Michael Spencer

At Home In Bobby The Dog’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Parlor

By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

michael spencer and bobby get leashed doggy style

There’s no denying it; our pets are our family. Sometimes, we put as much care into creating the best atmosphere for our furry friends as our human ones. Like designer Ellie Mae’s dog Clay Bieber, Michael Spencer’s dog Bobby loves music; so much so, that Mike carved out a special part of his immaculately styled loft just for the Bobster, coined his rock ‘n’ roll parlor. While Mike didn’t grow up with dogs, this Frenchie-Boston mix became the perfect addition to his life, and even became BF of friend and photographer Michael Pietrocarlo’s dog, Chloe (she makes a cameo below!).  Get to know this pair and take a peek inside their digs.

Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like.

Born and raised in Niagara, I’ve made Toronto my home for the last 15 years.  I’ve spent most of my career in marketing in the alcohol beverage industry and currently spend my days working in brand management on a wine portfolio.

Please tell us a bit about your dog. How did he come into your life? Is there a story behind the name or particular breed?

It was just over 8 years ago now since Bobby moved in. I never grew up with dogs but when my sister and her family adopted their dog around the same time, I really liked the dynamic it added in their home and decided to add one myself.  Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs were near the top of my list. Their size was right, I liked their character and with a bit of Google magic I searched out a Boston Frenchie puppy who I named Bobby. People always ask why Bobby, and the short answer is it just had a good ring to it. If you know him well Bob works too and when he’s not behaving it’s Robert.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’d probably say my style is more classic than trend-driven. Simple, solid and functional always grab my attention but the tipping point above all is fit. Scandinavian style is a great look and works for me.  However, it’s not uncommon to catch me on weekends in denim and vintage concert tee.

How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

It’s probably best described as “vintage-meets-modern”.  From a modern approach simplicity and functionality have really shaped my space with a personal preference to the quality of pieces rather than the quantity.

Hunting for vintage finds is a passion and my challenge always is finding clever ways to integrate them into my space while maintaining a minimal modern look and feel.  Most vintage pieces in my home have a story and that’s always a good place to start in how I decide what I use.   The antique radio in my den is one of my favorite pieces and is actually from my dad’s childhood home.  The room really took off with this piece and the velvet purple couch that I recall saying to myself when I first saw it “that’s so rock ‘n’ roll”.  Inspired by music, the room quickly took shape to become “Bobby’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Parlor” and den.  Furnished with a turntable and LPs ready to go, it’s a great space to relax and unwind.

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What does your ideal weekend look like?

Well since it’s Fall, let’s go with Fall. The ideal weekend typically starts with Saturday #tracksonwax with an Americano.  If I’m in town, Bobby and I head out for a trip down Queen West and stroll through Trinity Bellwoods.  Saturday nights always include close friends. Exploring Toronto’s amazing food scene or dinner parties at home make the most memorable experiences.  Sundays are simple – a morning stroll through High Park before we hit the Farmer’s Market in Liberty Village followed by football.

If a bit of adventure is in the mix, a spin down to Niagara with a stop at the antique market in Jordan is in play. A hike in and around the escarpment always gives Bobby and I breath of fresh air.  I can always count on my parents for “bobbysitting” duty to grab a few hours and escape out to wine country too.

What inspires you?

Over the last several years I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Toronto as a Wish Grantor.  Having the chance to help grant wishes to enrich the lives of children battling life-threatening medical conditions motivates me.  Every wish granted is an emotional experience for me.  I’m inspired by the incredible courage, optimism and strength of these children and their families.  It really puts life into perspective.

Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about Bobby?

Bobby was a super-charged puppy and at the time I was working with a digital agency that was “dog-friendly’, so I thought I’d bring him in.  Everyone at the agency really liked Bobby but unfortunately he wasn’t very productive and didn’t quite understand that it wasn’t playtime for everyone else. Unfortunately, he was fired after a couple of weeks on the job.  I don’t think he seemed to mind and quickly settled into early retirement spending Monday to Friday lying around tuned into Indie 88 in his rock ‘n’ roll parlor.

Painting by Mustafa Cetin
Photograph  – Saddler Theatre Buffalo, NY by Michael Pietrocarlo