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Our Staff Midtown

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 in midtown
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.

CECELIA PERRY

Cecelia Perry

Facility Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: 2 Dachshunds named Simon & Garfunkel, a mystery mutt named Lurch, and two cats, Julius & Angelo

Cecelia joined Canine to Five because she was ready for a change, and her brother, Cullen, already worked for us. Cullen had brought Cecelia with him for some of his overnight stays with the dogs and she loved it! She was also attending Wayne State at the time so it seemed like the perfect fit.

Before Canine to Five, Cecelia was an assistant manager at Qdoba and was going to school at Wayne State for music. She currently resides in the Dearborn area with her roommate Alexis, their three cats Angelo, Julius and Cheeto, and three pups Simon, Garfunkel and Lurch. Five of the 6 fur babies are hers! ???? In her free time, Cecelia loves to visit with family, go to concerts, hang out with friends, or just snuggle up with all the pups. She’s always up for a good adventure!

Cecelia has so many favorite dogs at Canine To Five- Sunnie, Blainey, Chicken and Huck (just to name a few) and so many amazing relationships with everyone that works here. It’s hard to pick one favorite thing about this place, she loves her job! “If you have to work, you better be pursuing something you love and I have definitely found it.”

AUBREY GOURD

Aubrey Gourd

Canine Concierge

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.

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Samantha Hillmer

Systems and Communications Manager & Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Boxer mix named Charlie & A Border Collie/Terrier mix named Violet

If you look up “Dog Lover” in the dictionary, Sam’s picture will show up! With over 10 years experience working with animals, she’s gained knowledge working everywhere from grooming salons to vet clinics. She’s worked with border patrol K9’s, horses, and newborn puppies! Sam even runs her own website about – you guessed it – dogs! She’s even received her Dog Obedience Training certificate from Penn Foster. When she’s not at work, Sam loves taking pictures with her DSLR of dogs and her two adorable daughters, Hailey and Hannah. Her favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is being able to fulfill all her dream job requirements: Dogs, Social Media, & Photography. She currently resides in Allen Park with her husband, Matt, and their two daughters.

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Ashley Dresden

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: 3 dogs – Lemmy, Ophelia, & Hades, and their two cats – Mayhem & Little Cat.

Ashley joined Canine to Five because she LOVES dogs (of course) and wanted something totally different from jobs she’s had in the past. Before working at Canine to Five, she was bartending at a few different bars around Midtown.

Ashley currently resides in the Morningside neighborhood of Detroit with her boyfriend, their 3 dogs Lemmy, Ophelia, & Hades, and their two cats – Mayhem & Little Cat. She pretty much spends all her free time working on the house her and her boyfriend bought last summer, but when she is not doing that, she enjoys gardening, watching movies, and cooking/baking.

Ashley’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is… the dogs! Also, everyone that works here and the amount of teamwork that goes on every single day.

Hannah Robar

Hannah Robar

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A dog named Luna

Hannah joined our team to work in the city and hang out with dogs all day. Before Canine to Five, she had recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Photography and Global Studies. Hannah currently lives at home with her parents in Indian Village. In her free time, she loves taking her dog Luna to the beach on Belle Isle and teaching her new tricks! Hannah’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is all the amazing coworkers she has, and all the dogs, of course.

Samantha Mussey

Samantha Mussey

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: 4 cats Jake, Lucy, Casey and Macy and one Siberian Husky named Chloe

Sam joined our team because she loves dogs and people. Working the desk gives her the opportunity to work with both, and it’s super different from her other job. She currently resides in Dearborn Heights with her parents. During her free time, she likes to read, be outdoors, & go up north, and on the weekend she works as a hair stylist. Sams favorite thing about Canine to Five is seeing the dogs’ happy faces every morning. It makes coming in at 6:15AM a little more bearable ????

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Phoenix Sky

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: Raqueletta the Boxer/Pitbull mix

Phoenix joined our team because not only does she love animal care, but it is important to her that she works for a local business that she knows, trusts, and feels good standing behind. This actually is her third time working at Canine to Five! The first time she worked here it was her first real job ever. In between then she has worked as a veterinary assistant and at another dog daycare out of state. Phoenix currently lives just a few blocks away from our Cass location with her partner and their recently found dog. In her free time, when she’s not working on school stuff, she likes to write, garden, make candles, and read. Phoenix’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is working with a team of positive, open-minded, and diverse people!

Cullen Perry

Cullen Perry

Playroom Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2012

Pets: Dogs, Birdie & Beowulf, & his 2 ducks, Francis and Petunia

Cullen is our Playroom Supervisor who joined the team in 2012. He chose Canine to Five because he wanted to work with dogs for an independently owned business in Detroit. Before CTF, Cullen worked at a Pet Hotel. He currently lives in Detroit with his dogs, Birdie and Beowulf, & his 2 ducks, Francis and Petunia. Petunia just laid 15 eggs! During his free time, Cullen hangs out with his dogs & takes them places. His favorite thing about Canine to Five? The dogs.

