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March Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– March 2014

Sharon Joanisse

Grooming School Student of the Month - Canada - March 2014Sharon Joanisse lives in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, where she works as a registered massage therapist, school bus driver, pet/house sitter, dog trainer and also does some grooming part time. She found Animal Behavior College while searching for an Obedience Training program. She completed ABC’s Certified Dog Training program before enrolling in its Grooming Instruction Program. One of Sharon’s favorite parts of the program is that the first portion is distance learning. She loves being able to work at her own pace.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

Falling into grooming was much the same as falling into training. I have three dogs at the moment and around the time I got my second Aussie, I realized there was a lot I did not know. I set off to learn as much as I could about training specifics that related to us, and also about grooming. Two years ago, I got my third Aussie and once again found out just how much I didn’t know. With him came my introduction to the conformation ring, and a whole new world of grooming and care. At my first show, I looked around and saw that most of the people around me were groomers and they were my inspiration.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

Dogs are always surprising us, whether it’s their silly behavior on the table or their happy howling when they see their family and get excited. A few weeks ago, we took in our Aussie to be groomed. He wiggled and yodeled and was just an adorable “goofball.”

What one thing stands out for you in terms of knowledge and/or skills acquired from the program?

Working within a dog’s limits, and working with my client’s desires is something that stands out for me in terms of knowledge and/or skills acquired from the program. Often, clients come in and have an idea of what they want but that idea is not always workable. I have found that this program has taught me how to [have a]dialogue with these clients and find a happy medium for them.

Have you started working professionally as a groomer yet? If yes, where? And are you working full- or part-time?

A year ago, I opened a second business, Heeling NRG (Sanctuary Massage Therapy) and made allowances for grooming to be a part of it. In January of this year, I began offering grooming to my clients, and am now seeing two to four clients per week.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

I hope to master scissor cuts, and breed-specific grooming for the show ring. My mentor trainer at my externship was a poodle breeder for more than 40 years and she has had me grooming her poodles and grills me hard on them. I love it!

March – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
March 2014

Eduardo Ochoa

Veterinary-Assistant-Program-Eduardo-Ochoa-Student-of-the-month

Eduardo Ochoa lives in Los Angeles and did his externship at the Pasadena Humane Society. When Eduardo first started in the program, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. However, after going through the externship, he is now ready to continue his education and become a Registered Veterinary Technician.

Was veterinary assisting your first career choice? If not, what was it?

Becoming a veterinary assistant was not my first choice. I actually had all of my classes already picked out and was ready to start Community College at Pasadena City College [before attending ABC]. Before that, my dream was to move to San Francisco and become an artist. I wanted to use my creativity [to be an] eco-friendly architect. However, as I thought about it more and more, I realized having a hobby as a career would probably interfere with my creativity. Then, when I really thought about the direction I wanted to take in my life, helping and being around animals is what made me feel more comfortable and complete. Therefore, this is the path I chose and followed through with.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

When I started my externship, I was really nervous. Reading a book is one thing, but actually doing it is another. When it comes to what was the most challenging for me, I’d say it was trying to overcome my embarrassment of asking questions. I needed to learn how to do things and had to get the courage to ask how things needed to be done. Once I overcame this, I was so relieved. This helped me grow so that I am now able to move more quickly. Also, this has brought me closer to the staff so I feel like I’m now a member of the team.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

When I first decided to follow a career path in working with animals, I didn’t know about Animal Behavior College yet. I searched around and truthfully, this school seemed more inviting than others.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

Being in the ABC program has been great! It’s easy, quick and extremely informative, especially for how short of a time it takes to get certified.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

If I could work with any exotic animal, it would be with penguins. I love penguins and cold weather. I find penguins to be very interesting animals. Some of the things a male does to specifically attract a female is just amazing.

March – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
March 2014

Brian Beechum

Brian Beechum resides in Bowling Green, Ky., and is currently working as a part-time Groomer for a local grooming shop called Dogs’ Day Out. He was hired by his mentor Yvonne immediately after completing his externship. Prior to beginning his grooming career, Brian attended Western Kentucky University, where he majored in Computer Science. While in college, he landed a part-time job at a local factory that made components for Toyota. He enjoyed this position so much that he decided to leave school in order to work fulltime. He worked his way up and eventually become a Safety and Ergonomics Specialist in the Human Resources department. When the economy was hit a few years ago, he decided to find a new field to work in: the pet industry.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

Carrie Gump is a local dog trainer I had been taking my new puppy to and struck up a conversation about becoming a trainer myself. She asked if I had ever considered grooming since I had been grooming my own dogs for some time. She then recommended that I call Animal Behavior College and speak to an Admissions Counselor about my options.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment during my externship, occurred a couple of weeks into working with my mentor, Yvonne Gray. She told me I had a love and drive she had not seen in other students she had trained in the past. She did make a point to inform me that she was not referring to any ABC students.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and had so many great experiences that it is difficult to answer this question. Animal Behavior College’s curriculum gave me an excellent foundation to build on and my mentor was simply the best in teaching me. I could not ask for this experience to have gone better.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I faced during my externship was clipping dark-colored nails. My mentor was always kind and understanding, showing me different approaches until I was able to master this task.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, I hope to master several breed-specific cuts. I specifically want to master the Poodle and Schnauzer cuts.

March 2014 – DOP Student of the Month – USA

DOP Student of the Month – USA – March 2014

Heather Ibbitson

A Registered Nurse in Torrance, Calif., Heather Ibbitson always wanted to train dogs for a living. Upon nearing retirement, Heather thought that going through ABC’s Dog Obedience Program would help her embark on a second career. She currently has three paying clients who have been more than pleased with their dogs’ training. Following completion of her certification in a few weeks, Heather’s goal is to work with shy and fear aggressive dogs.

What prompted you to become a dog trainer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I have spent a lot of time working with shelters and rescue groups and saw a huge need for training knowledge. If shelter dogs can be taught basic manners it increases their adoptability and decreases their chances of being euthanized.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

Trying to juggle my work schedule was challenging, but ABC and my mentor trainer have been wonderful and helped make it happen.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my mentor trainer. She is extremely knowledgeable, experienced and I learned so much from her.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours.

I have worked with many shelter dogs over the years, but one day I sat back and realized how far one of the dogs had come in a much shorter time than I had seen dogs progress before. It has been very rewarding to be able to help these dogs, and now I am able to be more effective and am able to do it without anything but love.

Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work? If yes, how/where?

I have worked with various rescue groups for many years and have recently become a rescue partner at Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS). I have the skills now and I think that working directly with LBACS, maybe just maybe, it will help save some lives.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

A former graduate I was volunteering with told me about her success with the program and had nothing but good things to say. I think certification adds a certain amount of credibility and I think people pay more attention when you offer to help.

March 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

ABC
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
March 2014

Keith Andersen

ABC Student, Keith Andersen resides in Burnaby, BC, Canada, and is currently working with Vision Quest Recovery Society as its in-house dog trainer. Dog training was not Keith’s first choice of careers. He tried the accounting industry, but didn’t like being stuck behind a desk. Keith then moved on to construction work and now is making dog training a full-time job.

“My goal is to retire very soon and devote the rest of my time to dogs,” he said.

Keith found Animal Behavior College on Google. He had looked at many distant-learning programs as well as local ones. Out of all of them, ABC had the most professional look and was very reasonable.

What prompted you to become a dog trainer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I decided to become a certified dog trainer after working with my dog Mak and using that knowledge to help others. It made sense to me to be certified. Working with Mak as a guinea pig taught me a lot about myself and how humans interact with their furry friends. It showed me how much fun humans can have and how our happiness with our buddies can make them happy.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work?

I have spent most of my volunteer hours doing the Puppy Pet Rehabilitation Program at Vision Quest. The most rewarding story is with Zander, our first rescue. He was shy and lacked self confidence when we first got him. His obedience skills were not bad but needed polishing. By using the Urban Agility and Confidence Program I am working on, we got him to come out of his shell and gain much more confidence. Also, he became much more athletic, a bonus.

