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

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.

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.”

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

Canine Concierge & Customer service

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!”

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.

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Merritt Fooy

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: 2 snakes, Spooky and Garza, a leopard gecko, Lieutenant Dax, and the sleepiest dog, a Black-and-Tan Coonhound named Jethro

Merritt Fooy joined our team because they love dogs, and because they grew up in Ferndale, they were always seeing and hearing about Canine to Five! Merritt previously worked at the Detroit Zoo as a seasonal employee, where they enjoyed seeing so many cool animals every day. They currently live with their family in Saint Clair Shores. In their free time, Merritt likes to read, play board games with their siblings, explore their new neighborhood, and hang out with their friends, family, and dog! Their favorite thing about Canine to Five is the dogs, of course! But a close second is the awesome and welcoming community of employees.
Tommy Grobbel

Tommy Grobbel

Boarding Supervisor

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 ????

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.

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Kaley Mills

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A Shar Pei named Mongo, and a Cockatiel named Archie!

Kaley grew up fascinated by animals, and as she has gotten older, it’s been a dream to be able to make a career out of what she's most passionate about, working with animals!! This job has really been a blessing, and she looks forward to every day! She graduated high school in May (2019), and over the summer she and her family moved to Michigan from Colorado! Kaley now lives in Royal Oak with her Dad, and her Aunt and Uncle are right next door. During her free time, she loves to cuddle up with her furry friends and watch movies! Kaley's favorite things about Canine to Five are the dogs and their families. She adores the trust given to herself and her co-workers to look after each fur baby.
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.”
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Diana Crawford

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A cat named Jynx aka Jinkerbells aka Jynxy

DiAna joined our team for the love of animals. Her father had always urged her to work with dogs because of their shared love for them. She thinks he’d be proud! Canine to Five's flexibility also allows her to work on her business, Buttons and Change. DiAna currently resides in Oak Park with her mother. In her free time, she cares for her grandma and uncle, volunteers for a little league cheer leading team that she used to cheer for when she was younger, dances Afro, Cuban, and Rumba, and, of course, works on growing her business. DiAna's favorite thing about Canine to Five is... "Everything, really! From the dogs  to the people, this place is amazing!"

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Mandy Maksimov

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A Pitty mix named Flynn, and three cats Samuel L Catson, Mima, and Fae

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 Detroit with her partner and their 4 pets. During her free time, she is usually reading, playing World of Warcraft, or spending time with her fur babies.

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Daniel Bane

Pack Leader

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!

Daniel Trader

Cody Shornak

Overnight Attendant

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A cat named Mr. Peppy, and two dogs; a Corgi named Stubbs and a Shepherd Mix named Vidar

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.