Nicole Somoski

Nicole Somoski

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2008

Pets: Azul, a Great Dane, Ruin, a Neapolitan Mastiff and Lyric, a Chihuahua

Nicole works at Canine to Five for a very simple reason: she loves dogs and all their different personalities. When she was just 10 years old, she began volunteering for a variety of animal-focused organizations, from Companion Pet Rescue to H-CAT (Hamtramck Cat Assistance Team). Her mom used to manage the Royal Oak Animal Shelter, where Nicole gained tons of experience. Nicole lives in Detroit. She loves to go on road trips, get tattoos, play video games, work on her reptile collection and shop — when she is not playing with your dog!

Alex Eggersten

Alex Eggersten

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2013

Pets: Mack, a Catahoula Leopard Dog

Alex loves working at Canine to Five because nothing beats working in the pack. Alex finds working with dogs to be a greatly rewarding experience. She lives in Ferndale and is studying sociology at Wayne State University. Alex has been a dog owner her whole life. When she isn’t working Alex can be found out hunting for great new books to read, playing with her dog, riding her bike, practicing yoga or binge watching Netflix.

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Jessica Merkle

Boarding Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A Pitbull named Samantha

Jess lived next door to Canine to Five owner, Liz, for years. One day while she was walking her dog, Liz asked if she’d like to work for her. Jess’ boss at the time also happened to be a Canine to Five client, and suggested she worked here as well; They knew she would love it! Working with dogs is a true dream come true for Jess. She was in the retail and food industry and had always held a few jobs at a time, but a couple years into Canine to Five she decided to resign from everything else and dedicate herself fully to this job! Jess currently resides in New Center with her 11 year old Pit Bull, Samantha, and her two roommates that she’s lived with for over 6 years. She also co-parents a former stray Pit Bull named Linus that coworker Nick found, along with his pal Banksy who groomer Steph rescued. Jess’ favorite thing about Canine to Five is the friendships – both human and dog!

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Matt Somoski

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A Basset Hound/Bulldog mix named Lloyd

We welcomed Matt to our Detroit team in May of this 2016. He’s a great guy, and lives with an adorable dog named Lloyd and his roommate, Dave. Matt is an avid thrifter, shoe collector, and hockey enthusiast. His favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is bonding with all the amazing dogs we have in our pack!

Denis Rochac

Denis Rochac

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: Two dogs named High Top and Punkin, and a cat named Kimchi

Denis lives with his girlfriend, two dogs, and a cat. Aside from working with us at Canine to Five, Denis is also a teacher! He enjoys making music in his free time. His favorite part of the job is working with the humans AND dogs.

Mica Randolph

Mica Randolph

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Yorkie mix named Robbie

A proud Detroit resident, Mica formerly worked for Petco. She loves spending time with her friends, hanging out in Midtown, and also enjoys writing and photography on her down time. She’s also crazy obsessed with Reese Cups, so it doesn’t hurt to drop off a few at our New Center location for her! What does she love so much about working at CTF? “The people.” She loves that everyone here is so open and understanding, and that we know she has a life outside of work and these amazing dogs!

Kyle Dunn

Kyle Dunn

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Bullmastiff/Pit Bull mix named Conan

Kyle joined Canine to Five with a desire to work with dogs and support a local Detroit business. Before CTF, he spent his time in Graduate school obtaining a masters degree in anthropology. He has plans to pursue his doctorate in the near future! In his free time, Kyle likes to read, travel, workout, play with his dog, and spend time with his amazing wife. His favorite thing about Canine to five is building positive relationships with the dogs and keeping them safe and happy while experiencing the different breeds and personalities that go with all them.

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Megg Ellis

Playroom Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Wheaten Terrier named Puck

Megg joined Canine to Five’s team because she has always loved dogs and was ready to look for more meaningful employment than the average retail or food service job. Before she started working with us, she was a full-time student at Wayne State in the music program. She’s almost finished with her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance! Megg lives in Woodbridge with four roommates and a goofy cat named James. In her free time, she likes to explore Detroit and the surrounding areas, go to museums and street fairs, read, knit, and watch TV/movies. She doesn’t have any pets of her own, but she hopes to adopt a retired racing greyhound in the next couple of months or years! Megg’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting to be part of such a positive and cooperative team while building relationships with all of the wonderful dogs that come through our doors.