I plan on spending much more time with that program and expanding it with the hope of introducing it to others.

Have you started training professionally yet? If yes, are you training full- or part-time?

I have started training but only part time. I am busy winding down the waterproofing business and developing the Vision Quest program. I also am completing my Pet First Aid Instructors program.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training or in training a particular breed of dog?

I will do basic obedience training but there are many “trainers” who do that already. I want to focus on the rescue program with Vision Quest. I also want to teach the Urban Agility and Confidence program, teach first aid and to run a program I call “Doguistics,” which teaches humans how dogs communicate to themselves and to us. I also will include how dogs learn and how important “leadership” is as opposed to “alpha” and being dominant. I would also like to get involved with reactive dogs and helping them have a better life.

Which dog breed best describes you and why?

Labrador Retrievers; they are smart, hard working, very sociable and love people and other dogs. Also, they’re well-liked by most people.

February – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
February 2014

Jennifer Hawkins

Grooming School Student of the Month February 2014 - Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer Hawkins began grooming in October 2013 after making a career-changing decision to enroll in Animal Behavior College’s Grooming Instruction Program. She was inspired by her desire to find a career path she really loved. Jennifer is currently working on perfecting her grooming skills at her Externship location, Trulie Dogs Boutique in Wilmington, N.C. She impressed her mentor, Judianne, from the very beginning.

“Jennifer has a natural talent for working with animals and is on her way to becoming a very talented groomer,” Judianne said.

Was pet grooming your first career choice? If not, what was it?

My first career choice was actually to work with kids. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I am currently working at Brigade Boys and Girls Club while I finish up my Externship and earn my Grooming Certification. After getting into the elementary education field, I decided it was just not for me. I always loved animals, so I started searching online for veterinary technician and groomer schools and came upon ABC’s website. After thinking on it for a bit, I decided to give it a try. I have never looked back. I am so happy I made the decision to pursue becoming a certified Groomer. I love it. No kids talking back either.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment is when I first scissored. It was fun, even if it was maybe a little intimidating. When I realized that I did it and did it well, it felt so good. My mentor was so excited for me because I did a great job and she was really surprised and impressed with my work. That first scissoring experience really helped boost my confidence and made me really feel like I had made the right decision.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

The most humorous moment was when the hose started spraying everywhere. I had been giving a bath and I had set the hose down in the tub for a second. The hose came alive like a snake and started spraying everyone, everywhere. Not only did I give the dog a bath, but I gave myself one as well.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

My experience with the ABC Grooming program has been wonderful. All of the people from ABC who I have dealt with—from my program managers to my coordinator—have been so helpful and supportive. I was nervous about the course being online, but I made it through all my stages. If ever had a problem they were more than helpful and accommodating.

What are your future career plans?

I am still in my Externship, however, I have already been asked to stay by Trulie Dogs as a full-time professional groomer. I am thrilled to say I plan on accepting that offer after I complete my course. Some time in the future, I would like to open my own business. I am currently enrolled in different Continuing Education Programs, so I would like to include, dog walking, pet massage and pet nutrition expertise at my business.

February Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– February 2014

Lindsay Horobin

Canada Vet Assistant Student of the Month February 2014

Lindsay Horobin lives and works in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Obedience Program and a soon-to-be graduate of it’s Grooming Instruction Program. Lindsay is currently working on her externship at Devine Doggies in Calgary. She loves grooming because it allows her to be creative and still help animals look and feel well and find homes.

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 a degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership, but have never been entirely sure how to incorporate my love of animals into my career. I really wanted to pursue something I would love for my entire life. I decided that I wanted to concentrate on animal rescue. The best help I can give to needy animals is to get as educated as possible about their care, which is why I have studied both dog training and grooming through ABC.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment was when the owner of an elderly Bichon Frise came to pick up her dog after his grooming. This dog had arrived at the shop in desperate need of a good bath and haircut. Also, as an older dog, he had several growths over his body and head, making the body clipping more challenging than usual. I helped the other groomers with the bathing and clipping—we did the best we could. When the owner arrived I quite honestly was expecting a complaint. When the dog was brought out, his owner was crying. Apparently, she had been having some problems finding anyone to groom her dog and was beginning to feel somewhat helpless. Just to see her beloved pet cleaned, brushed, and fussed over was really all that the owner had wanted, and she was overcome with emotion.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

