ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
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.