Animal Behavior College Blog

Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Student Of The Month

1 2 3 11

January – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2015

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
January 2015

Kenneth Moss Jr.

Kenneth Moss Jr.

Ken Moss has spent his life serving his local community of Dayton, Ohio. In his chosen career field, he serves as a chaplain for prisons and community leadership boards. He was given the opportunity to work with an organization that provides opportunities for underprivileged individuals. He joined the Grooming Instruction Program with the hope of being able to provide job opportunities to those in his community who share his love for animals.

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

One of my co-workers owns multiple animal resorts in Florida and has helped us provide our clients with opportunities. He had worked with ABC in the past and thought your program would be a great opportunity for me and my clients. I researched it and saw how valuable it would be for me to become certified.

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

The biggest challenge has been learning how to work with cats. I have had to learn to work with each cat’s temperament and identify where he is uncomfortable.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

We had a pet owner bring in a blind Shih Tzu. It was matted with really bad fleas. It was so rewarding to be able to completely clean this dog and make that dog and its owner so much happier in the end.

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

The biggest thing I have learned is to adapt to each dog’s temperament. I thought it would be so much harder to cut each dog’s hair, but I have learned how to work with the dogs and see that it is not as hard as I thought it would be.

This program has been absolutely phenomenal. In my externship now, the mentor is so knowledgeable and helpful. I am learning so much.

January – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2015

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
January 2015

Seidie Martinez

Seidie Martinez

Seidie Martinez lives in Richmond, Texas, and was recently hired at the animal hospital where she completed her externship. Seidie has seven pets; she has four cats, a Chihuahua and two ferrets. Growing up, Seidie always knew she wanted a career in which she could improve the lives of animals. Originally, Seidie wanted to be an animal control officer. Later on, she realized that although she still wanted to help animals in need, she wanted to do so as a veterinary assistant.

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

We did a neuter on a cat. When the kitten woke up from the anesthesia, he was first lying on his side. When he tried to get up, he would clumsily go in circles, and then he would fall back down. He started to do circles again and again. It was the funniest and cutest thing I’ve ever seen a cat do.

I liked the program. It taught me a lot. When I did my externship, it showed me how to apply my skills hands-on. I also met new people and their awesome pets.

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

I want to keep working in the veterinary field. I also want to learn how to be a dog trainer, a groomer and also a radiologist.

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

I would love to be able to work with a panda. This is because they are so cute and I love their personalities. I would be the happiest girl in the world.

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

My biggest challenge was to hold down a dog that needed X-rays and he didn’t want to stay still. However, after some practice I got the hang of holding not only dogs, but also all animals [during] X-rays.

January 2015 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – January 2015

Nancy McAfee

Nancy McAfeeABC graduate Nancy McAfee has always been interested in dogs. She started with adopting retired sled dogs in her hometown of Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, which then introduced her to skijoring (a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse or a dog). Nancy quickly became hooked. When she got a puppy, Nancy enrolled in puppy classes and has been working toward becoming a trainer ever since. When she decided to get her dog trainer certification, Nancy wanted to do so for two reasons. First, she wanted to help people address or prevent problem behaviors in their dogs. Second, since Nancy plans to have a boarding kennel in the near future, she wanted to know more about handling dogs so they can have a more enjoyable experience. Nancy did some extensive research on different programs and enrolled with Animal Behavior College shortly thereafter.

  • Was dog training your first career choice? If not, what was it?

Originally, I went through school to be a secondary science teacher. I taught for a few years, and then took time off to be a stay-at-home mom, which is when I completed the ABC course.

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

Trying to change the way people think and act with their dogs was the biggest challenge for me. It takes time and patience, but most times, there’s eventually a “click.”

  • Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work? If yes, how/where?

I worked with a little Jack Russell Terrier for most of the time I was volunteering. He had been returned to the shelter multiple times for problem behaviors, but finally found his forever home with a man who owned a farm and had limited mobility. They were a great fit. Unfortunately, I live too far away from an animal shelter to continue volunteering on a regular basis, but I do hold an annual fundraiser in support of our local shelter.

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

With my boarding kennel, I plan to run group classes for obedience as well as basic agility skills. I would love to introduce people to skijoring and dog sledding. In addition, I would like to run fitness classes for humans and their dogs. Basically, my goal is to get people and their dogs active together. I’d love to get kids out as well. In this area, there are not a lot of extracurricular activities and I think spending time with your canine companion is a great one.

  • Which dog breed best describes you and why?

