June 14, 2024 by Rikki Thompson
A Day In The Life
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They always say “never work with animals” Well, one Co. Down woman would disagree. With a passion for our four legged furry friends, Amanda Graham has always dreamt of working with mans (or woman’s) best friend.

Amanda Graham, originally from Dundrum now residing near Banbridge, has always had a deep-rooted love for animals. From her days at Kilkeel High School, where she excelled in English, Business, and Home Economics, Amanda’s passion for animals shone through.

From envisioning a career in pet photography to owning a pet shop, Amanda’s unwavering commitment to her passions has served as a guiding force throughout her professional endeavors. By staying true to her aspirations and pursuing her dreams with determination, Amanda has carved a fulfilling path that aligns with her true calling.

Amanda’s career journey has been a diverse and dynamic one, spanning various industries from retail to manufacturing, sports ground construction, and the pet trade. Through these varied experiences, Amanda has gleaned invaluable insights and lessons that have shaped her professional growth.

The inspiration behind Amanda’s current career path stems from a profound realisation shaped by personal circumstances. Faced with health conditions alongside her husband, the uncertainty of tomorrow loomed large. In a bold move stemming from the belief that life is too fleeting to be spent on anything less than passion and happiness, Amanda and her husband embarked on a courageous journey to pursue their dream careers.

Motivated by a shared desire to create a life they could be proud of and to find joy in their daily pursuits, Amanda and her husband seized the moment with unwavering determination. Embracing the philosophy that there is no better time than now to chase their dreams, they embarked on a path that promised fulfillment and purpose.

Speaking to UrbanABC Amanda said; “Both my husband and I have health conditions which mean we don’t know what the future holds. We decided that now was the right time to do it. We wanted to do something that we are proud of and do something that makes us both happy”.

Now Amanda’s dream has materialised into ‘The Suddy Dog’, a haven for pet owners seeking fun times with their beloved companions based in the heart of Banbridge Town Centre.

At The Suddy Dog, Amanda’s dedication to animals is evident in every aspect of the business. From personalised pet photography sessions to a carefully curated selection of pet supplies, Amanda’s vision of creating a welcoming space for pets and their owners has come to life.

The Suddy Dog on Castlewellan Road is a pioneering oasis for our beloved furry friends. Breaking new ground in Northern Ireland, this establishment boasts four cutting-edge self-service dog washing pods, ensuring a spa-like experience for every pampered pooch that crosses its threshold.

Each private pod is fully equipped with shampoo, conditioner, quick dry spray, brushes, body wipes, towel, high velocity dryer and a happy hoodie to protect your dogs ears during the drying process. A ramp is also installed in each pod to make it easier for your dog to access the shower and drying area.

Elevating the canine indulgence to new heights, The Suddy Dog recently introduced a delightful addition to its repertoire: a doggy fun pool. This exciting feature promises hours of aquatic enjoyment for our four-legged companions, making it a must-visit destination for pet owners seeking the ultimate in relaxation and entertainment for their beloved pets.

“We have people who bring their therapy dogs in to use our self service dog wash to get them looking and smelling their best before they go and visit nursing homes, schools and hospitals.

“We also have Guide Dogs who come in to use our Doggy Fun Pool and it is amazing to see the dogs enjoy their down time once their harness is taken off. It is so lovely seeing the special bonds the dogs have with their owners and it is amazing that we get the opportunity to build bonds with each dog and owner that come to visit us”.

When Amanda steps away from the demands of her career, she immerses herself in a world brimming with cherished moments.  From the exhilarating atmosphere of Classic and Vintage Car Shows to the nostalgic echoes of helping her Dad restore classic cars in her youth, Amanda’s love for automotive craftsmanship runs deep.

Venturing into the great outdoors, Amanda finds solace and joy in the company of her loyal companion, Lexi, as they embark on leisurely strolls and day trips. A heartwarming tradition of taking her Granda on road trips not only creates lasting memories but also strengthens the bonds of family and love that are at the core of Amanda’s life.

With a keen eye for capturing precious moments, Amanda revels in the art of photography, seizing each opportunity to document her family’s adventures and milestones. “I love spending time with my family, making memories and taking photos along the way, I suppose the passion for photography never left me”

Adding a touch of excitement to her leisure pursuits, Amanda finds herself drawn to the electrifying energy of watching the Belfast Giants Ice Hockey team in action.

One of the key lessons Amanda has learned along the way is the significance of embracing change. Adapting to new environments and industries has not only broadened Amanda’s skill set but has also allowed her to explore different facets of her interests and talents.

By being open to change, Amanda has been able to navigate transitions smoothly and seize new opportunities as they arise.

As Amanda continues to chart her course in the ever-evolving landscape of her career, her journey stands as a testament to the power of resilience, adaptability, and unwavering dedication to one’s goals.

In the face of life’s unpredictability, Amanda’s decision to pursue her passion reflects a profound understanding of the value of living authentically and with purpose.

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