Interview with Ralph Bernstein – A Chat About Life Coaching, Dog Day Care in Minneapolis and Health Over 60

What a fun talk with Ralph Bernstein- my friend, client and probably the biggest lover of dogs (maybe even more than me). He is the owner of Downtown Dogs and Dog's Day Out - the top dog day care in Minneapolis. Both businesses received GOLD in the Minnesota's Best Awards 2023.

But more than his love of dogs and dog business, Ralph shared much more with me. We talked on the podcast in 2018 (check it out HERE) about the grief surrounding his wife's sudden death. He shared what came next after that life altering experience.


Since then he has gotten remarried, brought both businesses through the pandemic and changed his health in a big way by losing and keeping off 50 lbs.

Mind Muscle and Movement Podcast. Interview with Ralph Bernstein. Dog Day Care Minneapolis

In this episode with Ralph, we discuss:

  • Life coaching and how it helped him to be open to the possibility of marriage again
  • How he met his now wife (great story)
  • Sustaining both businesses through the pandemic
  • The changing workforce and how that has impacted his business
  • How he lost 50 lbs and kept them off
  • And so much more

About Ralph:

In 2011, Downtown Dogs owner Ralph Bernstein saw his world nearly shattered.

At 49 years old, Ralph’s vibrant, healthy wife Stephanie suffered a massive stroke. She died five weeks later, with no explanation or reason as to why the stroke occurred. The world was forever changed for Ralph and his two children. And Ralph was forever changed too.

Ralph was a successful banker—blending into the downtown swarm of pinstripe suited, bluetooth eared professionals with ease. But after Stephanie’s death, his vision had changed. He was no longer able to see his office in the same way. The work no longer carried the importance it once had.

That’s when he realized that the two best moments of his day came when he dropped off and picked up his dog Frannie at Downtown Dogs. Stepping into the door, Ralph was awash in happiness and warmth. Yes, the furry friends barking a welcome were a big part of that. But the people and the setting and the pure positive energy of the place played just as much of a role in creating a unique feeling of “home.” Ralph knew he had found his next calling.

Ralph approached the owner of Downtown Dogs about buying the business from her. Many conversations later, Ralph officially called Downtown Dogs his own. In 2020 he expanded and opened Dog’s Day Out, a DIY and full service bathing and grooming salon next to Downtown Dogs.

Today, Ralph counts himself among the happiest of the happy small business owners and humans. Together he and Abbe, his wife since 2019, have a small litter of grown children (all of whom live in town), and three dogs of their own.

In January 2023 Ralph was elected to the Board of Directors at Mission Animal Hospital, the first-ever, and still only, nonprofit veterinary hospital in the Midwest.

Connect With Ralph, Downtown Dogs & Dog's Day Out

Downtown Dogs Boarding and Day Care -


Dog's Day Out Grooming and Full/Self Serve Bath -

Listen to the episode below:

Lindsey Heiserman Coaching

Let's connect!


Say hi on the newsletter


You can always email me at or connect on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Interested in working together? Check out my links below.


Life Adventure Collective


Life Coaching



Leave a Comment