Probably a Border Collie, because I like to learn, teach others and be active.

December Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

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

Kimberly Hardy

Kimberly Hardy

Kimberly Hardy has worked very hard to be where she is. She has done extremely well in the Grooming Instruction Program. Kimberly also worked very hard in her externship at Divine Doggies located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is not only a student, but also a part-time groomer and a strong supporter of animal-rescue organizations.

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

I wanted to work with animals all my life. I was interested in going into the medical side of the animal industry so I took an animal science course. I volunteered at Pawsitive Match, a rescue organization in Calgary, which I found while looking for a reputable rescue to adopt a new furry family member from. At Pawsitive Match, I walk the dogs, give them flea medication and put in the microchips. With the microchipping, I realized how emotionally challenging the medical side of the animal industry could be. While doing the bathing and brushing at Pawsitive Match and seeing the dogs so happy to have attention and relief, I decided grooming would be a better match for me.

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

When I started grooming, I was really afraid of cutting and injuring a dog. The worst part was knowing how upset the clients would be that I hurt their babies. These animals we work with are so much more that just pets. They are family members. I would hate for the clients to be upset. I overcame this fear with a lot of practice and with the guidance and support of my mentors Charisma and Charlotte at Divine Doggies. With grooming, there is always a chance an animal could get hurt so you need to be confident in your abilities, listen to the advice and constructive criticism of those more experienced around you, and groom safely.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding thing was realizing that I’m the “tail person” at the shop. If anyone needs a tail done, I am the groomer they come to. Charlotte and Charisma told me I do the “prettiest tails” in the shop. I am not even sure what I do differently, but it looks good. Clients are noticing it now too.

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

I have learned that each and every salon and groomer you meet does things differently. For example, I used to work at a different salon before starting with ABC and that shop hand-dried dogs. At Divine Doggies, they kennel-dry them. The ABC curriculum discusses the pros and cons of both methods so it was really interesting to see and experience these differences in person.

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

I have started working as a part-time groomer at Divine Doggies. I also started my own business out of my home in my small town. I am excited to continue learning under my mentors. I eventually would like to be able to build my skills so I can successfully groom a Westie without any help.

December – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
December 2014

Deborah White

Deborah White

Deborah White currently lives in Joppatowne, Maryland, with her daughter, 10 cats and a dog. She works for Blue Buffalo Pet Food Company. In her spare time, Deborah does some pet sitting and dog walking.

  • What prompted you to become a veterinary assistant?

After too many years of sitting in an office, being very bored and feeling like I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do, I quit my job of almost 28 years and decided to do something that made me happy instead of doing what I was expected to do.

  • Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I was out on medical leave last year and had a lot of time to do some soul searching. A dear friend of mine I used to sing with asked me if I could do anything I wanted to and money was no object, what would I want to do? I thought about it and said I wasn’t exactly sure, but knew it would have something to do with animals because that is when I’m truly happy.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

Everyday that I walked into my externship location was rewarding because I had an opportunity to work with some of the most dedicated, caring and compassionate people I’ve ever met. One of the most rewarding aspects involves a little kitten I’ve been fostering. He came into the clinic at about 2- to 3-days-old. He was in pretty rough shape and the doctor wasn’t sure he’d make it. She took him home over the weekend and cared for him. Then, when she brought him back the following Monday and I cat-napped him, he’s been with me ever since. I’ve got him weaned and using the litter box and he will go to his new daddy in a couple of weeks. He’s a beautiful boy.

I saw an advertisement online and decided to give them a call. I wound up talking with Marla. She was delightful and very positive and encouraging.

  • What has your experience been like in the vet assistant program?

I’ve had a very positive experience. I like the flexibility of being able to study at my own convenience while doing all of the other necessary things in my life. All of the staff I’ve had contact with has been very helpful and encouraging.

  • What are your future career plans?

My goal is to move to Kanab, Utah, to work for Best Friends Animal Society. I am inspired by the work they do and they are part of the reason I decided to become a veterinary assistant. I know it’s a position that can be widely utilized in a rescue. I volunteer locally with a couple of rescue organizations and would love to pursue further that career path. I also see myself continuing my education with the goal of becoming an RVT.

December 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – December 2014

James Blanchard

James Blanchard

James and his four dogs: Hendrix, the big Lab mix; Khloe, the medium Pit Bull mix; Harlow, the small Terrier Shih Tzu mix; and Bambi, the Chihuahua.

