ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– November 2013
Animal Behavior College’s grooming student, Margaret Fox, lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Margaret began grooming when she started Animal Behavior College’s grooming course in February of 2013. Her love for grooming grows every day. She is currently enjoying her externship at Pet Planet Ranch Market, located in Strathmore, Alberta.
- Was grooming your first choice for career?
Grooming was my first choice for a hobby after retirement, although not my first choice for career. I worked for the Bank of Montreal for many years and retired in December 2012. I am still too young to fully retire and I wanted to do something I really enjoyed. I wanted to find something that I would get up and look forward to everyday, and I have found that with grooming.
- What animal or person most inspired you to pursue a career in the animal industry?
I have been unable to have pets most of my life due to allergies. I was always sad that I was unable to have a furry friend who loved me no matter what and who I could share my secrets with. In 2009, I got my first dog, a West Highland Terrier. He has an amazing personality. It was then I realized how badly I wanted to work with animals; how big of a part animals play in our lives. I now have another dog and buddy for my Westie, a miniature chocolate Labradoodle.
- When and how did you know you’d be a success in the pet industry?
I think I realized I would be a success in the pet industry after I had the pleasure of grooming a variety of friends and families dogs. My clientele started building quickly after my hairdresser and the vet clinic I take my dogs to began recommending me to their friends, families and clients. That was so nice and generous of them to believe in me and trust in my skills to recommend me, so I decided it was about time for me to believe in myself.
- What knowledge and experiences have you gained from becoming an ABC certified pet grooming?
I am overwhelmed by the amount I have learned since I began this course. One of the most important things I learned in this program is in regards to dog behavior. I have learned how to handle dogs on a day-to-day basis, not just how to handle them in a grooming salon. My externship at Pet Planet Ranch Market has been invaluable. Just a few of the things that come to mind are learning how to remove mats, pluck and clean ears and how to properly handle dogs so neither they nor I are hurt.
- What was the biggest challenge you have faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
I have not yet overcome. my biggest challenge. I still struggle with nail trimming, especially when working with black nails. Although it is simple task, it makes me nervous. My mentor is very patient and gives me pointers each time. She also has me trim nails as much as possible so I can get more experience. She told me it will come naturally in time, so that does make me feel much better. I am getting more comfortable with nail trimming each day.
- What are your plans for the future?
I plan on enjoying my retirement and my hobby of grooming in a way that also supplements my income. I have already started building my clientele of neighbors and friends. I love that I can spend my free time with a hobby I really enjoy while also getting paid for it.