The Man Behind Grand Dog Essentials

February 06 2019 – Amanda Monsma

Man in blue shirt with glasses and a white background
Man in blue shirt with glasses and a white background

Who is Top Dog Greg?

You see a lot of mention on our website, newsletters, social media about Top Dog Greg.  You know him as the one who makes those deliveries that keep your dogs super happy and well nourished.  It’s time we dive deeper and show you more of the man behind Grand Dog Essentials and how he got  into the dog food business.

Before he became Top Dog

Alberta has been Greg’s home from the very beginning.  There is no one else I know who can navigate the Alberta roads and landscapes better than him (except for maybe his father and late brother - seems to run in the family).  Along with a keen sense of direction, he has a special talent of being able to recognize a vehicle make and model by its headlights in the rearview mirror.  

He graduated from NAIT’s business program many years ago and has worked in the auto glass industry for nearly thirty years.  During that time, he owned an auto glass repair shop in Edmonton for thirteen years and then worked on the wholesale side in a management position for fourteen years.  His motto in life and how he conducts business is “Do the right thing”.

Has he always loved dogs?

YES!  His love for dogs started at a very young age with his first dog whose name was Pudge.   Greg and Joy (his wife and partner in crime for over 36 years) had a Wheaten Terrier named Baron when their children were young.  Baron was a high energy dog with lots of love for his family. When Baron passed away, Greg’s heart was broken and he swore that their dog days were over.  Having to say goodbye was too hard and he wasn’t up for doing it again.

There was about an eight year break between Baron and Kanti.  Greg is stubborn, but his stubbornness was met with Joy’s persistence.  Joy wanted a German Shepherd. It took a while, but she was able to convince him to get another puppy.  In 2010, Greg and Joy brought Kanti home from the breeder.  Once again, a puppy made their way into Greg’s heart.  

Why Grand Dog Essentials?

When Kanti came home, the breeder sent frozen raw dog food with her.  From the very beginning, Kanti was fed food made by Rudi, at Dog’s Choice.  Greg would drive to Red Deer every couple of months to buy boxes until Hauke from H.A. Food Sales began to deliver once a month to Edmonton.  

About a year ago, Greg was ready for a career change, so when Hauke said he was interested in moving out of the dog food industry and selling his business, Greg’s ears perked up like Kanti’s when the coyotes are howling.  The chance of owning his own business again was appealing and he believed in the Dog’s Choice produce after being a customer for eight years. The new venture allowed him to combine his strengths and passion - working with people and sharing his love of dogs with others.   

The rest is history.  As Greg puts it, “Without Kanti, we’d never would have learned about raw food or met Hauke, and Grand Dog Essentials wouldn’t exist!”.  


Enough about dog food

Grand Dog Essentials allows Greg the flexibility to enjoy more of the things he loves in life.  First and foremost, this means more time with his family. Every Sunday, the family gathers for dinners where Greg can be found roughhousing with his two grandsons or helping his one-year old granddaughter explore new foods. The house is filled with laughter, gentle teasing, three dogs who can’t make up their minds whether they want to be inside or outside, and a whole lot of love.  

Summers in Alberta brings some of Greg’s favourite things.  He loves to camp and luckily that love is shared with his son and myself.  Ever since Greg and Joy lived in their fifth wheel for eight months while they built their house, Joy has been a little reluctant to camp (she also has a stubborn streak).  The trailer is also put to good use on his yearly golf trips with a group of friends and his son where they enjoy MANY rounds of golf (too many if you ask me).  

Greg is coming up on his 60th birthday and is looking forward to celebrating with a house full of friends and family.  Hint - keep an eye on social media in February! Please don’t ask if he is planning on retiring. The answer is a resounding no followed by, “Why would I want to do that when I’m having so much fun?”

 I hope you enjoyed learning more about Greg and how Grand Dog Essentials came to be. Although Grand Dog Essentials is an online store, the Grand Dog family is important to Greg and each and every one of you, including your furry friends are a part of that.  We are looking forward to building our Grand Dog community through social media and our newsletters.  If you would like to know more, let us know in the comments below!

Amanda

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