Student of the Month
Dog Groomer Chelsey Burke
Canadian student Chelsey Burke began our Dog Groomer Program almost one year ago. Chelsey’s goal was to take her doggie daycare business, A DogGone Day Pet Service in Toronto, to the next level by displaying her dog grooming certificate on the wall. Chelsey worked tirelessly to complete her course work and externship all while expanding and moving her doggie daycare to a new facility. She has completed her externship and is professionally grooming not only at her own shop, now called DogGone Day Spaw, but also at the shop where she completed her externship.
What prompted you to become a dog groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?
My [daycare] clients are the main catalyst in my transition into grooming. After watching my clients struggle to find all-around care for their dogs, I wanted to be that someone who cares and delivers a safe, positive all-around service.
What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I faced during my externship was my constant need to be perfect. I was very hard on myself and judged my abilities against that of my teacher. This counterproductive attitude led me to feel a bit overwhelmed and less motivated to work on improving myself.
After my teacher and I sat down and discussed my work, she told me this is an art–a creative process that takes time. She made me understand that my skill level would increase over time, but that I had to remain steadfast and committed to it. Since that conversation, I have been able to take the good and bad days with a positive outlook and even when I get frustrated with my skill level, I can look back and truly see my progress.
What was your most rewarding moment during your externship?
The most rewarding moment in my externship was when the doctor at the vet clinic I was working with asked me—in front of my externship teacher—if I would take a job with them while my teacher was on maternity leave. It was an amazing feeling to have support from people who watched me from start to finish of my externship.
What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?
Over the next year, I would like to fine-tune my ability to groom in an appropriate amount of time and my head pouf. You know the one I mean–a Bichon or Poodle poofy head. I would like to master this portion of scissor work, as I find the perfection of a perfectly rounded head quite beautiful and difficult.
If you could style a dog or cat after any celebrity, who would it be and why?
If I had to choose a celebrity to style an animal after, it would be any of the cast of Jurassic Park and by that I mean the dinos. I would love to have a parade of dinosaur cats.