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Stellar-SLPThe other night was the Best of St Louis Park awards and I am so excited that both of our businesses went home with an award! Bubbly Paws, our dog wash won “Best Place to Spoil Your Pooch” and Pampered Pooch Playground, our doggy daycare won “Best Dog Daycare”. This is the 3rd year in a row that both our businesses have won a “best of” award and I can’t be more proud of our staff who work so hard each day taking care of all the dogs. For a complete list of winners, you can visit the St Louis Park Magazine website.

Below is a short list of some of my favorite winners:

Best BakeryHoney and Rye – They are located down the street from Bubbly Paws and serve up the most amazing coffee and pastries!

Best Fitness StudioLifetime Fitness – One of my absolute favorite classes is their Crossfit class (which they call Alpha). You will catch me at that class at least 3 times a week. The trainers are great and we have a small little family!

Best BoutiquePrimp - Located at the West End and they are super dog friendly!

Writing the software guide for our new software package.

Writing the software guide for our new software package.

For the past 6 months I have been working on a very exciting project… Building custom doggy daycare software.  The program we have been using, was a great program when we opened and the world ran on Windows XP… Since that time, the company that designed the program refuses to support it and there are not many choices for such a small industry.  The program we are using was once the industry standard, but now it just seems like there is a bunch of super glue and duct tape holding it together and I was our IT department when something broke.

About a year ago, we decided it was time for a change, I looked at all the software packages that were out there, and found something wrong with each of them.  Basically, we would have to change our policies or the way we do business to adapt to a software program, rather than having the program adapt to us.  Also, many of the programs could not import our information.  Last summer, we signed up with the leading online dog daycare program and were ready to make the switch… But then I got cold feet, because it was just not what we needed or wanted and the processes did not flow the way we worked!

So after much thought, we decided to create our own custom software program.  I hooked up with a great programmer, that fully understood everything we wanted to accomplish.  For the past few weeks our managers have been using it, and working out any kinks that there might be.  I have to say, I am very excited to start using this program and know our customers are going to love it.  Once we get going, customers will have so much access to information and real time stats to see if there are any openings for doggy daycare.  With this new program, we will also cut down on the amount of paper we use each day, and all of our process will run much smoother.  I am kicking myself for not doing this sooner!

Over the next few weeks, we will begin the transition to this new cloud based package.  Like any new program, there is always a learning curve for our staff so things might take a little longer, but in the end it will be well worth it.  We just put the package through an extensive independent security audit to make sure all the data was safe and we met all PCI guidelines, and it passed with flying colors! In about a month, all of our customers will be able to log in and manage their reservations, buy dog daycare packages, complete the express check in forms, and send us love notes :) (seriously, you can send us love notes, ha).

We are so excited and hope all of our customers are as excited as I am.

Ripley, dog daycare dog of the month

Every month we have a different theme for our “Dog Of The Month”.  In January, we gave away the honor of being “Dog of the Month” to someone that donated to our food Drive!  Ripley, the boxer,  was our random winner and received a photo shoot with Eva Noth Photography!

Ripley is a regular face at doggy daycare and can often be seen playing in the Ruff House.  Her parents adopted her a few years ago from the Minnesota Boxer Rescue and she loves to dance when you pet her! Thanks to Ripley’s parents and all of our very generous customers that donated to our pet food drive this past holiday season!!  See more pictures from the session by clicking here.

Today I was working at Bubbly Paws our self service dog wash which is down the street from Pampered Pooch Playground.  I had a great conversation about doggy daycare with a new customer who stopped in.  She had asked if I knew of a good doggy daycare in the area, she had visited a few and did not like them.  I asked what she did not like about them (she had no clue we owned a doggy daycare at this point).  She replied “one was very corporate and cold feeling” and the other “had bad online reviews”.  I mentioned that we owned a doggy daycare and she should come check us out. I went through and talked about how we did the evaluation and she loved that she could watch everything on the webcams.  I actually pulled up the cameras on my phone, and I think that sold her!  I also mentioned that she should take reviews with a grain of salt.  The place she did not want to visit because of the reviews, is actually a very well run doggy daycare (and one of the few in the area I would take Roxy to).  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!  I love talking!

Have a good night!



Mojo after his bath!

Mojo after his bath!

