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Our Staff – Detroit


Liz Blondy

Founder and Owner
Liz Blondy
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 she hasn’t looked back. Canine to Five is now recognized as a Detroit small business success story, and Liz 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 husband, Pat Deegan, as well as her two giant dogs, Bunny and Argon.


Melissa Smolinski

Facility Manager
Melissa Smolinski
Joined the Canine to Five Team in 2011

Pets: A Shepherd mix named Maybel and two cats named Sam and Owen

This Melissa’s first job working with animals but she’s had all sorts her whole life, so it comes as second nature. When she’s not making sure that the daycare is running smoothly and your dogs are safe and sound, she enjoys music, photography, road trips and hanging with her own pets. And, on certain Saturdays at the Masonic Temple, Melissa can also be founding cheering on The Detroit Pistoffs and the rest of the Detroit Derby Girls.


Nicole Somoski

Playroom Supervisor
Nicole Somoski
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!


Cullen Perry

Playrooom Supervisor
Cullen Perry
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2012

Pets: Dogs, Birdie & Beowulf, and Cats, Bosco & Beatrice

Cullen loves working with dogs, learning their different personalities, getting to know their unique play styles, and what motivates them. Cullen had been working with animals for two years prior to joining us at Canine to Five. When he’s not outside playing in our pools with your dog, Cullen enjoys hanging out with his friends, listening to music and being outdoors.


Cecilia Perry

Playroom Lead
Cecilia Perry
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A dog named Garfunkel, a prairie dog named Lily, and two cats, Julius and Angelo

Cecilia resides in Dearborn and studies music at Wayne State. She enjoys working at Canine to Five because of its proximity to campus and the fun atmosphere. Besides supervising in our Playroom, you may also see Cecilia working at our desk as well as in our groom room! We are so lucky to have such a multi-talented member of our team!


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?”


Rikki Danley

Customer Service
Rikki
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A French Bulldog named Opie (aka Chunk)

Before starting at Canine To Five, Rikki lived in California and owned a Tattoo Shop. An avid welder, Rikki owns Danley Custom Wood and Iron where she creates functional art focused around metal and fiber. She also loves to spend time with her dog, read and travel. She currently resides in Detroit with her husband Kyle and her dog.


Paige Sheehan

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

When Paige isn’t working at our desk you may find her bartending in Detroit or indulging in one of her favorite pastimes: napping. She currently resides in Hamtramck with her friend, Shelby and their Siamese cat, Jojo. Paige doesn’t have any pets of her own currently but would love to get a dog someday. When asked why she likes working at Canine to Five Paige told us, “It’s a great work environment and I love being able to hug all the dogs!”


Jesse Millerimage1 (1)

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A sweet little Pitbull named Aaliyah and her sister’s giant Akita, Chloe

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 and she loves her neighborhood, Woodbridge.


Alex Eggersten

Pack Leader
Alex Eggertsen
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.


Kameron Snowden

Pack Leader
Kameron Snowden
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A brindle pit mix named Kuvo

Before joining the Canine To Five team, Kameron was going to school for Fashion Design with a minor in Asian Studies. She lives on the West side of Detroit with her mom and sister where she enjoys reading, going to the movies and playing with her dog, Kuvo. She has also played classical piano for 13 years and enjoys going to record stores and thrift stores, traveling, cooking and baking. Kameron has grown up with dogs and loves that she gets to increase her knowledge of dog behavior through her work here.


Jessica Merkle

Pack Leader
Jessica Merkle
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A Pitbull named Samantha

Jessica works seasonally for the Detroit Tigers and is an art vendor at Eastern Market. After learning about Canine to Five from her neighbor and CTF founder, Liz, she knew she wanted to join the pack because “I’ve always loved dogs, have always owned one since 5 years old, and have always wanted to work with them.” Jessica currently resides in a penthouse loft in Eastern Market with her dog and three Detroit musician roommates.


Adrian Yonkus

Pack Leader
Adrian Yonkus
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: A dog named Lola

Adrian is a Detroiter in a band called Junk Food Junkies — the name is derived from her ardent love for snacking! In her free time, she likes to picnic at Belle Isle, visit zoos, and get away for weekend camping trips with her dog. Adrian’s love of dogs is what led her to her job at Canine to Five. She says, “I’d always heard awesome things about this place and I am so happy to be a part of it.”


Alex Glendening

Pack Leader
Alex
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

We let Alex write his own bio as he has a way with words: “I traveled around the world in a hot-air balloon looking for my soulmate. When that didn’t work out, I worked as a waiter, a clerk at a record shop, and a barista. I am a musician, and I like to go on hikes. I also enjoy spending time on boats, and would love to meet any dog owners willing to take me out on the open sea. I live in Detroit with my roommates Colleen, Jordan & a sweet pit bull named Florida. I have a family dog named Sydney. We found her playing in traffic on Mack & Mt Elliot in 2005. I also have a cat named Carmella. I didn’t choose to work here, the dogs chose me.”