Diamond Walters

Diamond Walters

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: Shih Tzu named Rocsi and a Lab named King

Diamond joined Canine to Five because animals are her passion! She first began bringing her dog to our grooming salon and noticed we were hiring. She jumped at the opportunity and now loves coming to work! Before working at Canine to Five, she worked at a factory called Ground Effects. Working at a factory is definitely not her calling… Diamond currently resides in Detroit with her mother, Tina, her Shih Tzu named Rocsi, and her Lab named King. During her free time she likes to eat and write. She is currently working on a book that will hopefully be done by the end of the year! Diamond’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is “working with so many happy and positive co-workers! When we are in the pack we are a TEAM! I’ve never had a job that I was so excited to go to everyday!”

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Sydney Nygro

Playroom Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A black and orange cat named Franky

Sydney joined our team to find a job she knew she would enjoy. Before Canine to Five, she worked overnights at a department store. Sydney currently resides in Inkster with her boyfriend, his son, and their cat. During her free time, she likes to watch movies, cook, sleep, and go out with her boyfriend and friends. Sydney’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is obviously all the dogs that she is now in love with, but also the staff that feels like a big family.

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Danni Wonnacott

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A 14 year old Rat Terrier/Pomeranian mix named Chad, a 10 year old Bernese mt. dog/shepherd mix named Maverick and a 9 year old tortishell cat named Stella Luna (who acts like a dog)

Danni joined our team because she loves working with dogs! Before Canine to Five, she was an office clerical clerk and accounting assistant. Dannie currently resides in Madison Heights with her husband, Kelly, and their pets. In her free time, she loves to eat! But she mostly volunteers at a rescue shelter, spends time with her family, and sings any opportunity she gets. Danni's favorite thing about Canine to Five? - The dogs! More specifically, the variety of dogs that hang out together at daycare.

Alice Rock

Alice Rock

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Alice joined our team because she loves dogs! She also wanted to work in Detroit for a local, indie business, and Canine To Five was an exciting opportunity for her. Previously, she was an office administrator for a non-profit dog rescue. She also organized adoption events for cats. In just 3 years she rescued, fostered, and placed over 200 kittens! Alice currently resides in West Village, Detroit. During her free time she likes to look at art, chill out on Belle Isle beach during the summer, search for Ring-necked Pheasants around the city, drink good beer with good friends, Comerica Park/Detroit Tigers, & sing karaoke! Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting to know each dog’s individual and unique personalities, and meeting all the different breeds and mixes. “We get a little super-excited when our favorite dogs are here! The people I work with are more than pretty cool and awesome, too!”
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Kyle Watson

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: Lives with 4 dogs and 3 cats

Kyle joined out team because to him – it sounded like a dream job. So far we have more than filled his expectations. Before working at Canine to Five, he was sort of all over the place… you could say Kyle is a jack of all trades. He has worked in regular clothing retail, handled military surplus and tactical equipment, oversaw daily operations of a smoke shop, and much more. Kyle currently resides in Mount Clemens, near downtown, with his mom and her boyfriend. Any free time he gets is usually spent catching up on homework, exercising, or sleeping. Kyle’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is meeting all the different breeds of dogs, learning so much about them that he never knew, and building personal relationships between him, the dogs, and his new team of coworkers who already feel like family <3

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Nathan Byers

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A dog named Mack and a cat named Andy. His roommate has a little black cat named Bing Bing. Aka mayor Dave Bing.

Nate joined our team because he needed a job closer to home, and since he loves dogs, he thought there'd be no better place! Before Canine to Five, he worked in rough carpentry framing decks. Nate currently resides in midtown with his 2 roommates. He spends most of his free time at school and skateboarding. His favorite thing about Canine to Five is the dogs, and he thinks the people are awesome, too!

Anthony Thomas

Anthony Thomas

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A 3 year old Pit Bull

Anthony joined our team because he wanted a job he could walk into with a smile on his face. Before Canine to Five, he worked in production at a Automotive plant for 9 years. Anthony currently resides in Detroit with his dog. During his free time he is with his daughters, going to parks, movies, and watching his Semi-Professional Football games. Anthonys favorite thing about Canine to Five is the energy he gets just from walking in the door, and the co-workers he has met in passing.
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Marciavye Jackson

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A Toy Poodle named Baileys & a Miniature Poodle named Whiskey

Marciavye joined our team because she loves dogs. She has been around them her whole life, so it seemed like the perfect job for her. This Pack Leader is also employed in the food service industry, works at the Little Caesars Arena, and is a massage therapist! Marciavye currently lives right down the street from Canine to Five. During her free time she enjoys writing and performing music, playing chess, and golfing. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is all the Newfoundlands - especially George and Clover! She also enjoys having hands on activities at work because she is a Kinesthetic learner.

