Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Student Of The Month

July – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
July 2014

Kerri Denhalter

Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month Kerri Denhalter July 2014

Kerri Denhalter lives in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where she originally heard about Animal Behavior College while watching an episode of “Animal Cops” on Animal Planet. Although Kerri’s first dream was to become a marine biologist, she had a strong interest in nursing and nutrition as well, and figured that becoming a veterinary assistant would combine all of her career choices into one. Kerri decided to pursue this rewarding career and now works as a veterinary assistant at a Best Friends Animal Hospital. She was hired on as an employee after completing her volunteer externship hours there.

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

For the last 15 years, I focused on being a military spouse and raising my two boys within the challenges of military life. Stepping back into the work field was a bit intimidating and a little scary; it was the hardest part to overcome. I overcame it by retelling myself all the many tips I shared with my boys over the years, such as “Be brave, you can do this” or “Just be yourself, be honest and work hard and it will all fall into place.” I guess I started to take some of my own advice. I was also able to overcome my challenges due to my family’s support; they have cheered me on since the beginning.

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

There have been quite a few at my work and during my externship; however, one that sticks out is when I had a small mix breed canine on the exam table and I was taking his temperature. I had to do quite a bit of sweet talking to this little guy because he was very scared and unsure of being at the hospital. But I finally gained his trust and took his temperature and finished up his vitals. I was feeling quite confident and proud that I was able to handle this tricky little dog. But as I went back into my scrub pocket to pull out my pen, there it was a little poop on it. He had gone a little after taking his temperature but I didn’t realize some of it had ended up in my pocket. It was all pretty funny, since now that the exam was all said and done, the little tricky dog did get his way with me, just in a different style.

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

My experience has been a wonderful one. I was a bit unsure at first since it was all through the computer and online for most of it. I had worried what would I do if I needed help or was confused, but after working with the program manager and my externship coordinator they put all my worries to ease. I did have questions or needed clarifications on a few things but they were always so quick, patient and clear with all their responses. It made me feel very comfortable while I went through my learning.

What are your future career plans?

I have thought of continuing my career path and possibly going to school to become a licensed veterinary technician. But for right now, I am happy learning in my current job as a veterinary assistant, which will only help me that much more in working hard toward becoming a veterinary technician.

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

I am not sure if whales would be considered exotic, but they have always had a special interest and love in my heart. I think they are some of the most majestic and beautiful animals still today.

July 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

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

Michelle Euteneier

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month July 2014 Michelle Euteneier

Michelle Euteneier did not always plan on becoming a dog trainer. Before enrolling at Animal Behavior College, she completed 2 years in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. During that time, she also began working at her local PetSmart in Regina. After about a year of working there, Michelle’s supervisor approached her about becoming a dog trainer. Soon after, Michelle began researching different schools. She made a call to ABC, spoke to one of the Admissions Counselors, and decided to enroll. Michelle said she knew that this was the right career path for her. She recently started her externship, where she will mentor under an experienced trainer in Regina. She is on track for graduating with honors from ABC, and would eventually like to open her own training facility.

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

I just started my externship, but as a trainer at PetSmart, I think the biggest challenge for me is having owners not committing 100 percent to the training.

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

My whole experience so far has been extremely positive. Everyone I’ve talked to is so helpful, and they all want to see you succeed in the program.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment as a trainer so far has been seeing dogs come so far in the time I’ve worked with them, and seeing how proud the owners are of their dogs.

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

My goal is to open my own dog training business. Ideally, I would love to work in all different areas of training, but my interest is with aggressive dogs and therapy dogs.

Which dog breed best describes you and why?

I believe that each dog has his/her own personality traits that could be used to describe him or her; so I don’t think there is a specific breed that would best describe me.

June – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
June 2014

Victoria Boone

Veterinary Assistant Student Of The Month Victoria Boone – June 2014

Victoria Boone (“Tori”) lives in Lawrenceville, Ga., and works full time at Tiger Tails Animal Hospital in Duluth, Ga. For the past 16 years, she has worked in the newspaper industry as a copy editor and features writer. In 2009, Tori began volunteering at the Georgia SPCA to give back to the community and, as a life-long dog lover, she devoted a lot of her time there. She was at the SPCA so often that she was offered a part-time position on the kennel staff. Tori loved helping animals but after about 6 months she wanted to do more.

