09.23.2015Personal Tech

The "UnKennel" Keeper: How Top Dog Country Club Relies on Tech to Keep Tails Wagging

It’s been nearly 15 years since Jean Beuning ditched her VP title at a prestigious hotel chain to enter a hospitality industry of a different breed: dog boarding. Jean opened Top Dog Country Club, a canine vacation club described as the “un-kennel” with a 38-acre lot, special dog-friendly artificial turf and a heated swimming pool. Jean shared with Verizon the technology and social media must-haves that keep her business a top-notch destination for pet owners to bring their four-legged companions for overnight stays.

Staying Connected Near and Far

Top Dog Country Club clients come from near and far to give their dog the world-renowned experience the New Germany, MN based club guarantees. “We pick up and drop off dogs for many clients, so being able to rely on my Verizon cell service to communicate in real-time with families—especially with things like flight delays—is critical,” explained Jean. Another way she stays connected to families while they are away from their dogs is through her active social media channels. “We hear all the time from families how much they miss their dogs while they are on vacation,” said Jean. “I post a lot of photos and videos to Facebook to show playtime and keep them connected.”

Keeping Tails Wagging With GoFundMe

Four years after opening Top Dog Country Club, Jean established Top Dog Foundation, a nonprofit committed to rescuing senior dogs that are strays, facing euthanasia at shelters or need medical attention. “We have used the crowd-funding platform GoFundMe to raise money for some of these dogs, and we bring many of them to Top Dog Country Club to live out the last chapter of their lives,” said Jean. “Our goal is to build a Top Dog-style sanctuary that serves as a permanent home for those senior dogs that cannot find a new family.” Top Dog Foundation has rescued more than 250 senior dogs and raised more than $350,000 since its launch in 2004.

Creating Social Buzz

“Many people find out about our organization and great events through our social media channels,” said Jean. “We use Twitter to alert people and Facebook to get into more detail about our events and happenings.” While scrolling through Twitter, we found the Howlin’ For Growlers event to benefit senior dogs, hosted at Excelsior Brewing Company’s dog-friendly patio. For a change in perspective, we loaned Jean a GoPro Hero 3 to capture the Top Dog grounds and the event through the eyes of a few of her four-legged friends. Check out the video: