July Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013


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

Jeff Damon

Jeff Damon - July Student of the Month

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.


  1. Shari Bangsund says

    Congratulations Jeff! I too have enrolled in both the grooming and training programs at ABC and volunteer at Animal AlIies. I currently work as an RN, but have had a passion for working with animals my whole life. I am in the middle of the book work for the grooming program, and am itching to get started with the hands-on. My question for you is, the above comment says you already had an established training and grooming business. Was that before your externship or after? I am a little confused as to the time-line of things. I have heard of others getting their own shop within a year of finishing the program, and can’t imagine being experienced enough to do that. Did you do the training first? My goal is to become experienced enough to eventually retire from nursing and have a little business of my own including training, daycare, etc.

    Thank you for any advice and tips on how to get the most out of my internship and volunteer experience at the shelter!


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