Once I arrived back in England from travelling America in 2013, I pondered, “What job would I love to do the most?” With having a passion for working with animals and growing up with dogs, cats, chickens, hamsters, rabbits…I could go on, I thought, “I want to work with dogs”. I scanned job search websites and came across the most ideal start up position for me, ‘Junior Dog Washer’. I could not believe my luck when I was offered the job on the spot.
I bathed dogs and began learning the basics of dog grooming within the year.
The end of 2014 drew near and I craved a change of scenery, so I packed a case and headed to Australia where I ran a busy salon with an amazing Dog Groomer whom taught me so much and even gave me the confidence to run the salon alone on the days she was not working. I received wonderful feedback.
Several months later, I felt it was time for me to move on to a more independent role.
Again, I landed a position at a very popular Pet store chain with a highly reputable dog grooming salon. I was the head dog groomer and the only dog groomer in the salon. The response from my new customers was overwhelming and I even made a few friends for life working at this particular salon.
The time came for me to flourish to an even bigger challenge. I scored big with my next role and even took a few customers with me who travelled across the busy city of Melbourne just so I would be the one to groom their dogs.
My new role was head dog groomer and dog grooming trainer/teacher. That’s right, I was now in my absolute element; teaching students with no experience to learn the basics and passing them once I felt they were confident to groom. Included in this role was to train the in house dog bather to groom, not only the basics but breed clips, health and safety and even from my own experiences that weren’t in the syllabus provided by the salon.
I worked in this role for 2 and a half years, specialising in small breeds, breed clips, unpredictable and elderly dogs. This was until I decided to take my talent to the road, well, kind of. I was a mobile dog groomer. This enabled me to get to know the dogs in their own environment, wether they were nervous with all the sounds a salon made and I really got to know the owners. I have very strong relationships with these customers who I now call life long friends who trusted me to care for their dogs for days at a time or even just to take them for a walk.
Us, The Jeffreys
Over the last 5 years we have lived in Australia. From feeding the cockatoos at our apartment in Sydney to looking after farm dogs in Queensland, we always made the effort to support our local animal sanctuaries wherever we were.
Melbourne, Australia played an enormous part of our lives, and in many ways was a catalyst for our love for animals and the conservation of them. We made lifelong friendships with people and pooch alike.
A short break in a log cabin helping with an elderly customer and her 4 dogs is a particularly fond memory our ours.
Many days spent walking and caring for dogs in Melbourne sparked our enthusiasm to make a permanent living from such a rewarding pastime.
When the time came for us to leave Melbourne to plan starting a family back in England and being closer to our own family network, we decided to get married in Bali and travel South East Asia for the rest of 2019.
We booked to volunteer and stay at an ethical elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We were blown away by the exceptional care the elephants were given.
The elephants at the sanctuary were rescued from tourist trekking, circuses, logging and other terrible abuse they endured. This was a harrowing but rewarding experience, and certainly one we will never forget.
Also in the elephant sanctuary was a dog rescue centre for injured and permanently disabled dogs who had constant care and several live in vets. Healthy dogs would freely roam the enormous land, wagging tails and would happily approach the many humans confidently for pats and belly rubs. We lost count of how many dogs and also cats there were. They were all receiving such wonderful love and care from the volunteers.
We highly recommend staying at the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It suits the whole family and teaches you more than you would imagine.