Janina Longley

Get to know this actress, philanthropist & interior designer with her dog Buddy

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

Janina Longley - Get Leashed Magazine

Janina Longley is a treat to know. Her enthusiasm bursts forth and encapsulates any space she’s in. She’s impulsive, but something about getting to know her leads you to believe that impulses always work out in her favour. That, or her impulses are actually carefully calculated decisions that she just has the guts to evaluate much more quickly than the average person. Take her dog, Buddy, for instance: Janina’s impulse decision to get a dog turned into finding a best friend for her father, to see him through the last years of his life.

Presently, Buddy is living the last days of his life and Janina is coming to terms with having to say goodbye. Get Leashed was honored that Janina called us in the hope we’d like to feature her and Buddy during this tough time. Not that we’d turn down a talented interior designer anyways, but we were more than happy to book Janina as early as possible.

Janina, having a history of modeling, is a pleasure to photograph, though Buddy was an equal pleasure, presenting the humorous task of getting his attention (by waving a treat under his nose, as he’s pretty close to deaf). He’s a real gentleman of a dog and we can only assume its from his time spent with Janina’s father.

We’ll leave it to this model / actress / philanthropist / interior designer to tell you a bit more about herself and Buddy, of course.

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Please tell us about yourself:

I am rarely considered conventional, so true to form, I optimistically embraced my fortuitous fall into fashion, but only agreed to do so after completing a degree in politics first. I hoped to be a positive role model for other young women pursuing the merciless mission of becoming a fashion model, while countering certain stereotypes that exist in such an ambiguous industry. I wanted to foster the notion that beauty and brains are most powerful when combined.

I’ve been fortunate enough to live all over the world and have experienced countless cultures and met extraordinary people. One of the most rewarding periods was during my time as a judge for the International “Elite Model Look” competitions, through which I was able to impact many aspiring models. It was an exhilarating and extremely empowering experience.

Currently, I’m pursuing my creative passion and completing a degree in Interior Design. I think traveling for so many years has given me a unique perspective on the importance of creating a space that will welcome you home. I love the evolution of my life and am extremely excited about the new direction it’s taking.

It’s an exciting journey, and living the life of my dreams has been an invaluable part of the adventure.

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A bit about your pet:

Buddy was an impulse purchase. I was driving to my home town for a wedding one weekend when I came across a sign for a local breeder who happened to have a litter for sale.  I was ahead of schedule and thought a quick peek at the pups might be a nice way to pass some time.

The moment my eyes met Buddy’s, it was love at first sight. I spent a few hours watching him interact with other people and dogs, analyzing his parents and investigating his breeding background. When I eventually arrived home with this beautiful ball of bliss, I’m not sure who was more shocked, me or my dad! I burst through his front door and said: “Dad, you keep asking me to introduce you to a nice blonde, so, surprise!”

By that afternoon, my father had purchased every pooch product in our two-town radius. It was then that I knew this was the beginning of a perfect partnership. They were an inseparable duo until the day my dad died.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

I love to spend a bit of down time relaxing and I enjoy being surrounded by nature.  I have always been very athletic so anything that incorporates sports with the outdoors is ideal for me.I also have a very diverse group of friends with whom I enjoy experiencing the city’s latest hot spots, restaurants, events and exhibits. Toronto has a lot to offer and I love to explore it. I am still addicted to traveling, so a spontaneous adventure that begins at the airport is never out of the question. I like to keep it interesting.

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Describe your personal style:

My career as a model exposed me to the greatest designers and the latest trends, but I believe that timeless elegance would best describe my personal style. I think there is always room for both but I tend to invest in pieces that are simple yet unique. A well-tailored and sophisticated base can always be on trend with selective styling and some avant-garde accessories. I love interesting shapes, fabrics and details and think that a wardrobe which flatters the silhouette of a woman will always last the test of time.

What inspires you?

People who make a difference in the lives of other inspire me. I have always been philanthropic by nature and continue to contribute to my community and to many other charitable causes. I believe that collectively we can make a difference and that we can always choose to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

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

My home is always a work in progress because of my love for design.  I am constantly looking around and wondering what I can do next. I love to be creative and enjoy challenging my ingenuity.

I think that my interior design style mirrors my fashion sense in the respect that I believe a home should be built in layers. First, you need to invest in well-crafted staple pieces that are timeless and suit the body of your room (the layout). Next, you can introduce color, texture by accessorizing with rugs, art, sculpture, accent pieces, and anything you can continue to build on or change with the seasons.

Interior design is not unlike the fashion industry and many famous clothing designers have understood as much and crossed over to the interior design arena as a result. It is important to create a home that is warm and welcoming. I prefer a minimalist style, clean lines and a muted pallet with pops of colour. I love to add elements of texture and vignettes of personality into every area with items such as fresh flowers, a sentimental photograph or memories of travel. A personal touch makes each space feel special. I think that is the fundamental difference between having a house, and living in a home. It’s important to make it your own.

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A story about Buddy:

Buddy has always been a very sensitive soul. He and my dad were inseparable and when my father fell ill, Buddy never strayed from his side.  Following my dad’s death, the dog cried every day, refusing to eat while ultimately dipping into a deep depression. Once, he ran away from home and I found him at the town cemetery lying directly on top of my dad’s memorial. He was practically impossible to move. It was a true testament to the bond they shared and an extraordinary example of their everlasting love.

With a lot of cuddles and kisses, Buddy eventually came around. He has since embraced city living with his new posh pad and luxurious lifestyle.  He has loads of new friends, the world’s best babysitters, super fun parks to play in, and regular swimming sessions. He also gets plenty of proper pampering from his favorite pooch palace (Urban Dog Spa). Toronto life has been an amazing adventure for him! He has truly been my earth angel since the beginning.

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Special thanks to IKON Salon for creating the hair color, “Buddy Blonde.”