ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– April 2014
Yalitza Torres currently lives in St-Lazare, Quebec, Canada. She works full time as an export agent at a logistics company. Although she has a full-time job, Yalitza knew she always wanted to work with animals. Her love and dedication to helping animals is what helped her decide to join the Animal Behavior College grooming program. Yalitza started out with little experience, but with hard work and dedication she is now working part time with her mentor.
What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?
I have always loved all animals, not just dogs. I thought of being a groomer because I enjoyed grooming my own dogs— brushing, cutting their nails, brushing their teeth and things like that. I saw pictures in some magazines, came across a video of a show in the U.S. I thought how nice it would be to work with dogs and make a living out of it; to make dogs look pretty and, in a way, also help them.
What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?
One time my mentor had about 18 dogs that were rescued from a puppy mill—she had volunteered to groom them. I did not know what we would be doing that until I got there, and it was overwhelming just knowing where they came from. However, it was all about making them look great and helping them so they can be adopted by loving families. It was an incredible feeling.
Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.
We had a huge Great Dane come in one morning; he was the biggest dog I have ever seen, but a very gentle and loving dog. We bathed him and took him out of the tub to dry him. As we put him on the table to dry him, I was holding him from behind to help him up and it seems he needed to go to the bathroom and it ended up in my hand. We were all laughing—I thought it was hilarious.
What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?
It has been great having the flexibility to go at my own pace. I had a family matter that I had to go see my mother in South America [about] and the program made it easy to continue studying at home with my family. My program manager and my externship coordinator have been very helpful and supportive. Any time I needed to contact them they were there. Helping dogs is something I always wanted to do. If grooming is a way for me to get involved and do my part then I will be very happy with that.
If you could work style a dog or cat after any celebrity, who would it be and why?
There are a few. I like Bob Barker; he is so nice to all animals and I love the fact that he always speaks on their behalf. I love Pink and Leonardo DiCaprio as well, both are very much involved in protecting animals and the environment, which is very important and dear to me.