Without the dedicated staff members at Play All Day, we could not offer the quality of services that we do. I am so grateful that we have each and every staff member on our team. As with all teams, every member brings something to the table to make us better. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know them better. I have listed them in order of seniority.
Dee has had numerous dogs throughout the years, starting with a Boston Terrier, whom she had for 13 years. Her 3 most recent dogs were all “hand-me-downs” from friends and acquaintances who could no longer keep them – a Bichon, then a Beagle, and currently she has Oliver, an 11-yr. old blonde Cocker Spaniel.
Dee first became acquainted with the concept of dog daycare when she had an over-active, extremely social Beagle, who was driving her to exhaustion, trying to keep her busy and out of trouble. Daycare was truly a God-send for her (and Dee). This beagle girl is also responsible for enabling Dee to combine her favorite pastime of bike riding with dogs. Dee and her beagle became “biking buddies”. This is a pastime she now enjoys with her current boy Oliver. Dee’s other hobby is gardening, accompanied by Oliver who “helps” her by soaking up the sunshine while he works alongside her. Dee feels that everything is more enjoyable if you have a canine buddy to share it with! Dee’s husband Bob also keeps her busy with his hobby of flipping homes.
Dee came to Play All Day soon after it opened, after a 35-year career as a Medical Lab Technician, and feels so very privileged and blessed to have her “Dream Job” of spending time with so many wonderful dogs. Dee states that every day is different and exciting, as she gets to meet each day’s dogs as they arrive for daycare. She also enjoys giving baths and doing nails. Wednesday afternoons are special to Dee, as she loves interacting with all the Tiny Town pups as their Play Group Attendant.
Kate’s first and only dog is Mya who will be 5 years old. Mya is a chocolate lab and loves to play, fetch, and most importantly cuddle. Kate claims she is her best friend.
Kate grew up in Peoria with her parents and siblings. She is the youngest of five. Kate played every sport that she could in school. Volleyball and running hurdles were her favorite. Her mother worked as a Veterinary Assistant when Kate was a child and she remembers thinking that her Mom had the coolest job around. When asked the typical question ”what do you want to be when you get older”, Kate’s answer always involved animals in some way. She pet-sat for neighbor’s pets during her middle school days. During social events, Kate could be found hanging out with the host’s pets.
Her first job was at Party City, a retail store in Peoria. She worked there for a few years and finally came to a point where she knew she wanted to do something that she really enjoyed. An internet search brought her to Play All Day. As one of our earliest employees, Kate learned along with us as we built the business. She states that she learns something new every day and that she cannot imagine doing anything else. Working with dogs never quite seems like a job.
Kate enjoys spending time with her family and any outdoor activities. She has been with her high school sweetheart Josh for 8 years. They are best friends and both share a love for dogs. Kate enjoys shopping for both people and Mya. Kate excels at making people happy and comfortable. Kate credits dogs and her work at Play All Day with helping her to overcome her shyness.
Kate has been with Play All Day since 2012. She is our Manager and oversees daily operations, staffing, and customer service. She also is a Play Group Attendant and is becoming an expert in daycare operations.
Kiana is a Senior at East Peoria Community High School and plans to attend William Woods University this fall. She is planning a double major in Psychology and Equestrian Science. She would like to work at a Veterans Hospital and do Equine Assisted Therapy for Veterans with PTSD.
She lives with Mom and Dad who both work at Caterpillar. She has a cat named Jethro and 2 horses, Silver and Chyno. Her hobbies include horseback riding, dancing, playing guitar, and working. Her favorite things to do at work are giving baths, Desk, and cuddling with the dogs.
Kiana started working for Play All Day 3 years ago when she was 15. She states that it helped to make up for her dog-deprived childhood. Kiana is a Jack of All Trades at Play All Day, working the desk, weekends, cleaning, bather, and Play Group Attendant.
Sarah had many dogs growing up but the first she called her own was Mama Mia, a Blue Merle Great Dane. She was a true companion for Sarah for 7 years and she still misses her every day. Sarah and Mama Mia did everything together, which helped keep Sarah out of trouble through most of her 20’s. She was Sarah’s heart dog. Her current dogs are Ebon and Jocelyn.
Sarah shares her life with her fiancé, Rob. Rob enjoys music and UFC, and Sarah states that he is an amazing father. She has a Step son, Colton, who is going to be turning 13 this year and loves magic, chess and watching anime. Sarah gave birth to her little monkey Alexandra Rose (Alex) who is 6 months old now. She has almost mastered the crawl and has started grabbing things to try and stand up. She likes to make raspberries, grunts and has started making a hissing type sound. The Play All Day family of staff and clients alike enjoyed sharing Sarah’s journey through pregnancy and now motherhood. Sarah states that she loves being a mother, even though she feels she lost half her brain in the process, and she cherishes her family and friends and is happy being healthy and alive.
Sarah enjoys art (origami, tile work, painting), gardening, hiking with Ebon, reading sci-fi (love Neil Gaiman and Orson Scott Card), and figuring out puzzles of all types.
Sarah has been with us for 2 years and is a Play Group Attendant. She recently took on the role of supervising our cleaning routine and the facility upkeep. Sarah prides herself on knowing each dog’s first and last name which is an accomplishment for her, considering she has a hard time remembering people’s names. She states that she can do this because the dogs that come to the daycare make such an impression on her. They don’t care if you’re in a bad mood, they just want to be happy and love on you, which is an amazing feeling.
Roxann lives in Peoria Heights with her husband Roger, and dog Macy. She got her first dog, a cocker spaniel named Pepper, at age 4. After becoming obsessed with her imaginary dog “Syrup”, Roxann’s parents thought it was time to get a real one.
After decades of working in banks and other accounting related positions, she decided to “semi-retire” and look for something she could do with dogs. Play All Day had a position open up on the same day she gave her notice on her previous job. It was a sign!
Roxann’s hobbies include nature walks, singing, performing in local theater musicals and consignment shopping.
Roxann has been with Play All Day for a year. Her primary duties are taking care of our hotel guests in the morning and doing dog introductions during Check-In.
Melissa’s love for dogs started back from the very beginning of her life, as soon as she could crawl her way over to the neighbor’s German Shepherd, Sheba. Sheba was her best friend in those beginning years. Sheba made such an impression on Melissa that she dressed as a German Shepherd for Halloween in Kindergarten.
Schnitzel joined Melissa’s family when she was in 2nd grade and started Melissa’s passion for Schnauzers. Schnitzel went to school with her one day, stole the teacher’s chair and christened the classroom floor with a poop. Melissa shared her life with Schnitzel until her freshman year of college when she sadly passed due to cancer.
Melissa started working at a veterinary clinic and soon an opportunity to adopt two male three year old Schnauzers arose. She took them in and they became her first adult dogs. Their names are Mickey and Rocky. Two years after adopting the boys, Melissa adopted a 7 month old Schnauzer and named her Spritzel Schnitzel in memory of Schnitzel. When Melissa was married to her husband Andrew, the kids were part of the wedding, complete with a Schnauzer figure cake and Schnauzer Bride and Groom cake toppers.
Melissa loves spending time with her dogs. She also loves old things, going antique hunting, and to garage sales. Melissa loves to travel and explore new places. She loves the Ocean and visits the Atlantic Ocean at least once a year.
Melissa was born in Binghamton, New York and has two brothers and four sisters. She moved to Peoria when she was five years old and went to High School in Elmwood. She attended College at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and transferred to Bradley University, where she finished a degree in Graphic Design.
While Melissa enjoys design and art, she finds herself pulled more towards working with dogs. She loves working at Play All Day because it allows her to enjoy all breeds and she enjoys learning the different personalities of the dogs that attend daycare.
Melissa has been with us for one year and is a Play Group Attendant.
Chris’ love affair with dogs began when she was 10 months old. Her family brought a German Shepherd puppy home. Hombre and Chris were inseparable, and she has many fond childhood memories with him. Chris’ childhood was spent living on a lake in a wooded area with birds, fish, squirrels, rabbits, ducks and other wildlife. Chris’ ability to make dogs comfortable showed itself at an early age.
