Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Student Of The Month

May Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– May 2013

Laura Elizabeth Belford

Laura Elizabeth Belford - May 2013 Grooming Student of the Month - Canada

Laura Elizabeth Belford works full time, running her grooming business at Pet Valu in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. She works with each client one-on-one and offers basic pet grooming for all types of pets. Laura Elizabeth treats all her clients as if they were her own pets. Continue reading

May’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– May 2013

Kristin Del Bosco

Kristin Del Bosco - May 2013 Student of the month.

Kristin Del Bosco completed her externship in Oak Ridge, N.J., with ABC Mentor Groomer Sandra Fitzgerald at Clip Shoppe Groom & Board. While working with her mentor, Kristin performed every grooming task, from bathing and drying to clipping and scissoring. She was hired shortly after completing her externship and continues to expand her learning with her externship mentor.

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

Every animal I came across inspired me to pursue a career in the pet world. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew my journey was meant to be with animals, no matter what it might be. If you feel so passionately about something for so long, why not make a career out of it, right?

Although the book knowledge did prepare me, I gained most of my knowledge during the externship. Some types of skills I acquired include how to talk to clients, how to work with difficult dogs and how to really dry a dog. Even though all these tasks sound so simple, they really are some of the hardest skills to gain. In order to be successful every task counts, no matter how small.

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

My biggest challenge was getting comfortable with cutting hair off and how much exactly to cut. Most pet owners do not know exactly what they want so sometimes you need to dig it out of them and ask a lot of questions. I am still working on my cutting lengths. However, it is getting easier due to practice and realizing that you can fix your mistakes. Having a supportive team around me always makes the shop run smoother and each client always leaves happy.

  • What grooming technique do you hope to master during the next 12 months?

I would really enjoy working on different types of faces. This is a very technical part of grooming and takes years to perfect. There are so many different types of breeds and they continue to come up with more. I hope to really understand and demonstrate professional scissoring on any type of pet.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I will continue to work with my ABC Mentor at Clip Shoppe Groom & Board until I really feel like a professional groomer and can handle all types of dogs on my own. Once I feel I am ready, I hope to open my own. I will take all the knowledge I gained through ABC and their mentors and make my career out of it. I love everything about grooming and ABC really did provide me with the stepping stones to get there.

May Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month –  April 2013

Mary Baloga

Mary Baloga - Veterinary Assistant Program's May 2013 Student of the Month

Mary Baloga was raised and still resides in Rochester, N.Y. She is completing her veterinary assistance program externship at Veterinary Specialists & Animal Emergency Services. Mary is a dedicated student who has a strong passion for helping animals. It was not always this way: Mary first pursued an education theater, which was her first passion. After finishing school, when Mary had some down time, she found something rather exciting: Animal Planet. From shows such as “Dogs 101,” “Cats 101” and “Animal Cops Houston,” she discovered that not only was she extremely interested in the field of veterinary medicine but also in the wellbeing of animals. She also discovered it could be a possible career choice and joined Animal Behavior College’s Veterinary Assistance Program.

  • When and how did you know you’d be a successful veterinary assistant?

On my first day of my externship, there was a Doberman named “Bogey,” who was diagnosed with “bloat.” I took part in his treatment from start to finish. He was rushed into surgery and at that point I was surprised by not only how fascinated I was by the surgery itself but also that I understood—thanks to my studies—everything that was going on. The respiratory rate, blood pressure, monitoring of the anesthetic, it was crazy to me that I actually comprehended it. After the surgery, I sat with Bogey while he was recovering, petting and loving him. Sadly, in the end he did not wake up. The fact that I was able to handle this situation and seeing the care and concern that the staff showed for the patient and his owners just touched me, I knew I could do this and that I wanted to do this”.

  • What has been your most rewarding moment as a vet assistant?

The most rewarding moment for me was with a dachshund named “Niki” She was recovering from back surgery and  you could just tell that Niki was sad and depressed. When we brought her into the exam room to return her to her owners, I saw a totally different dog as she brightened up. Her owners told us that Niki was their child and just seeing them reunite after such a difficult recovery was so heartwarming and eye-opening.

