Ashleigh De Gasperis

The new mom lets us in on how she manages an active life with a baby and energetic Border Collie

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

Ashleigh De Gasperis - Get Leashed Magazine

How would you handle a new baby and an energetic young dog? Ashleigh De Gasperis takes it in stride. She’s living the life she’s always wanted and even though there’s a lot of action, her home is full of love and she’s adored and depended on by a couple absolute cuties.

Ashleigh’s husband Julian wasn’t able to attend our photoshoot but as Ashleigh puts it, their home is one of compromise. There’s a Batman-themed office and a sports collectible filled gym that would make any man jealous, while the rest of the home is adorned beautifully with Ashleigh’s touch of style.

Sherlock the Border Collie was one of the funniest dogs we’ve ever attempted to take pictures of. He was very opposed to the sound of the camera and felt his family needed protection from it (you’ll notice a lot of closeups). We couldn’t have asked for a nicer, new little fam to feature. Enjoy Ashleigh’s depiction of her life with Sherlock the dog and Abigail the baby below!

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Please tell us about yourself:

My current job consists of working from home in Lululemons, watching The Social and changing lots of diapers. Yes, I’m a newish mom to a little girl, Abigail Grace, who will be one in June. Previous to this role I worked for Mosaic, one of the largest Experiential Marketing agencies in North America. Some of my clients included Coca Cola, NFL Canada and Labatt, so I don’t need to get into why I loved it so much. My days currently consist of caring for the household, which includes our daughter, my husband, Julian, and of course our dog, Sherlock. I then make time for myself by getting to the gym 4-5 times a week, and volunteering for the Toronto Mounted Police by riding/exercising their horses on a bi-weekly basis.

A bit about your pet:

Sherlock is a purebred, tri-color border collie. He was a Christmas present from my husband in 2014 – though not Sherlock specifically. Julian did his research and originally decided on a Goberian (Golden Retriever/Siberian Husky). Although I appreciated the thought, I grew up with border collies and was adamant about sticking with that breed. Once you have a dog with their level of intelligence it’s difficult to imagine anything else. So we compromised! I chose the breed and he chose the name. We are both fairly active, so having such a high-energy dog works well with our lifestyle. He goes to the dog park daily with our dog walker, but still requires additional walks, 5k runs, and lots of hide and seek/fetch in the house. You can keep up with his adventures on Instagram @dogdetective.

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What does your ideal weekend look like?

I’m a morning person, so my ideal Saturday would consist of a 6:30 am walk with Sherlock, (getting me home in time to feed Abigail), a personal training session at our gym, Catalyst Health, in Yorkville, followed by a protein shake from Revitasize, which is conveniently across the street. I often try to squeeze in a trip north to visit and groom my now-retired horse, Brandon, who is boarded at a stable in Mount Albert. The Sunday schedule varies depending on whether it’s football season or not! I love meeting friends/family for brunch at dBar in the Four Seasons, as there is always room for the stroller, and the food/atmosphere is wonderful. Ending off the weekend with a trip to Sherwood Park is my favorite thing to do, because they have the best off-leash trails through the forest, as well as a beautiful creek for Sherlock to play in.

Describe your personal style:

Yesterday I wore black, today I’m wearing black, tomorrow I will wear black.

What inspires you?

I take inspiration from people who are following their dreams and interests. Our dog walker, Andrew Wood, of Forest Hill Dog Walkers (also recently featured here), worked in finance and real estate prior to deciding to start a dog walking business. Hearing this gave me flashbacks to when I was working in marketing, having a hectic and relatively stressful day. Driving from meeting to meeting I would often see people walking groups of dogs, and think ‘that looks relaxing, I would love to quit right now and do that instead!’ Who knows, maybe one day I will also be able to combine my love of horses and dogs with my business background as a passion project.

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

Our home is very modern, which wasn’t necessarily on the top of our list while shopping for houses, but we fell in love with the interesting interior and large windows. Therefore, we did our best to warm it up by adding plants, area rugs, wooden furniture, fur throws/pillows and rope fixtures. The décor does a fabulous job of representing both myself and my husband through the many equestrian photos, the Batman-themed office, and the basement gym.

A story about Sherlock:

Sherlock acts like such an independent tough little dude — especially when he is hiding and chewing the baby’s toys — although we have come to realize he is actually a little softy, and truly does depend on us. Anytime we are at a dog park or off-leash area, his main focus is on chasing a ball or other dogs. But every 3-5 minutes he will scan all the ‘humans’ until he sees Julian or I, and then continue playing. It’s like he just wants to make sure we are still there with him. He has also run away from the park a few streets from our home, only to be found sitting on our doorstep waiting for us to let him in.