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Our Staff – Ferndale


Liz Blondy

Founder and Owner
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Liz is a long-time Detroiter who, after a decade in sales, decided to combine her love of animals and her hometown passion into a career. In 2005, she opened Canine to Five Detroit Dog Daycare in Midtown and in 2013, Canune to Five Ferndale. Both facilities offer daycare, boarding and grooming and the business also facilitates trainings and hosts events like pack walks and dog-friendly happy hours. Averaging upwards of 250 dogs per day between the two locations, she is next poised to expand her original facility in 2017.   Canine to Five is now recognized as a Detroit small business success story, and Liz has emerged as a staunch and prominent advocate for Detroit’s resurgence. Firmly convinced that small businesses are the key to true revival, she co-founded Open City Detroit, a networking group designed to encourage entrepreneurship, and participates in many initiatives to foster a strong grassroots business community. Liz resides in a renovated Eastern Market storefront with her partner Pat Deegan and her Great Pyrenees Argon. The couple recently purchased a vacant church in the North End neighborhood that will become their next home.


Keeley Fuller

Facility Manager
Keeley Fuller
Joined Canine to Five team in 2009

Pets: Two dogs, a cat, five fish, seven chickens, two hermit crabs, and a snake

Prior to joining us at Canine to Five, Keeley already had over a decade of experience managing veterinary hospitals and dog daycares. Though Keeley has many talents, she specializes in dog behavior and pack-training with our staff. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, landscaping & painting with acrylics while enjoying life in the country. She has a wonderful family including her human child Karly,  2 dogs, 1 cats, 5 fish, 7 chickens, 2 hermit crabs and 1 snake.


Hailee Cleaveland

Assistant Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: Two dogs named Bonnie and Brew (but she prefers to refer to them as her ‘kids’ and we can’t disagree)

Hailee has been rescuing and working with abused and neglected animals for over 10 years so she brings a great deal of dog behavior knowledge to CTF. Since Hailee has so much experience in working with dogs who are in the worst of situations she says it never fails to make her happy to see all the well-adjusted dogs playing and learning together in our pack. Hailee loves to travel but when she’s not working you can often find her simply snuggled up with her dogs, watching Netflix.


Sally Barens

HR Coordinator

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: 3 African Spur Tortoises (Guinness, Dolores, and Louise), a Russian Tortoise (Ralphie), and a Red Foot Tortoise (Murphy), two cats named Puma and Sabrina, and an English Bulldog/Beagle mix puppy named Gatsby

Sally came to us with seven years experience in HR, we pretty much snatched her on the spot! She spends her spring volunteering at Kensington Metro Park.She enjoys tennis, writing, spending time with her family, and learning as much as she can about the brain. She’s also really into traveling; she’s been to 6 different countries, and can’t wait to get out there and see more!

When asked what her favorite part is about Canine to Five, she said “the culture, environment, and people. There’s a vibrant and genuine feel just when you walk in, and the team members truly have a passion and understand of the importance of a team environment, and exuding our core values on a daily basis. Also, that Liz is so passionate about growing her business and providing the best possible service.” Sally currently resides in Downtown Detroit with her boyfriend and his brother.


Jesse Miller

Employee Development Manager

Joined Canine to Five team in 2015

Pets: Two gorgeous Pit Bulls named Aaliyah Dana and Gator Marie

Jesse is fascinated by and enamored with dogs! Even outside of work she spends a lot of her time learning about canine behavior and psychology, as well as working (and playing!) with her own dog. Though she is an equal opportunity dog-lover, she can’t deny that she has a very special weakness for one particular group: our canine ‘senior citizens’. Other than dogs her favorite things are cooking and watching The X-Files. Jesse lives in Detroit.



Aubrey Gourd

Reservation Specialist

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A German Shorthaired Pointer named Phil

Before Canine To Five, Aubrey went to school for Biology and worked in sales. She currently resides in Dearborn with her boyfriend, Jeff, and her dog. She says she has way too many hobbies like gardening, canoeing, practicing the violin, reading, traveling and more. When we asked her about why she likes to work at Canine To Five, she said, “Who wouldn’t love working with dogs all day?”


