Our Staff Ferndale

Meet our team! Did you know? Each staff member is required to become Pet CPR & First Aid certified before completing their status as a Trainee. This helps ensure our Pack Leaders know how to handle any situations that may arise. We are proud to be surrounded by a team of dedicated dog lovers, some of whom have been with us for over 6 years! Read all about your dog's BFFs below.

our staff ferndale
LIZ BLONDY

Liz Blondy

Founder and Owner

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, Canine 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 Newfoundland, Clover. The couple recently purchased a vacant church in the North End neighborhood that will become their next home.

Benjamin Cleaveland

Benjamin Paga

Facility Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A dog named Bonnie

Ben is our Facility Manager at Canine to Five and has been with us since 2015. He joined our team because he absolutely adores dogs, he enjoys the challenge of management and leadership, and he wanted the opportunity to grow himself and a business. Before CTF, Ben was an Assistant Manager/Veterinary Technician at a local Veterinary Clinic. He currently lives in Ferndale with his German Shepherd mix, Bonnie, and long haired cat, Oliver. In his free time, Ben enjoys painting, wood burning, trail hikes with his dog, gardening, and fixing his house. He really enjoys handiwork! His favorite thing about Canine to Five is “the positive attitudes among the employees. The team is very close knit and enjoys the work they do. It is awesome to work for a company that leads a pack of dogs and also help employees to better themselves.”

AUBREY GOURD

Aubrey Gourd

Reservation Specialist

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A German Shorthaired Pointer named Phil

Aubrey is one of our Reservation Specialists and has been with us since 2015. She joined Canine to Five because she thought it would be an exciting place to work! Before CTF, Aubrey worked in sales at a couple different companies. She lives in Dearborn Heights with her fiance and her German Shorthaired Pointer, Phil, who is perfect and has never done anything bad in his entire life!! In her free time, she like to look after her bees, cook, scuba and snorkel in the nearby rivers, hang with friends, and sleep. Aubrey’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is all the wonderful people she gets to work with.

MELISSA SMOLINSKI

Melissa Smolinski

Human Resources

Joined Canine to Five team in 2011

Pets: A dog named Maybel and 2 cats, Sam & Owen

Melissa joined Canine to Five because she was looking for something new and challenging, and thought working with dogs seemed like a great fit! Before working at Canine to Five, she managed a hair salon. Melissa lives in Southfield with her pup, Maybel, her two kitties, Sam & Owen, and her mom. During her free time she studies a LOT, but when she’s not studying, Melissa enjoys concerts, roller derby, new restaurants, movies, and hiking with her dog. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is the dogs, of course! The people (staff AND customers) are a close second!

Taylor Bordeaux

Taylor Bordeaux

Front End Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: Oliver the Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix and 4 cats – Sinatra, Alex, Sparky, and Moostache

Taylor joined our team with a passion for dogs and over 15 years of leadership experience. Before Canine to Five, she was a Fear Free certified Veterinary Technician! Taylor currently resides in West Bloomfield Township with her 10 year old daughter, Maria. During her free time, she loves to cook, spend time with her family, and write poetry. Taylor’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is Buster ???? and the staff (they really are amazing.)

staff canine to five

Sandra Maday

Customer Service Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: Two dogs, Luna and Sage, and a cat named Binx

Sandra joined our customer service team in 2018 to work with animals. Before Canine to Five, she was a barber for 6 years! She currently resides in Rochester with her boyfriend, Evan, and her best friend, Chelsea. In her free time, Sandra likes to take her dogs, Luna & Sage, hiking and kayaking, and go to cider mills and corn mazes. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting to pet dogs all day!

Kim Ottenbacher

Kim Ottenbacher

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: Molly the Beagle

Kim is a Customer Service Rep that joined our team in 2017. She started at Canine to Five because the first time she walked through our doors to drop off her dog for a spa day, she knew it would be a great place to work! The staff was friendly, there were DOGS, and with the job she had at the time – there was just no comparison! Before CTF, Kim was a manager at a restaurant in Sterling Heights and a part-time at-home caretaker for the elderly. She currently resides in Utica with her fiancé, Danny, their doggo named Molly Olly Beagle Pants, and their (almost here) baby girl Kara in their Town home. When she’s not at work, and the weather permits, Kim really enjoys going on walks or soaking up the sun on the beach with her fiancé. She also enjoys going up north to their cabin, riding 4 wheelers and sitting by the fire. But on those rainy or snowy days, relaxing at home with a good movie is a nice time, too. What she loves most about Canine to Five is the effort everyone puts in in making sure all the dogs are safe!