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Dave Vesella

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Dave joined our team because he has always loved dogs. He's the guy that ignores people at a party if there is a dog there. His family raised guide dog puppies for the blind while he was growing up. So there was always one or two dogs around that they took every where with them. It becomes a part of your life at that point. Dave currently reside in Detroit with his thoughts and musical instruments. During his free time, he likes to wax philosophical about nonsense, play music, and make art. Dave's favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting to hang with his favorite animals all day.

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Shimeka Baldwin

Overnight Attendant

Joined Canine to Five team in 2019

Pets: A Pit Bull named Lozen

Shimeka joined our team because she is an animal lover, she enjoys cleaning, and although she is a team player, she enjoys working alone and the overnight schedule gives her more time with her kids. Before Canine to Five, Shimeka did janitorial work for GM in the Renaissance Center. She currently resides in Detroit with her 3 children. During her free time, Shimeka enjoys cooking with her children, daily walks, and movies.
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Charles Garcia

Overnight Attendant

Joined Canine to Five team in 2019

Pets: Two dogs named Khan and Bodie

Charles joined our team based on the numerous positive reviews we have on the internet! Before Canine to Five, he worked in IT/customer support. Charles currently resides in Hamtramck with his two dogs, Khan and Bodie. His favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is how everyone comes together as a team, "plus, the owner and management are the best!!"

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Lauren Blanchard

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A cute fat cat named Foxy and an Australian Shepherd, aptly named Aussie

Before starting at Canine to Five, Lauren groomed dogs for over 4 years in Macomb County. In her free time she likes to go camping, read books, and get drinks with friends. She currently lives in Warren. Lauren says she chose to work at Canine to Five because of the constant activity, and upbeat positive attitude of everyone that works here. She loves that everyone seems to truly love their job as much as she does!

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Lisa Barnett

Groomer

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, roller blade and read. She can also often be found at local venues listening to bands play.

Steven Brzozowski

Steven Brzozowski

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Rudy, a Toy Poodle mix named Pixel, and a Ambilobe Panther Chameleon named Falcor

A former dog trainer, groomer, and nutrition specialist for Petco, Steven came to us with a ton of experience working with animals. He enjoys video games, tabletop games, and outings with his adorable dogs. He’s a huge fan of Magic the Gathering and other geeky tabletop games. He also enjoys collecting T-shirts and geeky collectibles. He’s also proud papa to a colony of cockroaches that he breeds to feed his chameleon. When asked why he loves this crazy place so much, Steven said, “I love that every day is a new adventure whether it is coloring a dog fun colors, giving them a fancy haircut, or just making them comfortable with a practical haircut. Every day is different and exciting.” This awesome guy currently resides in Hazel Park with a roommate and his pack.

Brittany Robertson

Brittany Robertson

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A Cavalier King Charles name Lexy & a Snoodle named Finnigan

Brittany joined our team after she moved to Michigan and wanted to find a place that she could call home. She has been a dog groomer for about 10 years! Before that she worked at another boarding facility, did vet assistant work, sold propane and propane accessories at her local Sears, and made sub sandwiches. Brittany currently lives with her lovely daughter, who is way cooler than she could ever be, and her wonderful fiancé who makes them smile and laugh everyday. All of her free time is spent with her family; Whether they are finding a new activity to get into, playing games, or watching the latest anime her daughter shows them. Brittany’s favorite thing about Canine to Five so far has been all of the wonderful animal lovers she has met and gets to work along side of everyday!
Shannon Brownlee

Shannon Brownlee

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: Two Dogs

Shannon joined our team because she loves dogs! She has been a groomer for 8 years and previously managed a salon. During her free time, Shannon enjoys spending time with her child and her two dogs. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is... the dogs, of course!

Najee Nixon

NaJa'Ree Nixon

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five team in 2018

Pets: A cat named Moo Moo & a turtle named iQ

NaJa'Ree joined our team because she loves grooming and the city of Detroit. She has been a groomer for 8 years and previously worked at both Petco & Petsmart salons. NaJa'Ree currently resides in Southfield with her cat, Moo Moo, and turtle, iQ. During her free time she enjoys painting and poetry. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is her groom team and everyone she works with.

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Alec Woods

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five team in 2019

Pets: An Orange Tabby Cat named Connor

Canine to Five has always been on Alec's radar as a very cool place to work. He is so thrilled to be amongst our team of groomers and loves that he gets a chance to work in the city! Alec has worked with dogs his entire working career. At 17 , he was bathing in a corporate setting and when he was given the chance to learn how to groom, he jumped all over it. Since then, he has worked at private grooming shops and even spent a few years working at a doggy daycare in Burlington, Vermont. Alec currently resides with his lovely boyfriend and an angel in the form of an orange tabby cat, Connor, in Dearborn. During his free time, he enjoys thrifting, traveling, and taking bubble baths. Alec's favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is working with our groom team and making the dogs look and feel fab.