Michele Robbins

Customer Service Supervisorfile_0001

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: Two Shepherd/Husky mix dogs named Keira and Spencer, two cats named Scout and Jasper

Michele came to us with almost a decade of experience working with animals. After over 7 years working in a retail pet setting and training dogs, she left for a career in an office setting. It took less than a year to figure out that wasn’t where her heart belonged. That’s when she found us!  In her free time, Michele enjoys hiking with her dogs, Pinteresting, reading, and cooking. She’s also really into web and graphic design, and runs a blog about upcycling and refurbishing. Michele resides in Warren and is currently going to school for Social Media Marketing and Business. When asked what she loves so darn much about working at Canine to Five, she said “nothing beats seeing a truly happy, loved dog playing and socializing! I love meeting the owners and their dogs.”


Paige Gutholm

Customer ServiceFile_000 (2)

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A deaf Australian Shepherd named Leyland, and a Boston Terrier named Pooba

Before joining us at Canine To Five, Paige volunteered at the Animal Welfare Society in Madison Heights and worked at the desk at a tanning salon. When she isn’t working she likes to spend time taking her dogs on adventures and painting. When we asked her why she wanted to work at Canine To Five Paige said, “I’ve always known I wanted to work with dogs!”


Leah McCarroll

Customer Servicefile_0008

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: An adorable Beagle/Corgi mix named Wiley and a cat named Wesley.

Leah wasn’t like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, she was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere’s a real hero of hers. Sting. Sting would be another person who’s a hero. The music he’s created over the years, she doesn’t really listen to it, but the fact that he’s making it she respects. Leah cares desperately about what she does. Does she know what product she’s selling? No. Does she know what she’s doing today? No. But she’s here, and she’s gonna give it her best shot. Leah resides in Ferndale, and her favorite thing about Canine to Five? She loves playing with all the adorable dogs and getting to welcome her amazing co-workers to work every day.


Kaylin Gaston

Customer Servicefile_0002

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: A sweet, perfect German Shepherd mix named Lionel, and a cat named Landon

Kaylin comes to us with an extensive background in animals and a love for happy dogs and cats! She currently works with and fosters for a local rescue, and has fostered and adopted out 8 dogs this year alone. Well, 9 if you count Lionel (foster fail, oops!). Kaylin’s hobbies include bubble tea with a side of Candyland, overthinking, and helicopter parenting her own dog. She currently resides in Ferndale with her boyfriend, Jeremy. When asked what she loves so much about this place, she said “All of my awesome coworkers. We have such a great team! (Being around dogs all day is pretty great too, though).”


Kaitlyn Streetman

Customer Service & Bather

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: Maggie, a 3 year old Basset Hound, and Nux, a California Kingsnake

This lovely lady originally joined the team as our full-time bather. But we fell so in love with her, that she’s recently joined the front desk girls a few days a week! Kaitlyn has previous experience bathing, and also used to volunteer for Leaders Dog for the Blind as a trainer. She has an Associate of Liberal Arts from OCC and will be a certified dog trainer May 2017!

In her free time, Kaitlyn loves teaching her dog fun tricks, drawing, baking, and being obsessed with all things Marvel. She’s also super obsessed with flowers, and has seen every episode of The Office at least 15 times. According to Kaitlyn her favorite thing about our team aside from the dogs, is the extremely supportive work environment. “We all appreciate and help one another, everyone is constantly trying to learn more and become better at accomplishing our goals. Even on the stressful days, everyone has a positive attitude and works hard to get the job done. Basically, what I’m saying is everyone I work with is super rad.”

 


Lisa Barnett

Groomer
Lisa Barnett
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A Boxer-Pitt named Peanutbutter

Equipped with over 2 years of grooming experience prior to joining the Canine to Five Team, Lisa brings a lot to our grooming table. Lisa lives near our past Ferndale location and when we asked her why she chose to join our team she said, “When I saw people taking their dogs in, both the pets and the owners seemed excited. I got the impression that people genuinely felt good about bringing their business to Canine to Five.” Lisa lives with her boyfriend and dog, Peanutbutter. In her free time she likes to craft, rollerblade and read. She can also often be found at local venues listening to bands play.


