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Lesley Thompson
Claire Neary
Mick Neary
Sofie Neary
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Full Time Kennel Assistant



My name is Sofie and I am the daughter of Claire and Mick.  From a very young age I have helped out at the kennels and always wanted a dog of my own.  Mum and Dad decided the time was right, and for my 8th Birthday I was given my first dog 'Starr'.  From the moment I got her home we became inseparable and I loved to take her out walking.  I decided that I wanted to start taking her onto the shooting field and soon became hooked!  We loved it.  When I was 9 years old, we started entering Working Tests and I was trialling her at the age of 10.  Starr was an absolute pleasure to work and she gained many FT awards including 2 seconds.  Our proudest moment was qualifiying to compete for England when I was 12 finishing second.  Unfortunately we lost Starr in 2011 aged 12, but she will always be remembered!

After finishing school in 2007, I went onto College to study a BTEC National Diploma in Animal Management for 2 years, passing with Triple Distinction.  I had the intentions of leaving college to hopefully become a Police Dog Handler, but after doing my research, discovered that you have to be a Police Officer first and even then the chances of getting to work with the dogs were very slim.  So I decided the other option was to join the British Army as a Dog Handler.  I took myself into the careers office and told them about my desire to be a dog handler.  They told me it was very unlikely that I would be accepted as the intake each year was very small but they would put me onto the selection board.  I was determined to get my place.

I was elated when I received the phone call to say that I had been accepted and my Basic Training was starting in February 2011.  Although the training was very tough, I gained lots of experience and made lifelong friends.  I then went onto my Dog Course Training which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

In July 2012 I found out I was expecting my first child with my partner Daniel and my army career therefore came to an end.  Daisy-Mae was born 17th March 2013 and is our world.  Daniel and I are now expecting our second child (due 26th March 2014).

I love working here at Meriroyles and getting the opportunity to work with such a vast selection of different breeds of dog.  I hope to one day work full time as a Dog Trainer as this has been my ultimate dream from such a young age.