On one of my first days at the externship location we were preparing a large dog to bathe. Because he was so big, and because I was so new, I needed the help of both the shop owner and an employee to get him into the tub. I was trying to help push the dog up by his side, while the other two were pushing at his rear end. Quite suddenly, the dog leapt forward and into the tub, simultaneously, the shop owner yelped and ran into the other room. After the dog was secured in the tub, I poked my head into the other room to find out what happened. The two ladies were laughing hysterically. Apparently, while trying to coax the dog up the ramp and into the tub from the back, the shop owner’s finger accidentally slipped into the dog’s :rear portal,” which was most likely what spurred the dog to finally jump into the tub, and sent the shop owner to race to the nearest sink for a good washing.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

Both of my experiences with ABC, in the Dog Obedience and Grooming Programs, have been excellent. Studying online has its limitations, and ABC understands and manages all of these limitations very effectively. There is always instructor support, either online or over the phone, and the college’s staff will happily go out of their way to ensure the success of the students.

What are your future career plans?

I would like to work in a grooming shop for a few years to build my confidence and skill. During that time, I would really like get more comfortable with trimming nails and master breed specifics as well. I think learning about and working with the different breeds and learning the cuts will be really fun. After working in a salon for a few years, I would like to work for myself. I really want to focus my knowledge and skill to help groom and train homeless animals to help them find lifetime homes.

February – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2014

DOP Student of the Month – USA – February 2014

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
February 2014

Linda Domer

Linda Domer - Dog Obedience Instruction Program Student of the Month - February 2014

In 2010, ABC student Linda Domer was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. Throughout multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgeries, the one thing on her mind was, “What will happen to Holly Belle if I die?” Holly Belle was a rescue dog who had come to Linda as an 8-month-old puppy with many issues. She was very guarding and aggressive, and made life with her a challenge, to say the least. By the time Linda was diagnosed, Holly Belle was a senior dog with bad behavior and her chances of being adopted were slim. Fortunately, Linda recovered and Holly Belle remained with her until she died. As Linda continued to recover, she decided that no one facing their own mortality should have to agonize over the fate of the pets they might leave behind. She made the decision to learn as much as she could about animal behavior and how to modify it- and she has never looked back.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

The greatest challenge was when I took Delilah to her first training session with my Mentor Trainer, Chris Bevillard, in Frederick, Md.. Delilah was young, not food motivated and exhibited every single stressor on the list. She could not function at all in the class environment.  It was time for a plan. I took her to Petsmart or Petco every day. At first it was only for a few minutes, and then we slowly built up to longer periods of time. We eventually began asking her to perform behaviors she would routinely give at home. By the time her second class rolled around she was a little improved but still not at all comfortable. So, we continued our trips and by week three, she was ready to work in class.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment was that week three when we walked into class and Chris said, “What’s up with Delilah? She is calm, what happened?” My only reply was, “Lots of hard work.” She continued to do well during the remainder of her formal training. We still continue training at home and she is brilliant.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work?

I have many great stories about the dogs I have worked with at the Washington County Humane Society, but the first always sticks with you the most. Deuce was a 2-year-old, unaltered, 51-lb male American Pit Bull Terrier who had been surrendered by his owner. He was terrified, aggressive and lashed out. The first few days I just sat by his kennel door and talked to him and offered treats. By day three I was in his kennel with him. By day five we were outside doing leash work. He would walk on the leash, sit, down and relax when asked. He no longer jumped on or lunged at people, and he was becoming a really great dog. I worked with him for about three weeks total; three days a week for about 1.5 hours each day. I left Deuce one Friday feeling really pleased for him because he was really “getting it” and for myself because I was making a difference in his life. When I returned on that Sunday to work with Deuce, he was not in his kennel. I hoped he had been adopted, but was told upon inquiry that he had been euthanized. I was devastated and left the building certain I would not go back. But, I did go back. I have worked with many other dogs and brought them successfully to adoption. I will always continue to work with shelter dogs and Deuce will always be right there with me.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?

