When other little girls were busy playing house with dolls, Deja Gordon started a toy farm with horses, cats and dogs. That interest led to her pursuing a career in the veterinary industry as exuding that passion in child’s play developed into a pure love for animals.
While she was only allowed to have cats as pets growing up, she considers all animals her favourite. After discovering the role of a veterinarian, she made the conscious decision in high school to explore no other professional path. So when she wasn’t hitting the books, she could be found volunteering with veterinarians and at clinics.
“The more I volunteered at veterinary clinics, the more I fell in love with the field of study. The fact that animals cannot tell you exactly what’s wrong, and you have to diagnose their illness and create a treatment plan to make them feel better, it’s so satisfying to see your treatment plan work and save the animal’s life. To enhance the welfare of all animals is a worthwhile experience,” Gordon told Flair.
The enthusiast enrolled in the College of Agriculture, Science and Education in Portland and earned an associate of science degree in veterinary science. She was the recipient of the Scholarship and Pioneer Bursary Fund, awarded by the Class of 1993 to assist in her final year of study. Since graduating in February, she continues to volunteer to gain more knowledge and hands-on experience.
Over the years, Gordon has been working with dogs from as small as Pomeranians and Shih Tzus to as large as German shepherds. She also worked with farm animals, horses, exotic animals like camels, barn owls, and snakes, to name a few. But of all of the experiences under her belt, her first day volunteering with an equine veterinarian in 2017 stood out as the monumental moment for the books.
“He was performing a pregnancy test by rectal palpation on a mare, and after explaining to me how to go about the procedure, the mare was indeed pregnant. I got to feel her foal in her womb. That experience forever lives rent-free in my mind. I can never forget the overwhelming feeling,” she revealed.
The veterinary technician has also set her sights on attending St Nicholas University in Dominica to attain her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She has already applied for and received the 2021 CARICOM Merit Scholarship, which will cover 50 per cent of her tuition. Her main concern now is finding the other half by September.
The philozoist devised an innovative idea to start a dog grooming business as her official fundraising platform. Gordon opened her mobile business, Deja’s Grooming Services, in August of 2020 and was surprised by the many dog owners who understood the importance of pet grooming. She is not only afforded the opportunity to interact with her newly made furry friends, but she gets to visit places she never knew existed and meet lovely pet parents and clients. “My entrepreneurial journey has been fulfilling thus far,” she added.
The joy and companionship she receives from the welcoming animals is incredible. When they are happy and feel well, Gordon is even happier. “They just want to feel loved, and they give you that love right back.” As a bonus, she offered these home grooming tips to pet parents.
GORDON’S HOME GROOMING TIPS
- After bathing your dog, always ensure your pup is dried properly. If it’s a long-hair breed, towel dry to remove excess water. Then a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water may be applied to the coat using a spray bottle, completely avoiding the eyes. This will speed up the drying process, and then you brush thoroughly.
- In your spare time, when both you and your dog are relaxed, brush your dog or bath them if needed, so they are used to being groomed. Aim to make grooming a pleasant experience by praising them with treats. That way, when they are in the presence of a professional dog groomer, they will feel relaxed. It is also best to start this process from an early stage.
If you would like to help the aspiring vet complete her dream of being a veterinarian, follow her on Instagram: @dejas_grooming_.