Recent ABC Graduate James Blanchard of Green Valley, California, just started his own dog training company called Caring Canine Commands. He trains part-time on the weekends while still working full-time during the week. He found out about ABC’s Dog Obedience Program from the Internet and he also knows an ABC graduate. The program’s biggest draw for James was the flexibility of the distance-learning component, which allowed him to schedule it around his existing job. James doesn’t accept failure and said he will do everything he can to get the job done. If it involves extra training time, different training techniques or doggie day camp, he will make sure that clients are satisfied and the dogs succeed.

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

Since I am a quiet person and a bit introverted, talking in front of a group of people I don’t know was the hardest part. I overcame it by knowing my material and practicing what I would say ahead of time and just made myself do it. It got easier the more I did it.

  • What was your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding part was seeing the puppies obey their owners and enjoy it just as much as their owners were. I love helping people and their dogs succeed together.

  • Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan to continue your volunteer work?

I can’t describe just one story. It just makes me sad knowing how many dogs are out there that need a home. I will definitely continue to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society in Mission Hills, California, and the Brittany Foundation in Acton, California. I’m currently taking the ABC Grooming Program as well so I will volunteer at both places to help keep the dogs looking and acting as good as possible to get them a forever home.

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

I’ve had a very positive experience. The things I have learned have really helped me to train my own dogs during the program. Since I have graduated, I’m seeing a lot of clients succeed with ABC’s training methods. I love the fact that you can be positive and still get awesome results from the dogs you are training.

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

In the future, I want to work in all fields of dog training. I want to learn how to train therapy and search-and-rescue dogs. I also want to study dog behavior so I can help cure dogs of aggression, separation anxiety and PTSD. Basically, I want to be a dog guru.

November 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – November 2014

Claudia Brooks

Dog Obedience Program Student of the Month

Claudia Brooks knew a long time before enrolling at Animal Behavior College that she wanted to work with animals. She grew up in a household that raised all sorts of animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, birds, cattle and fish. Growing up in such a manner provided her with some unique experiences. Claudia helped her father maintain 35 tropical aquariums, in which they raised fish for the local shop. She raised countless kittens and puppies, and even helped birth a breached calf. While Claudia loves working with animals of all kinds, dogs are her favorite. As she explained, “They have been the best teachers I have ever had. They have taught me patience, kindness, forgiveness, perseverance, tolerance, how to handle stress, and unconditional love. Though I have had a number of jobs in my life, working with dogs is my passion.” Claudia’s passion for working with dogs eventually led her to enroll with Animal Behavior College where she graduated with honors and was hired by her Mentor Trainer, Kelly Legaretta of Healing Pawsabilities.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

There are several. Working with the shelter dogs at Gulf Coast Humane Society, and seeing them adopted is definitely near the top. Watching shy and fearful dogs become much more confident would be another. However, the most rewarding moments are when you see the relationship between the owner and her dog change from one of frustration to one of mutual respect.

  • Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work? If yes, how/where?

The one pet story that touched me the most would be Rosie. She was a purebred Rottweiler who came in with some other dogs, and was afraid of everyone. She was difficult to get close to and almost impossible to touch. One day when I got to the shelter, I went into her kennel, which was divided down the middle with partial concrete wall and cutout door. When I opened the door, she dashed to the other side and wouldn’t come out. It took me nearly 20 minutes of just sitting on the floor, tossing her treats and kibble, letting her get closer and closer, until she finally came up to me. She was still scared, but every time I went back I did the same thing and she gradually got better. I found out one of the other volunteers was also working with her and she was adopted in just a couple of months.

I plan to start back with my volunteer work at the shelter in January once I am no longer working at my current job. I found out recently that Gulf Coast Humane Society is building a new shelter very close to my house and I plan to volunteer again with them. At one of the GCHS fundraisers, I met two members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department who work at the Cell Dogs program, a joint program with their department and GCHS. I have been asked to work with the Cell Dog program starting in January and I can’t wait for that.

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

Once when I was taking classes with Kelly Legaretta, she had three ABC students doing their externship. I spoke with them and really liked what they told me about the program. Kelly was (and still is) a great mentor/teacher so I couldn’t have asked for a better program.

  • Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I am a cross between a Labrador and a Border Collie. I have the energy of a Border Collie but the temperament of a Lab.

November – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
November 2014

Jessica Boychuck

Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month

Jessica Boychuck lives in South River, New Jersey, and has three dogs, a cat and a fish. At first, she wanted to major in criminal justice. However, after rescuing a couple of stray kittens from the street, Jessica realized her true calling was to work with and help animals. Caring for the stray kittens is what helped her decide to enroll at Animal Behavior College.

