Joline & Markus

Cigars, rescue dogs and carnival-chic style

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team


Just before the holidays hit, we were lucky enough to share a moment with one of the most dynamic couples we’ve come across. Aside from curating a wonderful lifestyle for themselves and those lucky enough to pop into it, these two have a couple dogs with personalities to leave you in stitches.

We’ll leave it to them to tell you more…

Tell us about yourself:


Markus: Premium handmade (Mombacho) cigars are the great equalizer. They know no color, class or creed and those passionate about them come from across socioeconomic strata. Walk into a hazy, smoke-filled cigar lounge in any U.S. city and you will find folks from all walks of life fellowshipping together. This is what makes cigars special. And so it is that the favorite part of my job encompasses these moments; meeting fellow cigar lovers and sharing stories over a cigar and a cold beer.

My job as a “cigar maker” (note: I don’t actually make cigars; rather am one of the owners of a cigar brand and factory) has taken me to several corners of the earth; from Shanghai, China to Austin, Texas to Granada, Nicaragua in pursuit of the world’s most memorable cigar experience. Although these trips are not part of an everyday routine per se, they are the defining element of work and passion seamlessly coming together. Travelling and the experiences gained therein, provide for some of life’s most rewarding moments.

Joline: I’m a Group Account Director at kbs+ Toronto (an advertising agency). I’m the middle-(wo)man between creative and client. I build relationships and help solve business problems. The best part of my job: I work in a dog-friendly office. Every day is different. We get free cookies and peanut butter. I love working with talented and creative people who constantly teach me new things.

IMG_6396Outside of my day job, I am the Event Lead for T.E.A.M. Dog Rescue, a Non-Profit, Volunteer & Foster-Based Rescue. T.E.A.M. is set up to provide safe haven for dogs while they wait for their “furever” homes. T.E.A.M. rescues dogs from high kill shelters in Canada and shelter organizations abroad that offer humanitarian aid to animals in need. I work on events and partnerships to raise awareness and funds.

On top of that, we’ve recently started a meat pie business: Mama Raty’s Authentic Finnish Meat Pies. My mother-in-law has been making these things for 30 years. They are like meat doughnuts and they are legendary. We’ve always teased her about starting a family business and this year we made it happen. Markus delivered a message on Facebook that we would be taking orders over the holidays. 500 meat pies were ordered within a week. Needless to say, we think it’s going to go well.

My Everyday Routine: Every morning I wake up and take my dogs for a nice long walk and then I make a pretty hardcore smoothie for Markus and me. If I miss out on either of these things, the day just doesn’t feel right.

What’s your ideal weekend?

Markus: My ideal weekend is spent in the embrace of Ontario’s stunning nature, interrupted only by lashing hot sauna sessions. It involves waking up on the shores of Mountain Basin, our cottage lake near Parry Sound, and whiling away the days in and out of the water, hiking up the old logging river and climbing Eagle Mountain before retiring for an evening of libations and laughter with family.

Joline: Fall/Winter: Sleep in. Smoothie. Read paper. Walk dogs. Explore city.
Spring/Summer: Get up early. Drive to cottage in Grand Bend or Parry Sound. Swim. Sauna. BBQ. Read. Enjoy nature.

Tell us about your pets:

Markus: Dublin is a “Jabeaghua” (coined by my wife Joline). His Pops was a Chihuahua and his Mom was a Jack Russell-Beagle mix. Normally I would not get a small dog. However Dublin came with my wife (then girlfriend), so I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. No Dublin, no Joline. So he stayed.

Sally is a mangy mutt like no other. Black Lab, Australian Shepherd, Doberman pinscher, Beagle and Greyhound. But man is she beautiful. We call her our exotic supermodel dog with those long legs and soulful eyes. Initially we were only supposed to foster Sally, but when her prospective adoptive parents didn’t cut the mustard, we decided to keep her ourselves.

My favorite thing about Sally is that she is a lunatic. The aggregate effect of her physical quirks leaves us in stitches. She wiggles her bum as she sashays across the floor. She prances like a dressage horse, hops like a bunny and lies on her back with all four legs stretched in the air.

My favorite thing about Dublin is how excited he gets when you get home, even if you’ve only been gone 5 minutes. He bounces around on his hind legs, climbs up to your face and licks the $hit out of you. It’s amazing.


Joline: Dublin is an 8 year old Jabeagwa (Jack Russell, Beagle, Chihuahua). He came from a family up north whose dogs “accidentally” had puppies. Dublin has a strong and dominant personality. He thinks he’s huge and fierce but he also has a soft side. This dog loves being warm (he even joins us in the sauna!) and is the ultimate cuddler. However he hates babies, which could pose a problem come March 1. But we are confident he will adapt.

Sally is a 2 year-old Mexican Street Dog (Black lab, Australian Shepard, Beagle, Doberman, Greyhound). She is super hilarious and makes noises like a turtle dove. Sally is the result of a foster fail. I decided to start fostering dogs with T.E.A.M Dog Rescue and Sally was my first. We were nervous about her coming into our home because, along with babies, Dublin also hates black dogs and puppies. On day 1, he was so stressed about this new dog in the house that he puked. By day 2, they were spooning. By day 10, we adopted her. Dublin and Sally are now best friends and partners in crime. They love and respect each other. And this is our rationale for why we think he will adapt to a new baby. Pretty solid, right?

How would you describe your personal style?

Markus: Carnival Chic. Which is to say I have fun with different looks and don’t take myself too seriously, yet somehow still manage to pull off being somewhat “stylish.” Or so they tell me.

Joline: Comfy, casual, meaningful details.

What inspires you?

Markus: I am inspired by my Mom and Dad. They came to Canada with nothing, worked hard, established a comfortable life and gave my siblings and I the opportunity to succeed. They instilled in us strong moral grounding and a good work ethic. They forsook professional opportunities to be parents who were there for us and provided a shining example of what a strong, lifelong marriage looks like.

Joline: My parents and my grandparents. I come from a long line of strong, hard-working, happily married couples. I look up to them and learn from them every day.

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

Markus: Our home is an eclectic collection of useless artifacts in an otherwise beautiful, raw, industrial, century-old space–with a walk-in humidor and working freight elevator. In short is it is a comfortable cornucopia of curated clutter.

Joline: Our loft is industrial chic with a hint of antique.

Share an anecdote about your relationship with your pet.

Markus: I guess my relationship with my dogs can be summed up as follows. When I come to bed and find them both snuggled up together with their heads on my pillow, I would rather lie ramrod straight on the thinnest sliver of the bed and risk falling onto the floor than disturb their peaceful sleep.

Joline: Sally eats my underwear. I think it’s her way of reminding me to put my things away. I imagine that Dublin sits back, watches and thinks “you’re going to get in so much trouble.” And she does. We scold her. Then she rolls on her back, all four legs in the air. And we laugh, laugh, laugh.

Be sure to follow Joline & Markus on Instagram for updates on everything they’re doing and soon – baby pics! A big congrats!

For more info on Mombacho Cigars, go here.

For more on T.E.A.M. Dog Rescue, go here.