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Love of Dogs Creates Job Opportunity

When TotalLink’s Employment Specialist Drew Philips reached out to Wags on Willow owner Mary Bower, he didn’t realize that call would be the beginning of an amazing partnership.


“Drew reached out and told me about TotalLink and that he had a job seeker he wanted to talk to me about. A couple of days later he introduced me to Christian and I hired him that same day,” said Mary Bower, the owner of the Northfield pet salon.


"When I met Christian, I saw a young adult with the ability to help us, share his skills, find his place in society, and be paid for his work just like everyone else.” –Mary

Christian and his employer at Wags on Willow.

Christian works at the busy pet salon three days a week. He is responsible for a variety of tasks, including cleaning, folding towels, and helping bring animals out to their owners. “Christian takes his job very seriously, and is committed to working,” Mary explained. “Seeing him grow in his position has been very rewarding. He started out with three tasks and as time has gone on, he has added additional tasks and responsibilities.”


TotalLink first began working with Christian in March of 2020. Through the Discovery process, TotalLink learned about Christian’s love for dogs, his social personality and wonderful sense of humor, and his vocational themes in cleaning and being a part of a team. “I knew working with animals would be a great fit for Christian,” said Drew Philips. “I am so glad that I made the call and connected with Mary. She has been great to work with and is a champion for TotalLink.” 


Drew has worked with Mary and her team at Wags on Willow for the last nine months as Christian’s job coach. He has been there to provide support for Christian as well as to provide training and support for the entire Wags team. As a sign of a successful job placement, Christian is working less with his job coach’s support and more with the natural support of his co-workers at the pet salon. 


“Over the last several months of working with TotalLink, I have learned you are not doing this by yourself. You have a teammate and a partner in TotalLink. I was amazed at that.” said Mary. “The support TotalLink has given us has been phenomenal.”

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