Jazmin Gutierrez

Jazmin Gutierrez

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: None yet, but soon!

Jazz joined our team for all of the doggos! Before Canine To Five she worked with an estate sale company, so she got to dig through old houses all over Michigan…”it was amazing.” Jazmin currently resides in Ferndale with her fiance. During her free time, her hands are always busy. She crafts A LOT, so you can always find her either crocheting, weaving, embroidering.. basically everything! Her favorite thing about us are her co-workers <3

Daniel Trader

Christina Wagner

Playroom Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: Four cats named Brandy, Tigger, Harlem, and Sammy Dean, and a Corgi/Kelpie puppy named Bowie!

Christina is a Playroom Supervisor who joined our team last year with a love for animals. Her older sister, Rebecca, has worked with us for 5 years, so she knew it was a fun place to work. Before Canine to Five, Christina worked in retail at several stores throughout Somerset Mall. She recently got her own place with her boyfriend in Warren where she likes to hang out with her Kelpie mix, Bowie, draw, paint, & follow Bob Ross tutorials. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is all the dogs, particularly the puppies.

Gerret Vanderham

Gerret Vanderham

Playroom Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Puggle name Otis, Frenchie named Olive, and Vizsla named Hans.

Gerret joined our team because of his love for dogs, and has become obsessed with Hungarian Vizslas ever since. Before Canine to Five, he was doing landscaping and working at a greenhouse, and now it remains his hobby. Gerret currently resides in Ferndale with his girlfriend of over ten years, Ashley, who puts up with his collections of everything – mainly vinyl records, vinyl toys/ figures, and lots and lots of art. In his free time he likes to play and mix some records, watch a good flick, go to concerts and music gigs, and take care of his 90+ house plant/cacti/succulents. Gerret’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is all of his unique co-workers. So many different personalities, but all the same when it comes to the dogs. Many have become friends and have been pretty special to him in one way or another. PLUS THE Vizslas of course!

Samantha Swamp

Samantha Swamp

Tiny Town Lead

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

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

Sam is a Pack Leader (& groomer in training) who joined our team in 2015. Before Canine to Five, she worked at a vet office and a dog daycare. Sam lives in Hazel Park with her fiancee Logan, their son Jasper, their cat Azreal, and their 4 dogs Luke, Gaia, Kilgore, & Fanny! In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her son and dogs. Sam is also a yoga novice and enjoys gardening. She joined Canine to Five for the dogs, of course! Dogs bring great joy to her life and she enjoys getting to know many different breeds.

Kaitlin Lulofs

Kaitlin Lulofs

Lodging Supervisor

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 Pack Leader who joined our team in 2016. She previously lived in Denver, Colorado where she was a live-in care provider for a special needs Chow Chow and studied Mortuary Science. The very first day she moved back to Michigan, she was walking around her neighborhood and saw Canine to Five.. her eyes lit up! She knew she had to work with us.

Kaitlin currently resides in Ferndale with her roommate, her Cocker Spaniel, Noah, and her different species of insects! During her free time, she legitimately plans all year for Halloween, watches Law & Order, and is currently learning how to drive so she can get her license! She is also always trying to convince the world that leggings are pants. Her favorite this about Canine to Five? “All the dog kisses, duh!”

Heather Hall

Heather 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.

Amy Koffel

Amy Koffel

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Hound Mix named Lana

Amy is a Pack Leader who joined Canine to Five with a love for dogs and a love for learning new things. Before joining our team, she worked for a friend’s start up company that produced and sold hand held flame throwers. Amy currently lives in Oak Park with her boyfriend and their amazing dog Lana, a lab/hound mix. During her free time, Amy loves to read, hike/camp, and play Dungeons & Dragons and board games with her friends. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is her fellow teammates and the incredible amount of things she has, and continues to, learn about dogs.

canine to five staff

Andrew Hamilton

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Boxer/Lab mix named Sisko and a Pit mix named Malcolm

Andrew interned at a podiatry office before coming to Canine to Five. In his free time, Andrew plays guitar, draws, and writes music. His favorite thing about us is all the people he works with!

