Hi there, I'm Katlin!
VOA VTA CSP CAPG
I started in vet clinics back in 2007 working in the boarding department. After some time the vet allowed me to assist with restraint of some of the sicker animals, and I learned to give medications and eventually I decided I wanted to stay in vet clinics. I returned to school and aquired my VOA / VTA (veterinary office assistant and veterinary technical assistant) certificates from Bow Valley college, graduating with honors. I settled into a new emergency clinic and decided very quickly that it was not for me. I moved along to an exotics clinic which was an amazing experience. But you're probably wondering where the grooming comes in!
Well I was at work at the clinic one day when I lady with a cocker spaniel came in, the owner wanted clean shaven feet but her groomer was out of down. Luck was with me and the vet asked me to do the task. I had those feet looking like competition poodle feet, she wanted bald and they were BALD! The owner was thrilled, the dog was happy, and I wondered...is there something more to this grooming thing? It was fun, but I was very slow. But that night I got home and looked at grooming jobs.
It didn't take long for me to find a grooming salon where I was taught to groom by a local Labrador breeder and professional groomer. That entire salon came together to make sure I was learning how to properly handle with less restraint. I was thrilled that not every dog had to be flipped on his side and muzzled to get it's nails done. I had found my calling!
I left that salon due to lack of business, and found another salon where another groomer taught me how to finish my scissoring after using clipper combs on longer coats. It was nice there but the drive was nearing 2 hours every day. I found another salon closer to home and around that time decided to try learning more and getting certified. I approached International Professional Groomers (IPG) and quickly finished my first 4 exams and 2 practicals. I moved up to advance where I also quickly finished those 3 exams and 2 practicals. ALL my grades were over 90%!
I had my big Tamaskan Wylie entered in rally obedience, and we had a blast earning not one but THREE titles in rally (10 qualifying runs) as well as a leg of chase ability. Wylie is my sport dog and my winter friend. He's taught me so much about keeping a doubled coated dog in good shape with little shedding.
My confidence grew but I wanted more information. I'd seen my friend showing her aussie, then smooth dachshund and I wanted to try too! I approached Wagswell kennel who graciously offered me a miniature wirehaired dachshund to foster, show, and compete with on my own. Crystal-weenie as she's fondly known around our place! Crystal has allowed me to enter and fall in love with showing, she's also been excellent practice for handstripping. We've won so many prizes and ribbons, but my favourite thing is having a judge tell me her coat looks amazing and having that little dog stare up at me with her tail wagging.
I do not believe in using force, I always work with the dog and ASK them to do something. I understand the difference between fear and being a little spoiled and I absolutely love grooming more difficult dogs.