ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– July 2013
Jeff Damon, who started his animal career as a volunteer at shelters, is expanding his knowledge by completing ABC’s grooming program. Jeff lives and works in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. After completing the program’s written stages with honors, Jeff began his hands-on training with mentor Rita McTavish at The Beloved Dog Daycare and Grooming. Jeff is currently working on expanding his already-established dog training and grooming business.
- What services do you offer as a groomer?
I do not turn any animals away and even groom cats. In my shop, we offer all services from basic baths and blow outs to breed-specific cuts and styling. When I started my schooling with ABC, I knew I wanted to be as well-rounded as I possibly could. ABC gave me just the tools to do that. I apply everything I learned from ABC’s staff and mentors to my work everyday.
- What animal or person most inspired you to pursue a career in the animal industry?
The most inspirational woman I know in the animal field is Bonnie Graham of Cross Our Paws Rescue in North Vancouver, British Columbia. After spending just a few moments with Bonnie, you can see her love for animals goes all the way to her bones. She truly loves what she does and her love can be very contagious.
- When and how did you know you’d be a success in the pet industry?
I have always had a knack for working with animals. It comes so easy to me that I just felt I was destined to do it at a professional level. It wasn’t until I work with my ABC mentor Rita that I realized I really could be great at this. She also told me I had all the skills, patience and temperament to one day be a professional groomer.
- What was the biggest challenge you have faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
One of my most challenging tasks to overcome during a typical grooming day is working on “difficult” dogs. One of the hardest parts about aggressive clients is being able to predict their actions. With my mentor’s help and the knowledge I gained from ABC’s program, I can read dog’s body language much easier and counteract their behavior accordingly.
- Was grooming your first choice for a career?
I started my animal career off owning a small business and volunteering my time for less fortunate animals at local rescues. I have been helping shelter pets for at least the last 3 years. While donating my time at these shelters I discovered my true passion for all things dogs. I immediately enrolled myself in ABC’s grooming and training courses. I know the skills and knowledge I gain will help me succeed in my grooming and obedience training career.