In 2003, we were both working in high-stress marketing jobs in corporate America. We hated leaving our beloved dogs, Simba and Nala, behind every day when we went to the office, but we were making steady progress toward retirement. Then, we did what many of our friends thought was crazy at the time—Renee quit her job to open up a first-of-its-kind luxury dog daycare and boarding resort in Madison, Wisconsin. Ruffin’ It Resort—where dog’s dreams come true—was born.
We were approached a number of times about franchising Ruffin’ It Resort, but we don’t believe in the franchising model for this industry. Instead, we decided to help make humans’ dreams come true by helping them imagine, plan for, build, open, and run doggie daycare businesses and boarding facilities across the country through consulting. Enter: Best in Show Consulting. After all, if we had known in the beginning what we know now about pet resorts, we estimate that we could have saved tens of thousands of dollars in do-overs, headaches, and emotional challenges.
In 2015, we were approached by a company that was interested in purchasing Ruffin’ It Resort. In short, we received an offer that we couldn't refuse. Although it wasn’t an easy decision, we decided to sell Ruffin’ It Resort to pursue another life-long dream: living in the mountains of Colorado. From the foothills of Colorado Springs, we continue to pursue our love of dogs and our passion for the pet industry through Best in Show Consulting.
We’re here to be your guide to making your dream of starting a premier pet resort a reality!
Renee is one of those people who was born with a passion and a deep love for animals, particularly the canine species. As a child, her bedroom walls were covered with dog pictures and posters, and she managed to make almost every school project about dogs. Flash forward a few decades: after receiving an M.B.A from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and spending years in corporate marketing roles, she was inspired by her rescue golden retriever Simba to establish Ruffin’ It Resort. Simba’s story is one of woe and triumph, and Renee vowed that he would have only the best. Crazy dog lady? Yep, that’s her.
It was Renee’s dream to provide over-the-top care to each unique guest (dog), in a genuinely warm, loving environment. Ruffin’ It Resort’s award-winning design, business model, and industry-leading pet care are all thanks to Renee’s original vow to Simba: to provide the very best in every facet of a dog’s life, and to treat each guest as if they were her own.
Steve has a long-standing record of creatively building businesses and turning around struggling business. He holds a BS from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Michigan. After 25 years of management roles at companies including Proctor & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Oscar Mayer and Rayovac Corporation, he was more than happy to turn his attention to his role of husband, father, and C.P.S. (Chief Pooper Scooper) at Ruffin’ It Resort.
These days, Steve uses his business savvy and financial know-how to help clients of Best in Show Consulting. As rewarding as it was to lead international brands to record sales, Steve says it’s even more rewarding to help small business owners “follow their bliss.”
Steve Shanesy’s first love is the outdoors, so it was more than a little ironic when his hunting dog, Nala, turned out to be gun shy. Turns out, his love of four-legged friends might trump his love of hunting and fishing after all.
God has blessed us. Thanks to you and our business we are able to contribute to a number of nonprofits that are dear to our hearts.