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

I came across Animal Behavior College on the Internet. I liked how ABC worked (and is flexible) with students like me who are older and working full-time but want to go back to school. I also liked the lower cost of the ABC program compared to other schools. I didn’t want to go into a lot of debt going back to school in my 30s.

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

My experience in the ABC veterinary assistant program was a very good one. I learned a lot about myself personally and professionally. I learned what I could handle well and what sort of things I needed to work on once I got into my externship. My externship coordinator Samantha and my program manager Penny were both very kind and helpful to me when I had concerns or questions about my externship or my tests.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment was when a client came in the hospital to pick up her dog’s collar two days after I assisted with the euthanasia of her dog, Sierra, who had cancer. When she came in she looked at me and said, “Thank you for being so nice and thoughtful during such a difficult time for me and my family.” It made me feel like I really helped this lady with the loss of her family pet.

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

The skill I want to master is feeling completely comfortable and confident drawing blood from an animal; it’s been one of the most challenging things for me to master. I also want to master restraining smaller dogs because I’ve found that smaller dogs are harder to restrain than larger dogs because the smaller ones are very squirmy.

What are your future career plans?

My future career plans are just to continue learning from Tiger Tails to become the best veterinary assistant I can be. If I feel like time and money allow it, I may consider going back to school to become a registered vet technician.

June – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
June 2014

Rina Causey

Grooming Student Of The Month Rina Causey

Born in Okinawa, Japan, Rina Causey moved to Yakima, Wash., a little more than a year ago when her husband, who is serving in the military, was transferred back to the U.S. She is completing her externship at Debbie’s Pet Grooming in Zillah, Wash. The salon’s owner, Debbie, frequently sends ABC praise and pictures of Rina’s latest groom success. She is very impressed with Rina’s progress and potential as a professional pet groomer.

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

In Japan, I worked as a hair removal technician and I am also a certified massage therapist.

What animal or person most inspired you to pursue a career in the animal industry?

My husband and my miniature poodle, Marty, inspired me to pursue a career in the pet grooming industry. After I moved to Yakima, I couldn’t decide which grooming salon to take Marty to—and he needed to be trimmed badly. I researched online how to trim a dog’s hair and I decided to give it a try myself. The end result was not pretty and not what I wanted my dog to look like. I wanted to improve my skills. Around that time, my husband told me about Animal Behavior College’s grooming school commercial he saw on TV. So I went to its website and received information about the program. I really liked the hands-on training portion of the program and the ability to have online study, since I had just had a baby.

What knowledge and experiences have you gained from becoming an ABC certified pet groomer?

I have learned a lot of things through both my written stages and externship. I learned about dog’s and cat’s anatomy. I liked this part because you learn how the body moves and functions, so when you move the dogs or cats during grooming, it doesn’t hurt them and is more comfortable. I enjoyed the stage about getting familiar with your grooming tools and how to maintain them. It helped me feel more prepared for my externship. I also enjoyed Stage 9 about Business Building. There was a lot of helpful and applicable information in that section.

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

I am really enjoying my externship and learning from my mentor Debbie. I am only about halfway through my hours so far. I am working very hard to learn to groom smoothly and efficiently. As a groomer, you want to make sure you can do a certain number of dogs in a certain time, otherwise you will not make a good living. I am working on picking up my speed without compromising the quality of my work. I pay close attention to my mentor and how she moves around the dogs when grooming and how long she takes at each task. I’ve been paying close attention to the clock, as well, so I know how long I should take for each task.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to gain more experience at Debbie’s Pet Grooming. I hope to master scissoring techniques in the next 12 months. I think mastering your scissoring techniques is critical for producing breed standard trims. I hope to open my own grooming salon in the next 10 years. I can really see myself in the future being happy with my career choices and enjoying owning my own shop.

June Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

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

Jade Gibbons

Student Jade Gibbons and her puppy KaliJade Gibbons is one of Animal Behavior College’s star students. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and is employed and completing her externship at A Dirty Dog Spa, which is also in Edmonton. Before enrolling with Animal Behavior College, Jade was already involved in the pet grooming industry. She has worked at four different shops and shadowed various groomers as a bather and grooming assistant. Jade took ABC’s pet grooming program in order to strengthen her background and skills, as well as boost her knowledge, ability and creativity as a groomer.