Nehkole Schulte

Playroom Supervisor
Nicole Schulte
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2013

Pets: A German Shepherd Coonhound mix named Cheef

Nehkole has years of experience working with dogs in kennels and daycares, as well as training service dogs. In addition to dogs, Nehkole loves horses. A former horse owner and livery driver, she spent 2 years driving carriages on Mackinac Island and still loves spending time with horses. When not at Canine to Five, she likes to sing to her dog Cheef and dress him in human clothes. She has an extensive fanny-pack collection at her home in Warren where she also enjoys drinking local craft beer and crafting rocks and crystals into jewelry. Though technically her job title is Playroom Supervisor, she likes to refer to herself as the ‘Doodle Queen’ because of her love of our pack of doodles!!


Ena Basler

Playroom Supervisor

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Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: Two dogs, a Puggle named Puddle Bug and a Chihuahua mix named Cleatus Delroy, and a fat Calico cat named Talsa Salsa Cat.

Ena  grew up on farming catnip in a hippie commune, and had an early start with animals when at the age of 9, she started trading stable work for horseback riding lessons. At 16, she started offering lessons to children. After some time in retail management, she found her real calling when she started working at a dog daycare in Arlington, VA. Thankfully for us, she’s worked with dogs ever since! When she’s not working, she loves photography, drawing, yoga, world travel, making up corny jokes, puns, and songs about her pets. She also collects fridge magnets and coasters from her travels. Ena resides in Ferndale. When asked what she loves most about working at Canine to Five, Ena said “It’s hard to pick what I love best about working here. I work with the most amazing people on the planet and I love meeting new dogs and helping them adjust to the pack!”


AJ Salyers

Boarding Coordinator

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A Pitbull named Kuu Kuningas, which means ‘Moon King’ in Finnish, though he calls him Ningas for short and a Doberman named Pieni Kuu (or just B), which means ‘Little Moon’.

AJ lives in St. Clair Shores with his puppy and a friend. He grew up with Havachons, and fell in love with dogs for life! In his free time, AJ likes to long board and hang out with friends. He joined Canine To Five at the behest of his friend and playroom supervisor, Nehkole. He loves it here and we love having him!


Kelsey Somosiki

Boarding Lead

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2012

Pets: A Brussels/Bulldog mix named Krumm and a Hound mix named Ming

Kelsey worked at a traditional boarding facility prior to joining us at Canine to Five. She absolutely loved the change and we love having her here. We asked her why she wanted to work here, and she had a very clear answer, “I love bonding with dogs, because a dog’s love is unconditional. Why wouldn’t I want to work at Canine to Five?!”

Kelsey currently resides in Melvindale with her partner and her two twin girls. In her free time you can often find her hanging out with her wonderful family or indulging in one of her favorite vices, shopping!


Heather HallHeather Hall
Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: Two dogs, Jasmine & Finden, and three cats, Scotch, Bitty & Gadget

Heather is a former Insurance Agent whose love of animals led her to Canine to Five. When she’s not working she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She lives in Warren with her husband, 2 dogs and 3 cats. When asked why she enjoys working with us she had a simple reply, “I love the people and the dogs!” The feeling is mutual.


Logan Rutkowski

Pack leader
Logan Rutkowski
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2013

Pets: Four dogs named Fanny, Kilgore, Luke and Gaia, as well as a cat named Azreal

Prior to joining Canine to Five Logan worked as a direct care worker in homes while studying film at CMU. A natural pet lover, he grew up in New Haven helping his parents with their pack of rescue dogs: a chihuahua, red heeler mix and a cane corso. He lives in Sterling Heights with his girlfriend. Logan has many talents and interests including writing films and building furniture from reclaimed items. In the future, Logan would like to work with therapy dogs and the people who need them.


Cody Shornak

Pack Leader
Cody Shornak
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Fun Facts: When asked why he applied to Canine to Five Cody said, “I am out of my mind in love with animals and the opportunity to work alongside them sounded like a dream.” Outside of work he is a comic book artist with a passion for Rollerblading and Skateboarding. He also plays guitar and DJs in a few local bands. Cody currently resides in Berkley with his two best friends, as well as a cat named Mr. Peppy and two dogs; a Corgi named Stubbs and a Shepherd Mix named Vidar.


