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Alana Rowland-Contreras

This Rising Star's Positive Attitude, Skill, and Perseverance Get Results

Meet Rising Star and Pet Groomer Grad Alana Rowland-Contreras of Petsense in La Grande, Oregon! Alana’s enthusiasm for grooming is matched only by her perseverance. We’ve been continually impressed with her work, and even more impressed with how quickly and effectively she applies feedback from her coach on her next groom. That’s key in the grooming world, and we have no doubt she’ll be very successful.

Her mentor Lauren Najjar reinforces this point, telling us, “I am proud of the progress this student has shown, not only in her prep skills but her openness to critiques and the ability to apply notes and proper skills from the resources she is given. She always has a positive attitude and is very excited about doing well in this industry!”

Why did you choose dog grooming as a career?

Ever since I was little, I had wanted to become a veterinarian. I love animals and have a knack for calming down and earning the trust of even the most challenging animal. I had a job at a vet clinic as a kennel attendant and was going to schooling to become a veterinary assistant.

The need for better-paying work led me to Petsense at the suggestion of a fellow kennel attendant. Knowing full well the dangers and stress that came with the grooming job, I began my journey to become one. It is one of the best decisions I have made, as this is the most rewarding job for me. Sure, there are days (and dogs) that make me feel stressed out and wonder if it is the right job for me, but the fact that having this job actually helps my anxiety and depression really make me keep going. The pups make it worthwhile, and the owners are so sweet that it makes it even easier. I find myself able to contain my anxiety during grooms, which feels healing and refreshing to me. I truly believe I found my future in grooming.

What did you enjoy most during your coursework?

I enjoyed meeting all the new pups and just seeing the different types of personalities they all have. I have made favorites that are excited to see me and it just feels wonderful.

Where can we see your work?

You can see my work at Petsense in La Grande, Oregon.

Any advice for aspiring groomers?

Do not give up, and breathe. Grooming is rewarding work but can be exhausting. At the end of the day, look back on how wonderful you made those pups feel. Think about how that dog came in with a compacted undercoat and caked in mud and burrs and left looking (AND SMELLING) magazine worthy. You can do it!

About Alana Rowland-Contreras

Alana Rowland-Contreras graduated Paragon's Distance Learning Program in 2023. See her work at Petsense!
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