Boxing coach turned dog groomer: “Lockdown gave me chance to pursue my dream”

In a weird yet wonderful way, lockdown allowed Derek McNee the time to retrain and pursue his dream career.

Former boxing coach by day and security man by night, Derek was furloughed during lockdown when gyms and the hospitality industry where forced to close their doors.

But rather than look at the negatives Derek decided to pursue his dream career of working with dogs and owning his own dog grooming salon.

Derek told Renfrewshire Live : “I’ve always kept dogs and I guess it would be fair to say I’ve always wanted to work with dogs.

“I was getting fed up with working in the gym, it was becoming just a job and I was losing my passion for it.

“So I just went for it and I’ve never looked back.

“And here I am. It’s all brand new to me, but I am loving it.”

Derek McNee with American Bulldog, Rogue

Derek took over the premises in Johnston Street back in August and has been operating in the town for the last two months.

After a full renovation of the former office of George Adam MP’s and completing all the relevant courses, Derek is delighted with his spot in the town for The Doghouse Grooming.

He told us: “During lockdown I completed all the grooming courses and came up with a business plan.

“Without being forced in to lockdown, I would have just kept my old job but lockdown hit and it gave me a vision and the time to pursue what I wanted to do.

“I worked in the gym during the day and done security at night for pubs and both venues were shut. So that was me – no income, so I had to obviously do something about that.

“And I’m now grateful for that opportunity to do what I always wanted to do.

“I have a great spot in Paisley, it’s George Adam MP’s old office and the business in and around Paisley is fantastic.

“The office was quite bare but it was stripped out and kitted out to make it suitable for all breeds of dogs.

“It’s a great town for businesses and I’m delighted with my spot in the town.”

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And business has been booming for Derek who thinks that come the new year, he may need to extend opening hours and take on grooming staff.

Derek said: “I have been totally overwhelmed with how busy I have been since opening.

“My daughter works on weekends with me to give me some help but I think I am going to need to take some staff on.

“I didn’t expect to be as busy as quickly and I’m open five days a week but I might need to also look in to extending some of the hours too.

“It’s just really great that things have kicked off and I am grateful for everyone who allows me to groom their dog.”

To find out more about The Doghouse Grooming, visit their Instagram.

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