Meet Your Instructor
Terri has been the owner/ operator of Cross Cuts Pet Styling & Boarding Kennels since 2006, but has been active in the pet care industry since 1999. She has always prided herself on taking a “safety first” approach to pet care and has learned as much as possible regarding general pet care and safety over the years. Absorbing any animal health information she could from her mentors and peers in the industry and passing it on to her staff to better the health and lives of the pets in our homes and in our care.
She has carried her passion for education with her since childhood and without it may have never followed this career path (for more on this visit her bio under our meet the team link here). After years of hands on experience and taking several university level courses on animal care, behaviour, psychology, and welfare Terri had a firm foundation but still didn’t have the training to help in the event of a true blue emergency, so she began researching Pet First Aid training options. This lead her to originally take an online certification program that only took a few short hours and involved watching a series of pre-recorded videos, although this knowledge was helpful, Terri worried, “What if I am practicing these techniques incorrectly? How would I know? Who can give me constructive feedback? How can I be certain I have followed the instructor’s advice properly with no hands-on guidance?”
An active volunteer in the animal rescue community, Terri has a serendipitous meeting with the Founder/ Operations director of Walks N Wags at a volunteer event. Prior to this she was unaware that hands-on Pet First Aid training was even an option. When a class was being advertised in a local pet professionals group Terri and another staff member registered and traveled 3 hrs on a frigid February morning to take the 10 hr certification course and drove back that same day to report for work the next morning. They should have been exhausted, but instead were invigorated, armed with the tools and the hands-on skills necessary to help the pets in their care should the need ever arise!!
Almost instantly Terri wanted to share this wealth of knowledge with the rest of her teammates as well as the community in general. Wouldn’t every pets life be improved if ALL those who cared for pets knew the importance of injury prevention and the appropriate actions to take when accidents or medical emergencies arose? She wanted to become an instructor, but how? Did she meet the criteria? Was she cut out to teach? After a year of research and a lot of second guessing herself, she decided to go for it and at least submit an application (YOLO, right?). After a detailed application process which included an interview and reference checks, she was approved to take the instructors course, but her journey on this path did not end there, in fact, it had only just begun.
Her distance learning kit arrived only weeks after the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Running an essential business, home schooling her two children AND beginning a self led educational journey of her own, all while struggling with the same anxieties and fears as the rest of the world during these uncertain times. Had she made a mistake, bit off WAY more than she could chew? Only time would tell.
She completed her coursework and then had the daunting task of partnering with another, more experienced instructor to complete the final stage of her training, but still deep in the throws of the global pandemic, in person classes were not easy to organize, if they were an option at all. But perseverance is the theme of the year and Terri overcame the obstacles by thinking outside the box and organizing her own date and inviting an instructor to attend. This meant the first students to receive training from her were her own dedicated team, making the accomplishment all the more rewarding, knowing she could share it with those who truly knew the passion she had for pet care and the hard work and sacrifices that had went into this new career path.