I can honestly say that I love being a co-owner of Pampered Pooch Playground.  One of the highlights of going to work is getting to know all of our wonderful customers that trust us with their dogs each day!  Recently one of our first customers, Mojo,  moved to another state. Their dog was one of the first that came to our daycare almost 7 years ago when we opened.  I could honestly remember who their dog played with, and which days of the week they would come (Tuesday and Thursday). Every morning when Mojo walked in, he would always try to play with Roxy… Sometimes it worked :)  We are really going to miss Mojo!  To show the love we have with our staff and customers, Mojo’s picture was on our facebook page.. About 80% of the people that liked the picture were past or present Pampered Pooch Playground employees!  That’s pretty cool!!


I honestly love being this involved int he day-to-day operations of Pampered Pooch Playground.  One of the most common questions we receive is “when are you going to open another location”… I always respond the same way… “Never, there is no way we could be this involved with more dog daycare locations”.  I honestly feel that as a doggy daycare grows and opens more locations, the quality of service and care goes down. Doggy Daycare is much like a school, you want to know the principal, teachers and staff that will be taking care of your child; the same goes for doggy daycare! There is no way I could be at 2 locations every morning!!  We love the size that we are, and think it works perfect!  And honestly, I never want to sit at a desk :)

Have a great day and thanks so much for supporting our small business!



cider - dog daycare dog of the month

Every month we have a different theme for our “Dog Of The Month”.  In November the theme was “Best Table Manners”, in honor of Thanksgiving!!  All of our staff members nominate dogs that we thought fit the theme, and we narrow it down to 5 dogs and we vote on the winner! It is always hard for us to pick a winner, but we are excited to announce that “Cider” was the winner! He is a regular face in our doggy daycare, and a member of our “lunch crew”.  He is always super polite when eating, and is a member of the “clean bowl club”.  Cider won a free photo session with Eva Noth Photography and the honor of being the November winner!


Pampered Pooch Playground is a founding member of the Twin Cities Dog Daycare Assoication, which helps to set standards of care in the pet care industry.  We have teamed up for a friendly competition with the other members (Downtown Dogs, Dog Day Getaway, Dog Days, and Camp Bow Wow – Burnsville) to see which doggy daycare can raise the most food for local pet rescues between November 1st – December 15th! (last year we came in 2nd place)!

You can drop off food (opened bags must be taped closed), toys, bedding or treats at Pampered Pooch Playground.  You can also donate money in our lobby!

For every $5 or 5 Pounds of food you donate, you will receive 1 entry into our weekly drawing for prizes!

This week’s prize is: The chance to be the dog of the month for January.  Prize package includes a photo session with Eva Noth photography and a free print.

Thanks for helping out the dogs in need this holiday season!



melissa - minneapolis dog groomerWe are excited to introduce the newest member of the Pampered Pooch Playground grooming team… Melissa!  She is one of the full-time groomers at Bubbly Paws (our sister business) and will be available at Pampered Pooch Playground to FURminate  (de-shedding treatment) or groom dogs a few days each month.  Dogs can be groomed or FURminated while at doggy daycare or spending the night in our hotel.  Melissa has a great grooming style with a laid back approach that helps to make sure all dogs go home looking their best.  You can learn more about Melissa by clicking here to go to her Bubbly Paws page.

Melissa’s October Schedule:

Friday, October 10th

Thursday, October 23rd

Monday, October 27th

To make a reservation for grooming, click here.

Dog daycare manager in MinneapolisAs some of you already know, I’m leaving Pampered Pooch Playground.   My last day will be October 1st.
In the last 5 years, I’ve seen many of you get married, have babies, say good-bye to furry family members and welcome new ones. Because of this, I have always felt like we are part of a large, extended, dog-loving family! It’s been such a joy getting to know you and creating friendships that I know will continue on after I leave. I can’t even begin to express how much I will miss seeing your smiling faces and getting to spend my days with your pooches! I want to thank you all for allowing me to help care for your pooches and be a part of their lives. I will miss all the hugs, kisses, and love that they offered me every time I saw them. Honestly, words can’t express how much I’ll miss the dogs!

I know Neddie will miss some of you just as much as I will! Thank you for all the tummy rubs, love and treats you have given her over the years. Thank you also for the support you have given us as her health has deteriorated.

I will remember all of you and cherish the fun, happy memories I experienced here. As always: peace, love, and pooches!


Ellen and Neddie

Check out our other locally owned business, Bubbly Paws Dog Wash and Spa with locations in St Louis Park and St Paul.