Hanna Walker

Hanna Walker

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A yellow lab named Gracie, a terrier mix named Louie, and a fish named Merma

Hanna joined Canine to Five because she has a passion for dogs and is studying to be a Veterinary Technician. Before CTF, she was big into customer service/serving. Hanna currently resides in Madison Heights with her 2 dogs, Gracie and Louie, and her fish Merman. She doesn’t have a lot of free time since she works 2 jobs, but she loves spending time her family and being active with her dogs when there’s down time. Hanna’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is that she is the one making dogs feel more comfortable while they’re staying overnight with us.

Tommy Grobbel

Tommy Grobbel

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Chug

Tommy joined our team because he loves dogs and thinks we do a great job ensuring that the animals are cared for and that everyone is happy. Before Canine to Five, he was a production floor hi-lo driver at an injection molding shop. Tom currently resides in Royal Oak with his chunky Chug. During his free time he plays disc golf. If the sun is out and he’s not working, you’ll find him on the course. Tommy’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is everything, it’s the best job he’s ever had! The staff is amazing and we do such a great job making sure all the dogs have a great time.

Kiera Adams

Kiera Adams

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A mixed breed dog named Logan

Kiera joined Canine to Five with a love for animals that started from childhood. Once she adopted her current dog, she became more interested in dog behavior and interaction.  Before CTF, she managed a Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Kiera currently lives in Ferndale with her mother, two sisters, girlfriend, and dog, Logan. In her free time, she likes to draw, paint, and hang out with her family. Other than being with the dogs every day, her favorite thing about Canine to Five would have to be the positive and supportive team.

Kelsey lee Santoro

Kelsey lee Santoro

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Boxer named Bruce, a Pitbull named Deja and 2 cats Honey & Vegas.

Kelsey is a Pack Leader who loves dogs and has always wanted to work with animals. Before Canine to Five, she worked at Sorrento’s pizza in Mt Clemens. Kelsey currently resides in Warren with her boyfriend Brett, their daughter Sophia, their 2 dogs, Bruce & Deja, and 2 cats, Honey & Vegas. In her free time… What’s free time?! If she can actually sit down and binge a show – she’s happy. But she loves being outside, if the sun is out she’s probably in the garden. Kelsey’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is that everyone is happy to be here, there’s so much positivity that goes around it’s hard not to love your job. Plus, endless doggy kisses ????

Khadedra Shamily

Khadedra Shamily

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

PetsTHREE English Bulldogs; Tess, Tyson, and Lilly

Khadedra joined our team because  she has always had a passion for helping animals. It brings her so much joy to care for the dogs at CTF. She love interacting with animals and people, and working with her hands. Before joining CTF Khadedra worked as an office assistant. She currently resides in Detroit with her fiancé and 3 English Bulldogs; Tess, Tyson, and Lilly, who she loves very much. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and pets. Khadedra’s favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is being greeted by dogs every day, and how caring and friendly the staff is.

Kevin Gould

Kevin Gould

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Lab/GSD mix named Kylo

Kevin joined our team because he wanted to work with dogs! Before Canine to Five he worked at Kroger. Kevin currently resides in Hazel Park with his boyfriend, AJ, and his dog, Kylo. In his free time he likes to play video games, read, and play with his dog. Kevin’s favorite thing about working here is all the great people and dogs he has met!

Andrew Musselman

Andrew Musselman

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: Remington & Clive the Border Collies

Andrew is a Pack Leader who says he’s been interested in working at Canine to Five for years, but only recently had the opportunity to join our team. Dogs are his passion! Before CTF, he taught English in Germany. Andrew currently resides right down the street from us with his two Border Collies, Remington and Clive. In his free time, he likes to party with his dogs and get outside! Andrew’s favorite things about Canine to Five are his wonderful coworkers, the adorable puppies, and casual Fridays.

Daniel Trader

Daniel Trader

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: Kit the Staffie mix

Daniel joined Canine To Five because he loves dogs! He would also drive by our building on his way to work every day and dream of the day he worked with us. Before working with dogs, he was working in a manufacturing plant making car parts. “Working at Canine To Five is 100 times better!!” he says. Daniel lives in Ferndale with his soon to be wife. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his fiance, go hiking, go to concerts, and hangout with friends and family. Daniel’s favorite thing about CTF is the relationships he gets to build with each dog.

Jenavee Johnson

Jenavee Johnson

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: Root Beer the Boston Terrier

Jenavee joined Canine to Five to work around something that she loves, and felt like this would be the perfect job for her. Before CTF, she was a host at Café Muse and at an ice-cream shop, Golden Cone. Jenavee currently lives in Southfield with family. She is a full time student with 2 jobs, so she doesn’t really get much free time, but you’ll usually find her catching up on homework, studying, or hanging out with friends. Jenavee’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting familiar with the dogs, and learning so many things she didn’t know before.