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

The biggest challenge for me was trying to find the balance between working with small versus bigger animals and the feeling that I was going to hurt the former. One of the technicians, Lisa, guided me and helped me learn the proper way to help. She also assured me that less is more and pointed out the specific areas to focus the restraint on so has not to hurt the animal.

  • What knowledge and experiences have you gained as an ABC certified vet assistant?

I gained a lot of experience with individual treatments per animal; for example, I got to work with a large stray dog who was injured. Learning how to help an animal who doesn’t want to be helped and was terrified of people was a great learning experience. Seeing so many dachshunds come in for back surgery was also eye-opening. In addition, I gained a lot of respect for X-ray technicians. It really is a delicate art and it fascinates me how precise they are with their images, while also keeping the comfort of the animal in mind.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I am definitely going to pursue a job as a veterinary assistant, then possibly branch off into another animal-related position. For now, I would like to get settled into a private practice to become familiar with the doctor and staff. I would especially like to establish better one-on-one relationships with the regular clients and patients. This is something you do not get in an emergency facility since there are so many different people and pets in and out all the time.

May Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Obedience Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month

May 2013

Rene Dupuis Rene Dupis - May Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

Rene Dupuis lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It would be an understatement to say that he was into dogs. Prior to enrolling with ABC, Rene was working as a pet sitter and dog walker. He also worked at a kennel, and performed volunteer  dog walking for the Kingston Humane Society. Rene decided to become a dog trainer for two reasons: his love for animals and a dog he once owned that he never gave up on even though it had behavior issues.

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

I found ABC online while searching for schools. I decided to become a certified dog trainer because I wanted to learn the proper way to train a dog, which would give me more confidence in myself and my skills. Doing so also gives the customer more confidence in me and my abilities, knowing that I have actually studied and learned instead of just winging it.

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

Overall, I found the ABC Dog Training Program to be a very positive one. I learned a lot of new information and reinforced many things I already knew. The staff is friendly and very helpful.

  • How has your experience been since becoming an ABC Certified Dog Trainer?

As a certified trainer I am even more aware of dogs and their owners and how they interact with each other, and with other people and their dogs. If I see what might be considered a problem, I immediately start trying to figure out how to fix or correct it. I am also a little more critical of myself and my dog.

  • What are your future plans as a dog trainer?

Once I finish my education I would like to offer both group and private classes if possible, as well as work with shelter dogs. I would like to get into behavior work, too, specifically aggression-based problems. Since I live in Kingston, (Penn Town) I would also like to implement a Prison Puppy Program.

May – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
May 2013

Kelli Parker

Kelli Parker, May 2013 Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month

Kelli Parker lives in Fredericksburg, Va., with her two pit bulls, Krush and Sasha. She is currently putting a business together called “Bully Brigade and All.” Kelli also started “The Pretty Chic with the Pits,” which is an advocacy group for pit bull breeds. She is currently working part time as a dog trainer with her training mentor. Once Kelli has honed all of her training techniques she plans to train full time.

  • How did you hear about ABC the program?

While I was on the Internet, an advertisement appeared asking if I wanted to work with pit bulls? I called the number and spoke with SueAnn; after which I conducted researched and found Tonia Woods (who later became my mentor) to get her view of the program. After speaking with Tonia, my confidence in ABC grew. The curriculum kept me interested and taught me how to communicate with my dogs and dogs in general.

After adopting my second pit bull (Krush), I realized I wanted to work with dogs (primarily pit bulls). Due to the bad rap they have and after interacting—fostering, rescuing and, of course, adopting pit bulls—it was clear where my interests lay.

  • How long have you been training for?

I have been training for about 9 months. I retrained my pit bull and have worked with other dogs.

  • When did you know that you’d be a successful dog trainer?

I knew I’d a successful dog trainer after training a friend’s 2-year -old pit bull and a family dog named Double D, an unbalanced 2-year-old Akita who’s now a well-behaved, balanced and much-loved family pet.