I have loved every minute I have spent in this program. It is well paced and help is always available.

February – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
February 2014

Ashley Morse

Ashley Morse lives in Jessup, Md., and works part time in Glen Burnie at the veterinary clinic where she did her externship.  She initially heard about Animal Behavior College when she saw a commercial on Animal Planet. Ashley has wanted to work in the field of veterinary medicine since she was a child, and ABC presented the perfect opportunity for her to pursue her dream.

What prompted you to become a veterinary assistant? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I was obsessed with animals when I was a child, especially exotics. To this day I firmly believe that a home is incomplete without at least one pet. I wouldn’t say there is a specific event or person in my life that inspired me, it was actually an organization. The United States Humane Society and SPCA have always been a major motivator for me.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

There were quite a few interesting moments, patients and clients during my externship. However, I think the most entertaining was when I helped the lead tech clip the nails of a yellow Labrador. This was no ordinary Labrador, though. I am not sure what he was mixed with, but he was big and stocky, and weighed in at more than 120 lb. of mostly muscle. There were a couple of times while I was attempting to restrain him that he dragged me on my knees down the hallway and back. His leash was ready to fall apart, because he apparently had a habit of chewing on it. We were all expecting it to bust at anytime as he dragged me down the hall. It ended up taking three of us to restrain him long enough to finish the procedure. He was a very sweet dog, but he just didn’t like having his feet touched. It was definitely a little humorous to say the least.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

Overall, I have had a good experience with Animal Behavior College. My program manager Penny Derbyshire-Baldyga and my externship coordinator Serina Baerga have both been very helpful, understanding and considerate. This has made the online [portion], which was a little different for me, much easier to manage.

What skills do you want to master during the next 12 months?

I would like to master my comfort and instinct levels when handling different animals for procedures, especially those they will be uncomfortable with. It is really the only aspect of this field that I’ve discovered isn’t really learned as much as it is acquired through experience and understanding of different animals.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

Honestly, big cats, namely cheetahs. They are my absolute favorite, but if I ended up working at a zoo or a wild life rehabilitation center, I would be happy working with any exotic animals; even the large, smelly ones. I love them all.

February 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

ABC
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
February 2014

Tanisha Shea Hasson

Dog Training Program Student of the Month - Tanisha Shea Hasson

As a registered veterinary technician, Tanisha Shea Hasson was used to working with animals while they were under anesthesia on an operating table. However, it became clear to her that she preferred working with animals while they were awake and well, which ignited her interest in dog training. Tanisha began searching online for different programs and decided that Animal Behavior College best suited her needs; as it would afford her the flexibility to continue working while completing the program. After successfully completing the Dog Obedience Program, she has since gone on to launch her own business, Pet Pro Services. While dog training is the main service she offers, she hopes to expand her business to include grooming, pet-sitting, dog walking and cat behavior modification. Even as her business continues to grow, Tanisha still makes time to volunteer at her local shelter, helping homeless dogs become more adoptable.

Where do you live and train now?

I live and train in London, Ontario. I currently train part-time, but I am looking to expand my business and start training more.

What was the biggest challenge you have faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

There were a couple of body postures that I was originally performing incorrectly. I just made sure that I listened closely to my mentor’s instructions, and practiced them until I had them down correctly.

During your volunteer hours, describe one pet story that touched you the most.

There was a dog at the shelter who was extremely stressed out. She had been there for quite a while. As I worked more with her, she really began to show her true colors. She was smart, attentive and eager to learn. I was able to help draw those qualities out of her, and she was adopted later that week.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

I found out about the program online while researching about dog training. I am a firm believer in continuing education, and the flexibility of the ABC program gave me the ability to continue working while I studied. I wanted to earn my certificate in order to achieve the level of professionalism I feel is important when starting your own business.

Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I would say that I am like a Husky/Lab mix. I like my independence yet I am friendly and outgoing.

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