Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Instructor Profile: Ellis van Schuur of "Pet First Aid with Ellis" in Calgary, Alberta
"My name is Ellis van Schuur. I currently live just outside Calgary with 4 large dogs and 3 horses. I grew up in the Netherlands and moved to Canada 12 years ago. After moving here, I became addicted to watching "Pound Patrol" and "Animal Cops" on Animal Planet and decided I was going to become and Animal Cruelty Investigator.
After my 2 years in College and with experience in the Animal Control field, I was hired as a seasonal Animal Control Officer and later as a Bylaw Enforcement Officer in Grande Prairie. Although it wasn't exactly the field I had planned on getting into, I dealt with several animals whom I may have been able to provide with pet first aid, if I had had the knowledge.
Throughout our years in Canada my family also owned and lost several dogs, all due to unnatural causes such as: Distemper, Parvo virus, a serious motor vehicle collision, choking to death and high fever combined with old age. One of my own dogs also nearly lost his life thanks to a foreign blockage in his stomach. With each of these experiences I wished so hard for a program that would allow me to save the next one, should there ever be another one, and to have the knowledge and skills to be able to do something that may actually make a difference. However, I had never heard of such a program and was never able to find one.
My employer sent me off for some courses and one of them was the Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid course. I was psyched to finally have a good program to give me what I wanted and what felt I needed. When a year later I had the opportunity to become a Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid instructor I grabbed my chance. I wanted to teach others these amazing skills and knowledge and share my experiences so that people taking the course would never have to feel as helpless as I did watching out beloved pets die in front of our eyes knowing there was nothing we could do because we didn't have that knowledge nor those skills.
I love teaching the program because I know that every student of mine CHOOSES to be there and wants to learn everything I can teach them. It's the most wonderful experience knowing people care so much about their own animals, and those in their care that they seek out courses such as ours. Plus, having dogs to help me teach, learn and play with make the days lots of fun!
However, the utmost gratifying for me is to hear students' experiences after having taken the course where they had to utilize their new knowledge and skills. And to hear that thanks to that new knowledge and those skills they were able to help or treat the animal who got another chance at life, because without those students having taken the course, they wouldn't have known what to do."
Ellis has been teaching our program since 2011. There are so many amazing adjectives to describe her! To name a few: motivated, kind, dedicated, funny, loyal and enthusiastic. A class with Ellis will leave the participant passionate about pet first aid and pet safety.
Ellis currently teaches regularly in the Calgary, Alberta area and is open to accepting private courses in surrounding communities. You can reach her via her web site or her Facebook page.