April Dog Obedience Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Obedience Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month

April 2013

Shelly Korobanik

Shelly Korobanik is an achiever. After suffering a brain aneurysm in 2006, she bounced back and ran a marathon only four months later.  In September 2011, Shelly combined her love of fitness and dogs, and began her canine fitness business Pooch Partners® in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. In 2012, she decided to become an ABC certified trainer in order to offer more obedience training services to her clients. Shelly excelled in the ABC program, completing her book stages at a record pace and graduating with honors. Continue reading

April’s Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– April 2013

Shawntel Heidebrecht

Shawntel Heidebrecht - April Grooming Canadian Student of the Month 2013

Shawntel Heidebrecht, of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, currently works along side her ABC Mentor at the Kingston Mills Veterinary Hospital, where she grooms all types of dogs and cats. Shawntel also hones her skills at home by offering grooming and bathing services to her friends, neighbors and family’s pets. After completing her ABC schooling, she plans to open an in-home grooming business.

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

My dogs, of course; one in particular is my rescue puppy, Angel. She is the true love of my life ever since I first set my eyes on hers— but don’t tell my husband. Angel came into our family a little more than four years ago and she was in the worst possible condition. Being a puppy mill dog, she was pretty on the outside but sick on the inside. My favorite days were when she came home from the groomers; she would act 10 years younger for the whole week. I wanted to make her feel that way forever and make others feel the same way.

  • How long have you been grooming?

I have been grooming my own dogs for a little more than two years. Animals have always been a passion in my life, even before I considered making it a career. I have been working with my ABC Mentor for two or three months. I love every minute of it and the hours just seem to be flying by.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

I will never truly know until I have learned everything there is to know and more—and since grooming never stops changing, neither will my learning. How does one define success? If I make a dog look great and the owners smile from ear to ear, then I know I’ve done an awesome job. To me that is success; beginner or experienced, we can all be successes.

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

Although I love working in an animal hospital because I am exposed to so much, it is sometimes hard to see dogs in horrible conditions. This is very tough for me. I do get to groom several pets, and I hope I make each one feel at least a tiny bit better.

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

Working alongside vet techs has given me a lot more knowledge than I would have received if I was working at one of the larger chains. Not only am I learning the skills of my trade, I am getting to see what really goes on behind closed doors.

April’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– April 2013

Blake Hernandez

Blake Hernandez - April's grooming program student of the month

Blake Hernandez lives in San Francisco, where he works full time as head groomer at a local grooming shop. Blake has been grooming for about 2½ months since his externship. He offers many different services, including cat grooming. His future plans are to become a certified master groomer and open up his own shop, as well as become a breeder.

  • Was grooming your first choice for a career?

No, I originally wanted to be a gemologist and jeweler. However, every time the thought of working with animals came to mind, I always thought of grooming.

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

My dog Fiona; she is a fifth- generation AKC-registered lab. Her mama passed when she was only three weeks old, so I took her in and bottle and spoon fed her until she was old enough. Then that’s when the nail painting started, and I think it all snowballed from there.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

When people gush over how beautiful I make their dogs look.

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

His name was Cheetoh and he was a crazy 6-lb. mix breed that just needed a puppy cut, but was so squirmy and tiny I thought I was going to breakdown and cry. Thankfully, I was still in my externship and my mentor helped me through it.

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

President Obama, because he has a dog who gets national attention, and I want national attention as a groomer.

April Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month –  April 2013

Shayna Thiebold

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month –  April 2013

Shayna Thiebold lives in beautiful Orange County, Calif., and is the proud owner of a four-year-old American pit bull named Mia Amore and a four- year- old Puggle named Emily. Her passion for the American pit bull is what led her into the veterinary field. Shayna is an active advocate of the breed;  she is their voice and they are her reason. Continue reading

April – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
April 2013

Michael Ryan

April – Dog Obedience Instructor Program Student Of The Month – 2013 Michael Ryan

Hailing from Kirkwood, Mo, Mike Ryan is proud to call himself an ABC graduate. Having grown up with all sorts of creatures—from dogs to chickens and even a monkey—Mike entered the ABC program with an understanding and love of all animals. In particular, his 10-plus years breeding German shepherds gave him a special connection with dogs. Like many of our students, Mike spent most of his life in other careers, first in the military and then pouring concrete, until he made the decision to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a dog trainer. He found ABC online and doesn’t regret the decision to enroll. He really appreciated the staff’s desire to go above and beyond in explaining a concept or assisting him with any questions. Continue reading