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.

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Liz Blondy

Founder and Owner

Founded Canine to Five in 2005

Pets: A Landseer Newfoundland named Clover

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.

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.

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Benjamin Paga

Director of Operations

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: 2 dogs named Bonnie & Kiba, 1 cat named Oliver

Ben is our Director of Operations, and going above and beyond for our clients is totally his thing. Coming from a background in the rescue/vet world, Ben says doggy daycare is a completely different environment. "It has been so inspiring to work with a team that loves, adores, and truly wants to learn more and grow with each dog that comes through our door, as well as our clients that treat their pups as their own children."

Ben currently lives in Ferndale with his Shepherd mixes, Bonnie & Kiba, and long haired cat, Oliver. In his free time, Ben enjoys painting, wood burning, trail hikes with his dogs, gardening, and fixing his house. His favorite thing about Canine to Five is “The need to learn more. I love this company because we grow with the times. I love learning more about each and every dog and their individual behaviors, quirks and personalities and then being able to have a conversation with our awesome clients really just makes my day. Seeing a dog go from underconfident to giving that first booty bump to the owner walking in for the first time with a treat pouch is the biggest win for my staff and I. The ability to enrich all dogs' lives is my favorite thing about Canine to Five."

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samantha hillmer

Director of Marketing & Client Experience

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Boxer Mix named Charlie & A Cattle Dog/Terrier Mix named Violet

Samantha is the doer of all things. As our Director of Marketing & Client Experience, she is behind all of our client communication and social media, she helps document and improve our processes, maintains our reservation software, updates our website, writes blog posts, and honestly - so much more.

Outside of having an knack for technology, Sam has over 10 years of experience working with animals! She has worked everywhere from grooming salons to vet clinics, working with border patrol K9’s, horses, and has even helped deliver newborn puppies. She loves working at Canine to Five because basically everything she does is also her hobby! Writing, social media, graphic design - it truly is her dream job. Sam also loves that Canine to Five is all about being positive and provides a healthy outlet for dogs who would otherwise be bored at home. "Working for a business that shares your same values and training beliefs is so great. I know my own dogs are happy and safe at Canine to Five, so it's easy for me to communicate the benefits to potential clients when doing my job."

Samantha currently resides in Allen Park with her husband, Matt, her two daughters, Hailey & Hannah, and her two dogs, Charlie & Violet.

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cullen perry

Manager of Training & Development

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2012

Pets: 4 dogs - Birdie, Beowulf, Sabretooth, and Charlie, 5 cats - Elvira, Inana, Ishie, Lulu, and Flea, and a catfish named Salvador

Cullen is our dog guru. As our Training Manager, he makes sure all of our Pack Leaders are proficient in dog behavior and body language, and that all of our dogs are being taken care of properly and with positive techniques. When asked what his favorite thing about CTF was, he replied, "The dogs, obviously. I like that we have created an environment that can be healthy, positive, and enriching for so many different personality types. I love that our staff puts in the work to help dogs learn the skills they need to be successful. Our level of dedication and knowledge, matched with customer transparency and education, means that we can provide a beneficial service that is unique within the industry."

Cullen currently resides in Detroit with his 4 dogs, Birdie, Beowulf, Sabretooth, and Charlie, his 5 cats, Elvira, Inana, Ishie, Lulu, and Flea, and his catfish, Salvador.

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Kaitlin Lulofs

Canine Concierge

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A 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!”

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Mandy Maksimov

Facility Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: German Aussie named Banshee, a Norwegian Forest Cat named Samuel L. Catson, a Tuxedo named Marishka Hargitay, and an orange tabby named Medivh

Mandy was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and lived on a hobby farm just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She has always surrounded herself with all kinds of animals, and finally decided she needed a break from the customer service jobs she'd taken on throughout the years, and wanted to commit herself solely to animals. Canine to Five was the perfect fit! Mandy absolutely adores working (and playing) with our dogs at Canine to Five! She currently resides in Oak Park Michigan with her pets.  During her free time, she is usually reading, playing World of Warcraft, or spending time with her fur babies.

