Colleen Ramage

Get to know the Philistine co-owner & Jamie the shop dog

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

Philistine - Get Leashed Magazine

Cruise Toronto’s Queen Street West and you’ll find a lot of stylish people and a lot of stylish dogs. Fashion experts will tell you that the key to being comfortable while fashionable in a city with four seasons is to dress in layers and adopt a bit of rural gear into your urban lifestyle. Brands that specialize in timeless materials like wool and leather are surging in popularity and one shop carries their best pieces – old and new – better than any other. Welcome to Philistine, a dog friendly clothing and lifestyle shop for men and women located on Toronto’s Queen Street West that has everything you need to be a cooler urban dweller.

Colleen Ramage, co-owner of this haven of quality goods, has done an exceptional job developing a store that’s both welcoming and hip as hell. There’s literally something for everyone at Philistine and with so many fine items, it’s the perfect store to find a gift for any occasion. Of course, we were most into the awesome items pet people would love which you can check out in our gallery below.

Jamie, a rescue mutt from Northern Ontario, keeps the store’s vibe in check by lounging on his bed in the back and occasionally doing laps to greet shoppers. His stylish outfits match the store’s ambiance and we’re pretty sure a few people drop in just to get a friendly hello. It’s obvious that he’s completely in love with Colleen and these two make a topnotch pair in an area overrun by ridiculously cool people-dog combos.

We’ll leave it to Colleen to fill you in more about Philistine and her life with Jamie below!

Colleen Ramage - Get Leashed Mag

Please tell us about yourself:

I am a co-owner at a downtown Toronto shop called Philistine. It’s my job to make sure everything is taken care of behind the scenes at the store. I hate to admit it, but my working day starts in bed when I begin checking emails and social media. Then I take care of things around my house before I arrive at the store for opening at 11 am. I look after everything at the store, from bills to new display construction, so my days are always different. Usually I’m home by 6 pm to figure out dinner, get in some exercise, and relax at home.

A bit about your pet:

My dog’s name is Jamie, and we think he is a Lab, Husky, Vizsla mix. I decided to adopt a dog because I had always wanted one, but my lifestyle (dog-friendly work place) and income finally allowed for me to be a responsible owner. I have always been passionate about adoption, and was recommended to TEAM rescue. My contact, Laura, worked with myself and my boyfriend Greg to find a pup that would best match our needs, and Jamie definitely fit the bill! He immediately settled into his role as shop-dog. Despite being less than 2 years old and previously living as a stray in Northern Ontario, he is calm, easy-going, and incredibly friendly. My biggest concern in getting a dog was whether they would adapt to the store environment – lots of people (strangers), other dogs, door opening and closing onto a busy street, lots of accessible things that he can’t eat – there are so many reasons a dog may not fit, but Jamie was so quick to learn his new routine. It was fate!

Jamie - Get Leashed Mag

What does your ideal weekend look like?

My ideal weekend definitely includes a little bit of work and play! I love seeing Jamie at the shop when it’s nice and busy – wandering around greeting customers – seeing people react to him is so adorable! When we’re not at work I love taking Jamie to High Park for a longer hike or run – we both get our dose of exercise and outdoors – can’t ask for much more!

Describe your personal style:

I care about style, but I’m always on the move, so I’d sum it up as: simple, but different.

What inspires you?

I’m a very relationship-focused person, so I’m often inspired by people I know: the people I work with, those I employ, those who shop at the store, and the community of business people and artists at large that I’m able to be a part of. I think the idea of people creating a space for themselves and using their own voice is very inspiring. Luckily, I get to see a lot of that through running a small business.

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Why is it important for you to have a pet-friendly workplace?

Having a pet-friendly workplace is extremely important to me. Initially It was the difference between being able to have a dog or not, but now, I can’t imagine the day without Jamie! It’s easy to get caught up in your own stuff, but having Jamie around at work is an immediate stress reliever.

A story about Jamie:

When we first got Jamie, of course we loved him, but we weren’t sure how he felt about us – if liked his new home, etc. So the first time we took him to an off-leash park, we didn’t know what to expect. Jamie took off to smell and meet the other dogs, but as soon as another pup got close to Greg and I, he came running back over, and would weave in between us. It was as though he wanted the other dogs to know that we were with him, and it was so adorable! Looking back on the moment now, it’s very true to Jamie’s character – he loves to play – but he’s a cuddlin’, snoozin’, homebody at heart.