life Orientation project which requires them to job shadow someone working in a career that interests them and that they might find themselves pursuing one day. I hadn’t much direction at that point so I was merely listening out for opportunities that might interest me. And so, I heard about Dawn’s business through her son’s girlfriend, who is a friend of mine through school. I went on to job shadow Dawn, which was definitely one of the more fascinating experiences of my lifetime, as I’d never come across animal physical rehab before. Dawn then phoned me, during a period where I was looking for something to fill my time with, and offered me a job as an assistant in the underwater treadmill room in the evenings, which I eagerly accepted without hesitation.

I get to give a little bit back to animals when they give so much to us.

- Sophia Carlyle

I love my job because I grow just a bit every time I step foot into my workplace. I love that I get to give a little bit back to animals when they give so much to us. I love the innovative team I work with and getting excited with them when brainstorming and coming up with ideas for the best way in which a patient could be helped. Everyone around me loves their work so much and we are constantly reminding one another of it. I love that my strengths are recognised and utilised within my environment. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given by Dawn on multiple occasions. I love learning the uniqueness of every patient, client and situation. My job has taught me so much. And I really do love it.

My pets mean a great deal to me. I have an 8-year-old Shepherd/Labrador/Collie thing. Her name is Bess and she lives for cuddling, burrowing, smiling, nibbling Scout, food and walks. Scout is a 22-month-old Golden Retriever. She lives for mischief, barking, swimming, love, harassing Bess, food and walks. These two bring smiles to my face every single day. They make me laugh. They melt my heart right after they’re supposed to have made me angry. They complete our family. They are the constant ‘happy’ in my life. Creatures I can always rely on for a cuddle, whether they’re really up for one or not. The thing about my dogs is that they live to make our lives better, and I will be forever grateful to them for it. But, really, what my pets remind me of every single day is that life doesn’t need to be all that complicated. One only need have a couple of goals every day – eat, drink, sleep, defecate, walk, cuddle, love and put many smiles on faces. Basically, do only the things you absolutely love and you’ll get along just fine. They do. These two shnookies take up an awful lot of space in my heart.