Hombre died when Chris was 13 years old. Fortunately, Gypsy, a 3/4 Husky, 1/4 German had made her way into her life by this time. She was the first dog Chris obedience trained and raised herself. Chris credits Gypsy with teaching her about patience, love, and care, and started her great love for the German Shepherd breed.
Chris was 22 years old when Diego came into her life. He was her heart dog. He was Chris’ first competition dog, therapy dog, canine good citizen dog, and the team earned many titles and blue ribbons together. Chris began her path of positive training methods, dog behavior, and nutrition with Diego. These are topics that are still important to her today.
Chris married Joe and brought him into her world of dogs. They currently have five German Shepherds all of which are highly valued members of the family. Joe has trained his girls who have gone on to compete in agility, flyball, and rally, and who have earned their canine good citizen and therapy dog certifications. Chris and Joe recently celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary and took all their dogs with them on our vacation.
Chris joined the Play All Day team one year ago and is Play Group Attendant. Chris also helps with training new staff members.
Brandi has been with Play All Day for quite a while as a daycare client, bringing her German Shepherd, Sage. Sage was the impetus for Brandi to really study dogs and learn everything she could about dog behavior. His behavioral issues challenged Brandi and she discovered her joy in training and watching him grow.
Brandi has a full time job in computers, aside from Play All Day. Her experiences with Sage motivated her to mentor with Ann Goyen, our favorite Canine Behavior Consultant. Brandi helps Ann with her classes and because of her work with Sage, has decided to become a trainer. After witnessing the incredible bond that positive training created between she and Sage, she looks forward to helping others. We look forward to watching Brandi grow in this endeavor.
Brandi loves all things dog, reading, comics and other geeky things, hiking, photography, and sports.
Sage was Brandi’s first dog. She fondly refers to him as her Big Goober. Sage is almost 6 years old and loves daycare, water, balls, hiking, snow, frisbee, training, nosework games, and biking. Sage is also a master at the German Shepherd head tilt.
Because of her full time job, Brandi works weekends only, as a Play Group Attendant. She joined us about 6 months ago.
Kim lives in East Peoria with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, four cats, three fish, and a hermit crab. Sara is a 10 year old Border collie/Australian Shepherd and Maxx is a 2 year old mutt rescued from Kentucky.
Kim’s family vacations in the Smoky Mountains and on the beach in Fort Morgan, Alabama, and the dogs are lucky enough to join the family on their vacations.
Sara has been a registered therapy dog for 6 years, volunteering at various places with the Peoria Humane Society Special Pals and Paws to Read Pet Therapy Programs. Maxx is an athletic running partner and shares his love of running with Kim. He can easily run 7 miles and he is always so content after a good run.
Kim worked in healthcare as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in adult rehab for over 7 years, and then stayed home to raise her daughters. When the time came to return to work, Kim focused on an entirely different career path and fulfilled her passion of working with dogs. She started working for a new pet service called Dog Jog in 2014. Dog Jog takes your dog for a run, while you are at work or at home. This provides the dog with exercise. It is especially helpful for high energy breeds, pet parents that have really busy lifestyles, or physical limitations and cannot exercise with their dogs. It combines two of Kim’s passions…Dogs and running.
Kim states that having dogs has changed her life in many ways… working with Sara as a pet therapy volunteer has been truly enriching. Running with Maxx has helped her to become healthier and has opened the door for her to run with other dogs.
Working at Play All Day gives her the opportunity to share her love for learning about dog behavior, training, and play with so many wonderful dogs. Kim is excited to be working with so many wonderful dogs and such a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Her goal is to eventually become a dog trainer and help dogs and their families live in harmony. She would love to specialize in assisting families that have adopted from rescues and shelters transition their dogs to their new homes.
Kim started working with us in February of this year and is our newest team member. She recently finished orientation and is a Play Group Attendant. She states that she is looking forward to enriching your dogs’ lives through play, training, and lots of love!