Asia Poe

Asia Poe

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Yorkie Shih Tzu name Midnight, a Maltese Shih Tzu named Snowball, and a Tiger Salamander named Azi

Asia joined our team because she loves dogs and wanted to gain experience working with animals. Before Canine to Five, she was a student at MSU majoring in zoology and worked as a receptionist in the dorms. Asiia recently moved back home with her parents while she finishes her degree. During her free time, she likes to hang out with friends, write, and scrapbook. She also loves water activities like swimming, kayaking, and tubing. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is the bond that she builds with the dogs. The people that she works with are great, too ????
Cassidy Parrett

Cassidy Parrett

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: 1 dog, Benji, and 2 cats, Charlie and Oona

Cassidy joined our team because she has a passion for all animals, especially dogs. She has always been around them growing up and has been fascinated by them, how they behaved, and what she could train them to do. Before working at Canine to Five, she was a Kennel Technician and Vet Assistant at Dworkis Dog and Cat Hospital. Cassidy currently resides in Warren with her mother and boyfriend. During her free time, she hangs out at home, relaxing with her family. She likes to throw the ball to her dog, Benji, and just cuddle all the animals! She also naps a lot ???? Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is how much passion our team has every day, not only to help each other out, but to do best by each dog that we possibly can.
Branden Lykins

Branden Lykins

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: Many birds, bearded dragons, a chameleon, 2 cats, and much more!!!

Branden joined our team to feed his soul with dog love, and expand his knowledge of working with animals to dogs. Before Canine to Five he worked at a florist. Branden currently resides in Ferndale with his wonderful partner. During his free time, he enjoys playing with his birds, reptiles, and kitties, or art and spiritual study. His favorite things about Canine to Five are the dogs and staff!
Felix Freeman

Felix Freeman

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Beagle named Dude, a Tortie cat named Lark, and a Flame Point Siamese named Fallon.

Felix moved to Ferndale 2 years ago, and the first time he passed Canine To Five he told his best friend “I’m gonna work there one day.” After getting himself together, he applied and was given the opportunity! He needed to get out of retail and do something he found rewarding with his life. Before Canine to Five, Felix spent 9 years in corporate retail – everything from unloading trucks to a conveyor belt and sorting, to stocking shelves. He lives about a 60 second walk from CTF Ferndale, with two of his best friends as roommates, his beagle, Dude, two cats, and his roommate’s pet rats. Felix is an avid gamer in his free time. He also enjoys movies, and reading. He loves walking around Ferndale with Dude, and Dude loves meeting new people when they go. Felix says, “There’s just about everything to love about Canine to Five. I’ve loved animals, particularly dogs, my entire life, so working with them daily is a dream job. I also love how well the dogs are taken care of and individual needs are met as much as we can. Plus, the work environment and everyone from the owner to managers to other Pack leaders and front desk, everyone is super nice and helpful, everyone is very understanding and it’s just an amazing place to work.”
Daniel Trader

Cody Shornak

Overnight Cleaner

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.

Angela Brusha

Angela Brusha

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: A Pit Bull mix named Harlem, and a black cat named Staten

Unfulfilled in an office setting, Angela started bathing part-time in 2003. In 2006, she made the jump to full-time grooming. Angela is very involved in a little bit of everything; she sews and hides little fleece bunnies, reusable pads, is working on bringing Boomerang Bags to the area, and even used to be a leader with La Leche League, a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group. In her free time, Angela is really into sewing and geocaching. She even went to school for Law Enforcement with the intention of working in a crime lab.

Angela resides in Warren with her awesome husband and her two handsome sons. And she loves her job, too! “I love how helpful and friendly all my coworkers are. As for my job specifically, I love to see the transformation a dog goes through when they get groomed. Sometimes they end up looking like a completely different dog!”

Melissa Van Etten

Melissa Van Etten

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A Chinese Crested, Miso, and a cat, Ariel

Melissa joined our team to meet new people and dogs. She had previously been a groomer for 6 years! During her free time she enjoys riding bikes, making dog apparel, and spending time with her Chinese Crested, Miso, and her cat, Ariel. Melissa's favorite thing about Canine to Five are her helpful team members.