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March 2010


With us today is Ricky. He is an 8 year old Golden Retriever and working dog extraordinaire. Ricky is Assistant Pet Tech Instructor #4 and works with Beth Cristiano and his mom, Mary Oquendo.Many thanks to you Ricky, you are a very special dog with a very special mission in life. We hope to see more of you in the future.SDC10421


Hello Ricky and welcome to the show. 


Thank you for having me.


How long have you been working with Mary and Beth?


Three years now, the last two as an Assistant Instructor.


What did your training consist of?


I worked for a year learning all of my responsibilities and I read all of my mom’s blogs.


Your mom’s blogs?


Yes, she writes a pet first aid and care blog at I have learned so much from her. I am so lucky that I work with her and Beth. Did you know that even though there are hundreds of Pet Tech Instructors across the country, they are two of the only three Certified Master Pet Tech Instructor.


So you work with the best of the best. What sets a Certified Master Pet Tech Instructor apart from the others?


The CM’s train people to become Instructors.


That’s an interesting piece of information. What are your responsibilities as an Assistant Instructor?


I am the Pet Tech Goodwill Ambassador. I greet everyone with a wet nose and a warm heartbeat. I make myself available for petting throughout the seminar. It is a fact that petting a dog reduces your stress level. I put everybody at ease, so as to make the learning process more enjoyable. During the eight hour class, I demonstrate how to brush your pets teeth. At the end of each class, everybody


learns how to take my pulse. SDC10855


Why did you become an Assistant Instructor?


To save lives. The American Animal Hospital Association says that knowing pet first aid can mean the difference between life and death. They go on to state that 25% more pets could have been saved if only ONE pet first aid technique was applied prior to veterinarian treatment. Additionally, a study done in the American Veterinary Medical Association journal states that only 10% of pets coming into a vet’s office needing CPR will survive if they don’t receive CPR prior to arrival.


Wow, you are a smart boy.


Thank you, I am very passionate about people and their pets.




How do you prepare for a class?


The night before a class or a trade show, I help my mom pack the car. I make sure I bring my favorite toy, my crate and pillow, food and smart water. While in the car, I travel in my crate. It keeps me safe. I am very glad that mom does not wash my pillows because they smell like home. The smart water helps to replenish lost electrolytes due to stress.


What is your favorite part of being an Assistant Instructor?


I love traveling with my mom and meeting so many new people.


What is your favorite part of teaching? 


I love that all of my students have the opportunity to learn how to take a pulse on a REAL dog. Not a stuffed or rubber dog. It is a very important skill. It can be one of the first indicators of an underlying medical condition.


What is your least favorite part?


I don’t like to have my teeth brushed. But, it is very important. Practicing good oral hygiene can extend the life of your pet by 30%,


Do you feel you have made an impact?


Absolutely! I have received many letters, emails and phone calls from students that were able to help their pets because of me.


What are some of your other projects?


Sometimes my mom needs me to demonstrate a skill on her blog and I have a Facebook page where I give safety tips and announce my classes. I have fans from all over the world. We teach other pet educational seminars.SDC10990


What are some of those other seminars you teach?


We teach an hour and a half seminar titled “Knowing Your Pet’s Health.” We mostly do this as a fundraiser for Humane Societies. Another seminar we teach is called “Emergency and Disaster Planning With Your Pet.”


How would somebody get in touch with you to take a pet first aid class?


There are several ways to reach me. The first is through my Facebook page. It’s titled “Ricky Assistant Pet Tech Instructor #4” or through my mom’s website at There are also hundreds of Instructors all over the country. To can find one local to you at