Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

CM

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

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.

January – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
January 2014

Edith Theadora Haralampous

Edith Theadora Haralampous - Veterinary Assistant Student of the Month Jan 2014

Edith Theadora Haralampous or “Thea” is an ABC Veterinary Assistant Student from Cleveland, Ga. Growing up on a farm, Thea was lucky enough to be exposed to a lot of different animals. That is where her passion for animals started. When she was younger, her cousin and his wife started an animal rescue operation and Thea worked with them every day after school and on the weekends. This is where she learned a lot about the care of animals and it definitely boosted her longing to help them. While in the program, Thea completed her 90-hour externship at Animal Medical Care where she was hired on for a full time position as a vet assistant due to her knowledge and wonderful work. Thea is now being trained as a veterinary technician. Continue reading

January Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

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

Tania Langrehr

Tania Langrehr Canada Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month

Tania Langrehr, who lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, was hired by her mentor at Animazing Pet Spa and is now working full time as a dog groomer. Although grooming was not her first choice for a career, she always new she wanted to work with animals.  Tania is perfecting her skills and hopes to one day own her own grooming shop. Continue reading

January 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

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

Stephanie McSweenie

Stephanie McSweenie - Dog Obedience Program Canada Student of the Month

As a young girl, ABC Graduate Stephanie McSweenie always wanted to become either a veterinarian or a zookeeper. However, because she could not stand to see animals in pain, even though she would be helping them, she decided to become a dog trainer. While she and her friend were looking online for colleges to attend after high school, they came across Animal Behavior College. It wasn’t until after Stephanie applied at a local doggie daycare that she made her final decision. Her soon-to-be-boss had an ABC Graduate Certificate on the wall in the lobby. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and, will be starting as a full-time trainer for Posh Pooch Hotel & Daycare in February. Continue reading

January – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
January 2014

Jennifer Antonacci

Jennifer Antonacci - Grooming Instruction Program student of the month

Jennifer Antonacci lives in Hoboken, N.J., and came to ABC by way of the financial sector. After working as a vice president recruiter on Wall Street for several years, she decided to change her career path and become a certified dog groomer. Jennifer’s dogs—Charlie, a chocolate lab mix, and Sweet Pea, a Chihuahua mix—are both rescues. They inspired her to become a groomer and help other shelter dogs. Jennifer continues to work at her mentor’s shop and perfects her skills every day. Continue reading

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

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
January 2014

Sandy Nelson Alexander

Dog Obedience Program Student of the Month - Sandy Nelson Alexander

ABC student, Sandy Alexander of Worchester, Mass., has always had a passion for dogs. While she loves cats, too, she is allergic to them. Sandy worked for 20 years as a restaurant manager while raising her daughter. When her daughter has moved out and on her own, Sandy thought, “Now it’s ‘my’ time,” although she didn’t really know which direction she wanted to go. One day, Sandy saw an ad for Animal Behavior College on Facebook; curious, she clicked on it. After looking through the website, she made a phone call and signed up for the Dog Obedience Program. Continue reading