A Mossend dog groomer has proved you don’t need to have a wet nose and a wagging tail to leave Crufts with a trophy.
Shannon McKenna, who works at Doggie Style in Viewpark, travelled to Birmingham earlier this month to be presented with the Aesculap Scholarship by Groom Team England.
The former Bellshill Academy pupil first became involved in the industry when Right Track Scotland Ltd helped her get a placement with Linda Leggat at Doggie Style through its Get Ready For Work programme.
Initially it was supposed to last six months, but six years on they are still working together.
Shannon (23) said: “At the time I was a bit rebellious and wanted to be a tattoo artist, but I fell in love with the job and as Linda helped my improve my skills I never left.
“This isn’t just a job now, it has become my passion and I want to keep improving and become the best that I can be within the industry.”
The prestigious award was given to only five dog groomers in the UK and came after industry names Colin Taylor, Zoe Duffy and Wayne John Robbie were impressed by Shannon’s portfolio and dedication to her craft.
She will now have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses and seminars later this year to further her development, including one run by Mr Taylor.
Shannon said: “Linda nominated me and I put together my portfolio which I hoped would let the judges see how far I had come over the past six years.
“We had arranged to go down to Crufts, but it was such a shock to learn I would be picking up the scholarship prize while I was down there.
“I am hoping I can now ask as an ambassador to encourage other young people to consider a career in the industry as well as being thrilled at the opportunity to learn from some of its biggest names.
“Colin is basically the (celebrity hairdresser) Lee Stafford of grooming so to be in a position to learn from him is just amazing.”
Shannon will travel to Peterborough on Sunday for the annual MasterGroom event where she will be competing in the Asian Fusion category and hopes to add to previous accolades.
She said: “I have four rosettes having been among the prizes at all my previous competitions and I’m aiming to come back up the road with another one.”