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Movement Two: Grooming The Dog

Mathis Young loved his job at an area bank. But he always wanted to own his own business. Now he’s running his own successful franchise – and the pets of Memphis are grateful.

Here’s Mathis in his own words, which you can listen to by clicking the video above.

You hear every different thing imaginable.

They’ll say, “Well my dog hates getting their nails clipped.” Or: “My dog hates water.”

Usually, whatever they say, it’s the complete opposite.

You know, it’s not necessarily that the owners are lying about their dog’s behavior. It’s that the dogs, when they’re with their groomer, act differently than they do with their owner. And that’s kind of what I see.

We were taught in training to look for different facial expressions, to look for different tail expressions, to look for different body movements. So you want to be careful when you see some of those expressions – to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, and you’re kind of keeping out of harm’s way.

I was at a local bank here in town, and my job was to call on businesses to try to entice them to move all of their banking business. We had a great environment, and actually, I loved my job. But I really did always want to own my own business.

When we did our research, the numbers, quite frankly, were off the wall. The amount of people that spend money on their pets in Memphis is astronomical.

If I stayed at the bank, and kept doing what I was going to do – as my life went on, it would be harder and harder to ever pull that trigger.

I never wanted to say, “What if?” And I thought, you know: “I’m 27 years old. If I’m ever going to do it, this is the time to do it.”

The man that founded the franchise is originally from Australia. We get that question a lot.

We go to the actual customers. We go to their house and, in the comfort of their driveway, we spoil their cats and dogs.

Being in banking and going to be a dog groomer is quite a transition.

What do I miss about the bank? I miss the interaction with people. I miss my colleagues, I miss that day-to-day interaction.

What do I like about grooming dogs? Well, dogs don’t talk back.


Marshall Fine is the son of Burton Fine, former principal violist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He received his DMA from the University of Memphis in 1990. In addition to his work in Memphis, he has held the position of Principal Viola of the Savannah Symphony (1983-86) and Dallas Opera (1991-92). He is also a charter member of the IRIS Orchestra, on both violin and viola. An accomplished composer, he has written over 200 works, including over 70 for viola. His music is published by Carl Fischer and Latham Music.

"Grooming the Dog" is an original work, inspired by a lengthy visit with Mathis Young. In the piece, Fine provides a lengthy rest in the middle of the piece, allowing Young to speak directly to viewers about his values and aspirations. And, playing off the Australian roots of Mathis Young's franchise, Fine alludes to the classic Aussie tune "Waltzing Matlida."


Lance Murphey, editor, co-producer
John Hubbell, writer, co-producer
John W. Moore, Reid Dulburger, Amy Daniels, executive producers
Running Pony Productions, additional graphics

Series producers
Amy Clithero Gill
John Hubbell
Lance Murphey
Angela Michaels

Executive producers
John W. Moore
Linda Cornish
Amy Daniels
Ryan Fleur
Posted: 12/16/2009 3:38:37 PM | with 0 comments

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An ongoing collaboration between the Greater Memphis Chamber and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Underwritten by Duncan-Williams, Inc.