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 in 2011, 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.
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 attends William Woods University. 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 in 2012 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) . 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 since 2013 and is a Play Group Attendant. She recently took on the role of Facility Supervisor.
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, Canine Behavior Consultant. Brandi helped Ann with her classes and is now Play All Day’s lead 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 loves daycare, water, balls, hiking, snow, frisbee, training, nosework games, and biking. Sage is also a master at the German Shepherd head tilt.
Kim lives in East Peoria with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, four cats, three fish, and a hermit crab. Sara is a senior Border collie/Australian Shepherd and Maxx is a 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 2015. She is a Play Group Attendant. She states that her mission is enriching your dogs’ lives through play, training, and lots of love!
Tera joined the Play All Day team in the spring of 2015. She loves Beagles and Magic is her main man in that department. She also has cats, Dizzy Devil and Maverick. She has been married to Eben for 7 years. Tera has a degree in Human Services and came to us from The Children’s Home where she had worked for several years.
Tera enjoys her tattoos, Gaming, books, movies , concerts, music, musicals, and the Cardinals. Tera is an advocate for Human Rights and also a self-proclaimed Geek.
Niki graduated from Washington High School in May 2016 and plans to attend ICC. Niki joined Play All Day in early 2016 and is now considering that she would like to work with dogs in some capacity or another as she chooses her career.
Niki has 3 dogs. Lucky is 15, Trixie is 10, and Heidi is 6 years old. Niki’s new love is her 8 year old hose, Jasmine.
Niki joined Play All Day as a high school student and has been working her way up from cleaning responsibilities to secondary Play Group Attendant, and will now be working as the Primary Play Group Attendant in groups.
Melissa (a.k.a. Mel)
Mel is a graduate of Bradley University in 2016, with a major in Community Wellness and minor in Health. With an undergraduate degree under her belt, she is now ready to pursue her life dream of becoming a Veterinarian. She will be working with us as she prepares for Vet School.
Mel’s first dog was a Shepherd/Collie mix named Sarge. Even though she was very young when he passed, she has memories of him through pictures and this has led to her passion for German Shepherds. She is also fond of Goldens and Labs. Currently, she has Rocky, a 3 year old Yellow Lab.
During her free time, Mel enjoys hiking, bicycling running, and reading. She also likes scrapbooking, crocheting, photography, and teaching herself the Ukelele. Mel is a life-long learner and dreams of traveling overseas.
Mel joined the Play All Day team in the spring of 2016.
Note: Mel’s actual name is Melissa but she has been gracious enough to let us call her Mel since we already have a Melissa on staff.
Andrea graduated from Bradley University in May 2016 with a degree in English: Professional Writing. She writes as a hobby but hopes to have a few of her own novels on the shelf in her lifetime. Currently, she enjoys editing and proofreading. She also does dogsitting and dogwalking. She has been doing this for years and has recently decided that she would like to pursue a career in dog training and behavior. So Play All Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop those skills. Andrea joined us in May 2016.
When Andrea does not have her nose buried in a book (her favorite pastime), she is involved with the Body Project, a Bradley organization dedicated to promoting positive body image, health, and body acceptance. Andrea interned with the Body Project while in college, but loved the project so much, she has remained as a volunteer.
In October, 2016, Andrea will be marrying her fiancé Jason. She hopes that they will soon have a dog and cat of their own, but in the meantime, she will content herself with caring for others’ fur babies.
Aly joined the Play All Day team in July, 2015. A graduate of Notre Dame High School, Aly was seeking a career working with animals. She has always loved animals and was never able to have a dog, so she volunteered for Barnyard Discoveries just to be around the animals.
She likes to be outdoors and hike. And now she finally has a dog to share her love of the outdoors. Frankie came into Aly’s life shortly after starting with Play All Day. He was found as a stray, surviving off of road kill. When he was brought into rescue, he was laying with his latest prize, a skunk.
Aly states that she loves working at Play All Day because she gets to experience all sorts of dog breeds and understand the different personalities/behaviors. She has quickly come to love her work family and can’t wait to see what she can accomplish with their love and support.
Bryce is the perfect example of “perseverance pays off”. He submitted his resume with Play All Day three times before a job opened up. He joined the Play All Day team in January, 2016.
Bryce is an I.C.C. student, studying Psychology and plans to transfer to a 4-year college at some point. Prior to working with Play All Day, he was a Manager at Dairy Queen and is also a Certified Nursing Assistant. He enjoys hiking, rafting, fishing, baseball, and riding motorcycles.
Bryce’s love of pets comes naturally. He’s always had dogs in his home. Currently, he shares his home with a Bloodhound, Woody Nelson, a Labrador, Finn, and an English Bulldog named Frank.