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Christian moultrie

Client Experience Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: A Pit Bull named Diesel

Avid dog cuddler, Christian, was originally looking for something customer service based when job searching. Once joining our team, he got that - and so much more! Having pets growing up sparked his interest to apply, and we are so glad he did. Before Canine to Five, he was a Customer Service Rep at Uhaul full-time, and he managed a popcorn shop part-time. Now training as a Pack Leader, Christian says his favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting acquainted and building a relationship with all of the different breeds of dogs.

Christian currently resides in Detroit, right outside of Dearborn, with his partner and dog, Diesel. In his free time, he loves to hang with his family, sleep, and sing.
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Oliver Gutholm

Customer Service & Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2021

Pets:  Dog named Betsy who’s a tiny lab mix and two cats, Tony and Ryan

Oliver joined Canine To Five because he always loved dogs and his sister Paige has worked here for a long time and she told him to do an interview!  He grew up with dogs his whole life and has helped his neighbor, who always has foster dogs, his whole life as well.  Prior to joining Canine To Five Oliver worked at Target and a bakery.  He currently resides in Royal Oak.  In his free time, Oliver enjoys watching movies (especially horror) and reading.  His favorite thing about Canine To Five is meeting the new dogs and slowly building relationships with them.

 

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Amanda Takacs

Customer Service & Canine Concierge

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2021

Pets:  Melvin and Jessie who are both Staffordshire Terriers and two cats named Lucy and Kennedy.

Amanda joined Canine To Five after deciding to take a break from the music industry.  She previously worked for the radio stations 89X and 93.9 as a Promotions Director and was the Marketing Manager at Saint Andrew’s Hall until 2020.  Amanda has always loved animals, especially dogs and thought that Canine To Five would be a great fit for her.  She has had dogs pretty much all of her life and has been trusted with family and friends' dogs on numerous occasions when they needed help watching them.  Amanda and her husband, Devin also rescue frequently.  He works as a lineman in the city and comes across a lot of stray animals, so they do their best to get them the help they need.   She currently resides in Allen Park with Devin and their dogs and cats.  In  her free time, Amanda likes to take her dogs for a walk, read and spend time with her family and friends.  Her favorite thing about Canine To Five (besides the dogs, of course!) is her coworkers and the ability to continue to learn more about the company and grow with it!

 

 

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Jordan Weisman

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2021

Pets: Ruthie Bader Ginsberg Dog- she is a mountain cur, pittbull, Australian shepherd, lab, and German shepherd mix

Jordan joined Canine To Five because she couldn’t think of anything better than spending all day with puppy dogs.  She's been a dog owner her whole life and hopes to get a cat someday!  Jordan worked in mortgages for seven years prior to working at Canine To Five.  She currently resides in Pleasant Ridge with her partner Cathy, two sons Thatcher and Ewan and her dog, Ruthie.  In her free time, she FaceTime's with her sisters, goes for walks, listens to podcasts, and watches sports.  Jordan's favorite thing about Canine to Five is cuddling with the dogs and helping to redirect behavior, it is very rewarding.

 

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Gerret Vanderham

Pack Leader

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!

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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.”
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Daniel Bane

Overnight Attendant

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A black cat

Daniel joined our team with a passion for animals. Before Canine to Five, he worked with food and customer service. This Pack Leader currently resides in Hazel Park with his sister. During his free time, Daniel enjoys lots of sleeping, and nerdy things. His favorite part about working at Canine to Five is further development of the dogs and helping them become the greatest pets ever!

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Fallon Mills

Pack Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: Caesar the Pit Bull

Fallon joined our team with a love for animals that started when she was a child and continues to grows daily. Prior to Canine to Five, she worked at a coffee shop. Fallon currently lives at home with her family while attending Wayne State University full time studying Photography. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and taking pictures, of course! Her favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is being able to work with so many different types of dogs and helping them succeed in the best ways possible.

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Jesse Guest

Pack Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Jackson the Australian Shepherd, Darla the Terrier mix, & Violet the German Short-haired Pointer, Archie the Salty Old Man Cat, Geisha & Triton the Betta fish

Jesse joined Canine to Five to work with dogs after previously working in Healthcare. He currently resides in Royal Oak with his roommate and pets. During his free time, Jesse enjoys reading, taking naps, and hanging out with his friends (remotely). His favorite thing about Canine to Five is that it doesn't really feel coming to work. The day flies by because you're having so much fun!