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 animals and knew I wanted to pursue something in that field. My very first job when I was 14 years old was at a boarding kennel with a groom shop; I worked as a bather. It was challenging work, but I loved it. From that point on, I knew I wanted to work with animals. At first I wanted to become a veterinary technician, but then found out that groomers make a better living. It sounded like more fun, too, since sometimes you can be creative with your grooms.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moments are the client’s reactions to how wonderful their babies look when they come to pick them up from a day at the spa. The dogs’ tails are wagging and they are yipping and jumping and everyone is smiling. It feels really good to see how happy pet owners are with how their dog looks. It feels awesome to see how much they like the style and appreciate my hard work.

Have you started working professionally as a groomer yet?

Jades dogs Kali and ThorYes, I am working professionally in a grooming salon. I work full-time at A Dirty Dog Spa, the same place where I did my externship. I work as a bather two days a week and the other three days I get to work as a groomer, which is my favorite. My mentor, Margaret, is a national certifier for Edmonton, so we get to do a lot of fun show cuts and, of course, pet cuts as well. I even had the opportunity to help my mentor get her dogs ready for show. I am having a lot of fun.

What are your future career plans?

My plan is to work at a groom shop for at least 3 years straight to gain more experience. I eventually would like build my clientele and experience, and then open my own shop out of my house. Before doing any of that though, I need to get more comfortable with handling my scissors and mastering how to complete faces and double-coated short bath and tidies.

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

I think it would be really fun to style a Standard Poodle after Elvis Presley. He is a legend and had such classic, yet dramatic style. I have seen it done before and it looks so creative and fun. It would be fun to try to create the personality and style in a dog.

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

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

Manny Guerra, ABCDT

Manny Guerra Dog Training Student Of The Month

Manny Guerra, a recent graduate of ABC’s Dog Obedience Program, resides in Palm Springs, Calif., and works at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. He was inspired to become a certified dog trainer because of his job at the shelter. While there, Manny gained the basic knowledge of socializing and handling but craved more, and that’s why he started at ABC. He has already started training professionally part-time conducting private lessons and assisting with another company’s basic obedience classes. Manny’s ultimate goal is offer classes through his own business. He approaches training with positive energy and intentions, and said that doing so will result in great responses and lead to his success.

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

My biggest challenge was remembering that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I am a perfectionist and am always trying to reach new heights. We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is what we choose to do after that makes the biggest difference. I was able to overcome this feeling by being consistent and persistent in achieving my goals.

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

Dog training was not originally my first career choice but rather an addition to my overall vision. All the other professions I take part in help to reinforce my success as a dog trainer. I am so happy I found dog training because I could not be more passionate about helping dogs. I suppose I am attracted to it because I am already a teacher. Dog training has since helped me with my own dogs as well. My goal is to set up a perfect world for myself where I spend my time inspiring children and dogs to be the best that they can be.

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

I learned about the ABC program through another trainer who was doing work at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. She suggested I start there because it would give me an excellent foundation to build from. Since I was already searching for something to further my knowledge, it did not take any convincing at all and I jumped at the opportunity to sign up.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog?

My plans are to spend as much time as possible surrounding myself with dogs and training them. I will build a successful business while I’m at it. I would love to work with all types of dogs but I do have a soft spot for scared and nervous dogs, so there will be some focus in that area.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment during my externship was definitely having the opportunity to meet wonderful trainers who have inspired me to do great things. I am blessed to have had the chance to work so closely with these professionals. I was given amazing feedback that fueled my drive even further.

June 2014 Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month

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

Laura Rosati

Dog Training Program Student of the Month Laura RosatiSoon to be Animal Behavior Graduate Laura Rosati lives in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada. She decided to become a Certified Dog Trainer for the additional experience and knowledge it will provide for her dog training career. Laura discovered ABC through a Google search. For the past year, she has been training part time at a Petsmart in St. Catherine’s and will become a full time trainer at a Niagara Falls Petsmart location in June. Laura is ecstatic that she will be the Head Trainer and also to have the opportunity to help pet parents, their dogs, puppies and rescues.