Melanie Speelman

Pack Leader
Melanie Speelman
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A Pitbull named Bunny

Unfulfilled in retail and a lifetime animal lover, Melanie applied to CTF because she could not think of anything better than working with dogs all day. She is super happy as a pack leader and can’t wait to get to work every day. Melanie currently lives in Detroit where she is finishing up a degree in Political Science at Wayne State University. She also works at a no-kill shelter and loves fostering dogs and helping them find forever homes. She finds this especially rewarding since she has a passion for both rescues and bully breeds.


Becca Wagner

Pack Leader
Becca Wagner
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2013

Becca began her career with dogs at the age of 16 through babysitting and training a very rambunctious husky named Bally. She went on to work at another boarding kennel before joining the CTF team. We are so happy that she brought her talents to Canine to Five! When she’s not dreaming of owning dogs of her own, Becca likes to paint, draw and cruise on her bike.


Samantha Swamp

Pack Leader
Sam Swamp
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: Four dogs named Fanny, Kilgore, Luke and Gaia as well as a cat named Azreal

Before Canine To Five, Samantha worked in a vet office as a vet assistant. In her free time she enjoys watching movies: horror, B films, campy, gore — she loves them all!! Sam currently resides in Ferndale with her boyfriend Logan (another CTF staff member). When asked why she wanted to work at Canine To Five, Sam replied, “I really enjoy working with animals and Canine to Five seemed like a great place to expand my knowledge of animal behavior.”


Kaitlin Lulofs

Pack LeaderFile_000 (5)

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A handsome little Cocker Spaniel named Noah, and two delicate Millipedes named Thorne and Admiral Rodcocker.

Kaitlin is a great lady who came to join our family with a big love for all animals after moving from Colorado, where she was a live-in care provider for a special needs Chow Chow named Maya. Kaitlin is our jack of all trades and enjoys teaching herself new skills like macrame and tarot. Next she wants to learn how to play the banjo and to “achieve the perfect ecosystem using mushrooms.” She’s also a huge fan of napping and is a self-proclaimed hot dog connoisseur. Later in life, she wants to foster special needs dogs. Kaitlin went to school at Arapahoe Community College and studied Mortuary Science. When asked what she loves so much about working at Canine to Five, Kaitlin said “I love seeing all the different dogs just be who they are. It’s a great feeling!”


Leah Johnson

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five in 2016

Pets: Leah doesn’t have any right now, so she just has more love to give to all our crazy pack pups here!

Leah has been volunteering for shelters and fostering dogs since 2003. With almost 7 years of experience in boarding and daycare facilities, Leah actually worked with us before. After a few other jobs, she came back to rejoin our happy family. When asked what she loves most about working at Canine to Five, Leah said “it’s my favorite daycare I’ve worked at. We have a great staff that really works with the dogs so each dog has the best experience possible. I couldn’t stay away!” Leah has an Associates in Liberal Arts, and enjoys making costumes and art in her free time.


Claire Meyer-Lesnew

Pack Leaderfile_0009

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Claire is our youngest, and also one of our most ambitious employees! A Senior in High School, life is full of possibilities for this Pack Leader. Claire came to us from St. Louis (one of the many places she’s lived!) where she worked with horses at a barn. She’s really active, and bikes 5 miles to work every day. Her hobbies include backpacking, trail restoration, and anything Star Trek. She also enjoys biking as an alternative to driving, and bikes 5 miles to work every day – she says it wakes her up and gets her pumped to see all the dogs. According to Claire, her favorite thing about Canine to Five is “The people at Canine to Five, everyone is so invested in the success of the dogs and the success of their coworkers, it’s an amazing place to work and I’m so thankful!”


John Charbeneau

Pack Leaderfile_00012

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

John showed up at our front door on a whim, with a love for dogs. And now, he’s one of our many amazing Pack Leaders! John’s hobbies include playing video games, riding bikes, reading, and watching movies. He doesn’t have any pets currently, but he’s a big guy (we swear he might be 9 feet tall) and would look awesome walking a Rhodesian Ridgeback. In fact, one of our Rhodesian puppies, Mila is his fave! John’s favorite thing about working at Canine to Five (aside from Mila) is “all of the doggos.”