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Keara Crook

Pack Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Baby the German Shepherd, 2 cats named Chim & Rosie, 2 Bearded Dragons named Kermit & Fizzgig, 2 Turtles named Lightening & Tsunami, and last but not least a, a Gecko named Squad!

Keara is a Pack Leader who came to us from Knox College where she obtained her BS in Biology & Asian Studies. She even spent a summer in Thailand working with Asian Elephants, and took a lot of animal behavior courses! Keara wanted to work Canine to Five because, "Who wouldn't want to work with dogs?! They are the highlight of human lives!" She loves seeing how happy the dogs are to come into daycare and their excitement when going home to tell their families all about their day. Keara lives in her childhood home in Eastpointe with her family where in her free time she likes to travel, paintball, & ultimate frisbee, as well as hanging out and snuggling with her fur babies.

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Adrienne Williams

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2021

Pets: Sonic the Chihuahua, Jack Tails the Pomeranian, Bella the German Shepherd, 2 cats named Zigzag & Priscila, and a Bearded Dragon named Nebula

Adrienne joined out team because she loves dogs, of course! Prior to Canine to Five, she worked at Pet Supplies Plus. Adrienne currently resides in Detroit with her brother where she likes to play video games, practice kung fu, and play with her fur babies. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five? Getting to play with dogs all day!

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Andrea Hawkins

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2021

Pets: 5 dogs and 2 cats. Sugar, Nala, Abbey, Candy, Toby, Stormy and Squeaker’s.

Andrea joined our team because she wanted to with work with animals!  Prior to working at Canine To Five, she worked in fast food and cleaned houses.  Andrea currently resides in Hazel Park with her fiancé, their daughter and his grandpa.  In her free time, she likes to spend time with her daughter.  Her favorite thing about working at Canine To Five is being able to work with all different breeds of dogs.

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Lydia Hall

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2021

Lydia joined Canine To Five because she wanted to be a helpful part of her community and she loves being around dogs!  She has had many of them over the years.  Prior to joining Canine To Five, Lydia was in retail sales and management.  She currently resides in Ferndale with her partner Neil.  During her free time, Lydia enjoys knitting and embroidery.  Her favorite thing about Canine To Five is hanging out with all of the sweet dogs that come everyday and seeing them have fun with their friends.

 

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Cecelia Perry

Employee Recruiting & Company Events Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: 3 Dachshunds named Simon, Garfunkel, & Tazz, a mystery mutt named Lurch, and two cats, Julius & Angelo

Who's that lady walking 4 dogs at once? It's our HR Manager, Cecelia! In 2014, Cecelia joined our team looking to break out of the food industry. Her brother, Cullen, had already been a Pack Leader with us for 2 years and introduced her to Canine to Five. Starting out as a Pack Leader herself, Cecelia quickly moved up to Supervisor, then Facility Manager at our Midtown location, in just 3 short years! Between her love for animals growing up, and her managerial skills from working at Qdoba, we knew she would be a perfect fit.

Cecelia currently resides in Dearborn with her Husband, Chris. They share their home with Dachshunds Garfunkel, Simon, & Tazz, mystery mutt, Lurch, and cats Angelo & Julius. During her free time, she loves reading and seeking out live music. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is the family atmosphere. From the staff, to the dogs, to the clients - so much love! ❤
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Lou Ray

director of finance

Joined Canine to Five team in 2019

Pets: Suzie & Blue Ray the Lab Mixes

Lou is a Certified Public Accountant who joined our team to provide our company assistance with accountability, metrics, and strategy development. Prior to Canine to Five, he owned and operated an industrial supply distribution company. When he isn't talking finances, Lou enjoys golfing, cycling, hiking, and traveling up north. He has owned dogs his whole life, and currently resides in Grosse Pointe with his wife and two dogs, Suzie & Blue Ray. Lou says his favorite thing about Canine to Five is our employees and their enthusiasm for the dogs in our care.