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

After graduating Brock University, I decided to take a year off of school and give back to the community. Part of that was volunteering at my local humane society. While there, I fell in love with one of the dogs who had been there for almost a year. I wanted to help her really, really badly. Her name was Maya and it felt like almost everybody had given up hope on her. She was a hyper, rambunctious crazy girl. It seemed as though she was hard-pressed to find anybody who she could genuinely connect with on a positive level. However, it seemed like I had made an impression on her, so I made the decision to go to all of those with authority at the Humane Society to get approval to work with Maya. I had no previous training other than experience with other humane society dogs. They let me work with Maya, so I was allowed to take her off compound and try to socialize her to regular everyday life occurrences. Maya and I connected on a very social and positive level. I firmly believe that our month together played a big role in her rehabilitation, so much so that someone came into the humane society, fell in love with her, adopted her, and now she has her forever home. Maya was my push to make rehabilitation and dog obedience my career goal.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
I have no major complaints about my externship in terms of difficulties to overcome.

My trainer, Jessica Adams, was an excellent source of information and helped me through everything along the way. My externship felt like smooth sailing. The material was fun to learn and teaching was always a blast. My dog Kramer loved every moment of it as well.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My top rewarding moment was when Kramer completed a series of commands without any preparation. Jessica Adams asked us to demonstrate before for the rest of the class a series of commands in the chain formation that we have never done. I had to ask Kramer to sit and wait on one end of an aisle, walk to the other end of the aisle, call him to me and without touching his leash, get him to go beside me and heel in multiple different directions. Still, without touching his leash, ask him to sit and go to his bed on the floor a little ways away from me. Kramer completed everything perfectly. This really was a testament, not only to how hard we have trained, but also to the bond Kramer and I have built since adopting him last summer from Guelph Humane Society.

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

Nothing but positive; the course work has added to my knowledge while working with customers at Petsmart. I literally hear people saying, “Wow. You really know your stuff.” Once I was called an encyclopedia. Plus, clients whose dogs I train feel more comfortable with me because I can provide them with sound information.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog?

Laura Rosati Dog Trainer collageMy long-term goal is to be a very versatile pet trainer, with knowledge in all regards. However, if there is one thing my rescue dog Kramer, and all other dogs I have built strong bonds with have taught me, it’s that I have a natural gift with hyperactive, eager, looking-to-please-and-learn types of dogs. Those dogs you look at and think “Wow, they have so much energy I could never handle that,” those are the dogs I gravitate most toward. My experience is that these types of dogs can go one of two directions: they either become a dog who falls into the hands of someone who can teach them all the right commands and behaviors; or one who falls into incapable hands, learns incorrect behaviors and winds up in a humane society to be euthanized.

I see so much potential in these dogs that I want to give them the opportunity to become the best they can be in the right hands. And this is why, along with basic, intermediate obedience and obedience, I want to offer courses that provide outlets for these dogs, such as agility and trick training that can be used in everyday life. My main focus will always be to strengthen the communication between dog and pet parent so both parties can have their needs understood and met.

April – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
April 2014

Jennifer Bergey

A born and bred Pennsylvanian, Jennifer Bergey grew up in Radnor and currently lives in Pottstown—seven years and counting. She is the proud mother of two adorable dogs: a Boxer named Birch and a Cockapoo named Noel. She also has a cat named Bell and a tortoise named Jim. Continue reading

April Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

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

Yalitza Torres

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. Continue reading

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

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

Dean Griffin

Dean Griffin has had many different jobs in his lifetime. He started out doing telecommunications right out of high school, then worked as a limousine chauffer for 17 years, where his clients included Madonna, Metallica, Billy Squire, Bette Midler, Donald Trump and Barbara Streisand, just to name a few. From there, Dean went on to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a truck driver; a career with long hours and lots of hard work, but one he loved nonetheless. Unfortunately, after being seriously injured on the job, Dean had to give up his truck driving career and is now self-employed as a remote-control technician, repairing and building remote control cars, trucks, boats and planes. Dog training had never really crossed Dean’s mind until he met his wife, who owned two pit bulls and fostered dogs for numerous rescues. Dean was inspired to pursue dog training as a career by his “stubborn, bratty and unruly” pit bull. He wanted to prove to himself—and everyone else—what hard work, dedication and positive-training methods could do. Dean is now in the final stage of the Dog Obedience Instructor Program, and has already been asked by his externship Mentor Trainer to stay on board with the San Francisco SPCA’s Pit Crew. Continue reading