Taylor Green

Pack Leaderfile_00010

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: Remmie, a Shar Pei and Bane, a Doberman

Taylor Green (every one calls him by his full name around here) has a smile that is often described as being “like Christmas.” It fills every person and dog with love and joy who witnesses it. Anytime he’s not working, Taylor is working his butt off at school. In January, he’ll be transferring to CCS to pursue an Entertainment Arts Degree! He currently resides in Detroit (although he can see Ferndale out his window) and his hobbies include reading, playing video games, binge watching the best shows, and drawing. According to Taylor Green, the best part about working on Canine to Five is “all the dogs and amazing people I get to work with. Especially getting to see all the people and dogs grow and learn is really cool.”


Dominique Jones

Pack Leaderfile_00015

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: Two Pit mixes named Sandy and Boots, and a German Shepherd mix named Mogli

A resident of East side Detroit, Dominique is currently finishing up her B.S. in Biology at Wayne State. After volunteering at the Humane Society for 2 years as a dog walker, she found her calling with dogs. In her free time, she loves hanging with friends and family, and especially dogs! She’s also big into binge-watching Netflix, reading, and knitting. Dominique’s favorite thing about working with us at Canine to Five is “the atmosphere here is so amazing! My co-workers are the best, and all of the dogs are too. It’s great to see all the happy dogs throughout the day.”


Amanda Bellestri

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: An adorable little Beagle named Luca

Amanda came back to Canine To Five after moving away from us. She loved her job so much, that when invited back after moving home she jumped on the chance to re-join the team. Originally at our Detroit location, we’re glad to have her at our Ferndale location and it’s like she never missed a thing. With lot’s of experience and a passion for dogs, she brings a lot to the table here in Ferndale.


Sarah Vogel

Pack Leader & Dog Trainer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: Two handsome Golden Retrievers named Kirby and Gibson

As an animal lover, Sarah was very glad to make the transition to Canine to Five from her former job as a claims adjuster. Her favorite part of working at Canine to Five is watching the progress that dogs make each day through joining our pack. Sarah lives in Allen Park with her husband and their two dogs. When she isn’t working you can find her playing a variety of recreational sports including basketball, kickball, and softball. She also enjoys crafting and drinking craft beer.


Emma Page

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: A gorgeous Golden Doodle named Benny

Emma originally came to us as a customer with her handsome fur-son Benny, and loved us so much, she decided to move in. Emma already has a degree in Business/Management and is still in college, and also works a second job as a barista. She has a huge sweet tooth (and always brings us tasty treats!), and her socks always have to match. She currently resides in Ferndale, and loves hiking, camping, and being outside in her free time. When asked what she loves so much about working at Canine to Five, Emma said, “the people are amazing, I learn something new every day, I get to hang out with cute pups all day and give the boarding dogs some extra love while their parents are away!”


Shannon McDermitt

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: A Pit Bull/Shepherd named Gus, and a Boxer/Puggle named Bama

Shannon is currently in graduate school studying User Experience. Outside of work, she enjoys computers, crocheting, running, and drawing the dogs she works with. She also has a rather extensive sticker collection. And her favorite thing about returning to Canine to Five? “Squishing on all the Boxers and Puggles!”


Kaitlyn Simpson

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A German Shepherd mix named Shay, a Pit Bull mix named Polly, two French Bulldogs named Nova and Oaklee, a German Shepherd named Barrett, two rabbits named Sophie and Ruffles, and a Ball Python snake named Nagini

Kaitlyn goes by the nickname Ninja around here, and for very good reason. She slid into this job effortlessly and like she’d always been part of the family! Our little ninja previously worked at another dog daycare/boarding facility, and was also a caretaker and medical coordinator at a local rescue. When she’s not working, Kaitlyn loves traveling, riding horses, and doing anything that involves her own pack! She loves the job, and has said she enjoys “being with dogs all day, and learning something new about dogs almost everyday.” She resides in Ferndale.

Amy Koffel

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Hound Mix named Lana

The lovely Amy is newer to the family, and really came in with a bang. Fiery, like her hair. Outside of work, she enjoys nerdy stuff like Star Wars and D&D, hiking, baking, and crafting. She spent a few months when she was 19 living in Ireland for a workaway, and really grew as a person because of it. Her favorite thing about CTF? “the positivity, how nice everyone. I like how every collaborates and works together to have everything work well.” She lives in Oak Park with her awesome boyfriend, Jon.

 

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