Nick Whatley

Pack Leader
Nick
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A Pug named Pudgy

Before Canine to Five, Nick worked at a salon as a hairdresser and manager. His hobbies include working out, playing pool and hanging out around town. Nick currently lives in Grosse Pointe Park with his dog. Nick chose Canine to Five because he loves dogs and being active, he gets plenty of active time here keeping up with our pack!


Asia MaAsia

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: A horse and four dogs named Yue, B.G., Allie and Gatsby

Asia is no stranger to working with animals, she has been riding horses her entire life and her equine knowledge is an awesome asset to our playroom. Besides working with animals, you can often find Asia playing the guitar or hanging out with her best friend and fellow CTF employee, Paige.


Ryan ChlebekRyan

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2016

Pets: One cat, Stu

Ryan is a simple guy with simple tastes. In his down time, he enjoys reading comic books, playing music, riding bikes, taking baths, but most of all, he enjoys eating. Ryan resides in Wyandotte with Stu and his mother, where he spends plenty of time watching movies and sharing food with Stu. When asked what he loves most about working with dogs, Ryan said he just loves making new dog friends everyday and giving them their own pretend voices that match their personalities.


Sara SteenberghSara

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A Lab/Hound/Pit Bull mix named Alice

Sara is a woman of many passions. Among other things, she enjoys reading, camping, DIY projects, and sewing. But her greatest loves? Dogs and wood working. She’s been working wood and making furniture for a few years and it’s consumed her life. When asked what she loves most about working at Canine to Five, Sara said “all of my amazing coworkers and building relationships with the dogs and seeing that grow and evolve.” Sara currently resides in Detroit with her dog, Alice.


Victoria Fraccarolliindex

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A super social 15lb Tabby named Pepperoni

Simply put, Victoria loves dogs. She loves learning about them (and with them!), socializing with them, and watching them grow. She even enjoys volunteering for the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit. Victoria’s hobbies include riding her bike around and exploring Detroit, eating local food, taking photos on film, and watercolor painting. She’s also super into yoga (“I look for mats and do yoga on them”). When asked what she loves so much about working at Canine to Five, she said “I absolutely love dogs; seeing them learn and grow. I also love how active and energy focused I have to be every shift.”


Erin Snyder

Pack LeaderDetroit Erin

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: Two gorgeous Huskies named Kalista and Bentley

Before joining the CTF family, Erin was working as a bartender. She’s currently attending Wayne State for Occupational Therapy, and her hobbies include running and watching TV.

 


Heather Bennett

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016File_000(4)

Pets: A dog named Chewy, and three cats Mouse, Mookie, and Pepper

Before Canine to Five, Heather worked for Google. She lives in Lincoln Park with her best friend Brittany, her dog, and three cats. In her free time, Heather likes to perform standup comedy and paint. Her favorite thing about working at Canine to Five is getting to spend time with dogs and learning about how they interact.


Stephanie Booth

Groomer

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2011

Pets: A Catahoula Leopard dog named Peanut

Prior to joining us at Canine to Five, Steph had already been working with dogs for over four years. She’s loved dogs ever since she was a little girl, so it won’t surprise you to hear that her favorite thing about this job is getting to work with every different breed, size and personality of dog. Steph is always interested in doing volunteer work, especially helping to find foster homes for animals (even if it’s her own home!). Steph got married in October 2014 and she lives in Garden City with her husband and dog.


Holly Lenhart

Groomer
Holly
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2006

Pets: Two dogs, four cats and four tanks full of fish

Holly is a graduate of the Academy of Animal Arts who excels at both dog and cat grooming! She is a Detroit resident who has a passion for animals in need, and often fosters strays. Holly’s gentle way with the dogs makes her a great addition to the team.


Lauren Blanchard

Groomer
Lauren
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 lives in Madison Heights with her boyfriend, Dan. 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!


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.


Andrea Jennens

Groomer
Jennens
Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Before Canine To Five, Andrea worked as a groomer in Farmington Hills and is now a student at Wayne State. She spends her free time with friends and family, exploring new places or old favorites or just hanging out at home. She currently lives in Midtown with three roommates who are also students. Andrea says she chose to work at Canine to Five because grooming is her favorite thing to do. Andrea is a major animal lover but doesn’t currently have any pets of her own so she says her job is great because she gets to love on all the great dogs she works with instead!

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