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

The biggest challenge was when I was working in the treatment area. It was a normal morning, prepping up everything for the day, which included a mass removal surgery. The dog was a 9-year-old golden retriever-lab mix. When she came in, we saw that her mass was bigger than we thought. We had to bandage it because it was hitting the floor and it was bleeding a little bit. We gave her pre-surgery meds and put her in a big cage in a room to calm her down and for her to sleep. [A bit later,] we walked passed by the room to check on the dog and there was blood everywhere. We rushed her to the table, put her under anesthesia and cleaned up the mass (she had bitten the mass while she was in her cage). The dog kept waking up because she was holding her breath so the anesthesia wasn’t going through. They told me to squeeze the bag every 10 to 15 seconds while the tech was monitoring her vital signs. Finally, after half an hour later, she was breathing on her own. She pulled through the surgery and was good to go home. I overcame it by staying calm and listening to [the veterinarian and vet tech’s] directions.

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

A funny moment was when I was in boarding. When we take the dogs out for a walk to go to the bathroom, we take families out at the same time. There were these two dogs, one dog was doing its business and the other one came and peed on his head. When I saw that, I started to laugh and it made my day.

I heard about the ABC program on television.

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

I don’t have a favorite exotic animal. I would like to work with every type of animal.

November – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
November 2014

Amanda Loren

Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month

Amanda Loren, who lives in Clyde, New York, has always been an animal lover. At first, she wanted to be a veterinarian, but Amanda quickly learned she didn’t have the stomach for it. Instead, Amanda chose ABC’s Grooming Instruction Program to help her achieve her goal of working with animals. Amanda is currently working nights at Wal-Mart in order to pursue her animal career during the day.

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

My biggest challenge was scissoring around the face, especially the eyes, because I was so nervous that I would injure an animal. Practicing with my mentor helped me build the confidence I needed. I still practice often to help me overcome my fears.

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

My mentor loved to sing to and dance with the dogs as she was grooming them. I was able to learn a lot about reading the dogs. It was a lot of fun to watch her interact with the animals.

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

I Googled pet grooming schools and Animal Behavior College was the first one on the list. When I was browsing through the website, it seemed perfect. When I called, the woman I spoke with really helped me and convinced me to try the program.

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

My experience with ABC had been great. I was sent emails regularly to check [on my progress] and whenever I had questions, I knew that help was just a phone call or email away. I would definitely recommend the program.

  • If you could style a dog or cat after any celebrity, who would it be and why?

If I had to choose a famous person to style my cat after, I would say King Henry [VIII] because my cat is very fat and royal looking. That is actually where my cat, Henry, got his name from.

October – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
October 2014

Elizabeth Alonso

Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month is Elizabeth Alonso

Elizabeth Alonso, who lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, is a very motivated student who has dedicated herself completely to the program and her studies. Elizabeth did her externship at St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic and, shortly thereafter, she applied and got hired to work full-time at Murphy Road Animal Hospital. From there, Elizabeth plans to continue her education and become a Registered Veterinary Technician.

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

My husband, who is in the military, and I were moving from Georgia to Tennessee, and I decided it was time for a career change. I went from human medicine, working at a neurology clinic for almost 10 years, to a Patient Services Coordinator to veterinary medicine. My husband and I are huge animal lovers, and I’ve always said if there were circumstances where I could change careers, I would take it. Fortunately, I’ve had the support of my husband during this transition.

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

My biggest challenge was dealing with my emotions during a euthanasia process. Regardless, the veterinarians were all very supportive. They allowed me to show my emotions, which was actually very helpful for the owners during their last moments with their pets.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment was having my first parvovirus patient make a full recovery. She came in very sick and was hospitalized for about eight days. I had to hand-feed her for five of those days. I found out she was released the day after I completed my externship.

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

A humorous moment occurred when dealing with a very unhappy feline. She just did not want to go in the kennel for boarding. The technician I was assisting finally got her in the kennel and the feline gave her a nice love tap to let her know she was not happy. Luckily, no one was injured with her paw taps because she was de-clawed.

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

I found ABC by researching online for a Certified Veterinary Assistant program. I wanted the certification because my husband is in the military. We have a tendency to move around frequently. Since we will be moving to another state again at some point, I wanted a foundation to build on. This is a career I can take with me to any state I move to.

1 2 3 11