Patrick Rocca

Release the hounds! Why dachshunds are the perfect breed for this go-getter.

By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

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Successful realtor, die-hard Habs fan, and dachshund owner, Patrick Rocca lets us into his traditional home to meet ‘the boss’, Betty and the doggy school reject, Karl.

Thanks for having us in your stunning home. Please tell us a bit about yourself and a typical day in your profession

Well, I’m a realtor in the Leaside and Davisville neighbourhoods of Toronto. I help my clients find family homes and condos – I actually just helped two people find their dream homes last night! I also live in the neighbourhood myself, and am happily married with two children. My days are actually very organized and specific. People joke they always know where I’m going to be at all times. In the mornings, I’ll be working on answering emails and completing evaluations for my clients looking to sell their home. Over the lunch hour, I’ll have open houses for new listings, and head to the gym for a workout. Family dinners are important in our family, so I try to make it home and then head to final showings in the evenings.

Describe your home decor aesthetic – where did you pick up some of the special pieces you love?

I have to say it, the home décor and the great items we have, it’s all thanks to my wife. She’s in charge of style, and we like to maintain the traditional feel of the home. The red brick, stone, hardwood, and moldings are all elements typical of homes in the area, and we’ve completely renovated our home inside.

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What is your favorite element of your home?

Definitely our pool is the best feature! We have a huge deck and the dogs love to lounge around it too. The deck is like our cottage and we get a lot of use out of it.

What are the qualities a home should have for a pet owner?

Many of my clients are pet owners like me, and it’s important to look for durable, easy to clean flooring like hardwood and tile. Having a great outdoor space is important and making sure there’s fencing so you can feel safe having pets off leash.

What inspires you in life?

I feel very lucky that I love what I do, and look forward to going to work every day. I’m also fortunate to be successful in the field I love, and have great relationships with my clients.

My Grandfather has been the biggest inspiration in my life. He came from Italy and built his business here, and I still use the advice he has given me. I have his old license plate with his nickname framed in my home.

Have you always been a dog person?

I’ve always loved dogs, but growing up my mom didn’t allow them. I got my first dog 12 years ago, an English bulldog, and sadly we had to put him down. He was a great friend to our first dachshund, Betty (brown). After he passed, she was really sad, moping around the house, so I knew I needed to get a sibling for her – that’s Karl (black).

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Tell us about your Dachshunds. How did you select the breed and their names?

My brother in law had a dachshund, and they are a really low maintenance breed. My daughter is the one who named Betty and when we were ready for another dachshund, we knew we wanted another color. We found a breeder near Cobourg, Ontario, who had black. When we went to visit, they had two black dogs, and Karl was really quiet with these big eyes. When we took him home though, he became Satan.

Everyone says ‘Karl is Patrick’s dog’, and that he’s taken on my crazy personality. He is a chewer, and will get into anything – he likes shoes, blankets, and unfortunately furniture too.

I’m a huge Habs fan, and everyone knows it. I’m that guy with the vanity licence plate but luckily no leafs fans have ever keyed my vehicle (yet!). When it came time to choose a name for Karl, I was set on P.K. after my favorite Canadiens player, P.K. Suban. We compromised and went with Karl, from Pernell Karl.

Betty is very chill, but Karl has the energy to come on a 5km run with me. Karl is a handful, but Betty is the boss. When she barks, he barks, and she definitely has the authority.

What makes a neighborhood pet-friendly?

It’s great for me to work in two very pet-friendly areas, Leaside and Davisville. Having low traffic, lots of green space, and many parks are all important for pet families.

We know you lead a busy life. What do you like to do in your down time?

I am a big sports nut. I love watching hockey and basketball (Miami Heat fan!). My wife and I have a home in Florida that we love to go down to as often as we can, and Betty and Karl will join us for long stays like over the Christmas season. Dachshunds are a great breed to fly with.

The dogs take a bit of time to adjust to the different grass, but the house in Florida is single level which they prefer, and they love the sun!

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Can you leave us with a funny story about your dogs?

To be honest, every day with Karl there’s a funny story, but I’ll share one. We’re always looking for ways to calm down his personality, and someone suggested we take him to doggy school. We took him in, but he failed the interview. We’ve spent a lot of time with trainers. We still love him though. Hounds are funny and they bury themselves in blankets. Betty and Karl do get along really well; they sleep and cuddle together, and are never separate.

Patrick Rocca is a real estate agent in Toronto, Canada. Find out about his listings by visiting patrickrocca.com.

Follow him on Twitter for more snaps of his dachshunds @PatrickRocca , or check out Betty & Karl on instagram @roccaweenies.