Lara & Jesse

Their Chocolate Lab, Soda with the big bark & bigger heart

By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team


Approaching Lara & Jesse’s west end Toronto home, we were met with a bark almost ferocious enough to deter us from going further! Within minutes, however, their Chocolate Lab, Soda, switched from watch-dog mode to sweetheart, kindly requesting cuddles and tummy rubs; we think she could get used to the camera attention, too. As it turns out, there’s a story behind the name ‘Soda’ that has little to do with her root beer colored coat.

Read on as we get to know this cool couple and take a tour through their home, which they completely renovated to maximize space, style, and function.

Lara & Jesse Get Leashed Doggy Style Feature

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

Lara: I’m a producer with CBC Radio’s The Current, so my schedule is a bit erratic. Sometimes I’m in for 5 am, other days it’s more 9-5. And if a story breaks…who knows?

Jesse: I’m in real estate, so my days are varied. I’m in the office or seeing clients in the evening — every day is different.

Please tell us a bit about your pup. How did she come into your life? Is there a story behind the name?

Jesse: Soda is a 12 year-old Chocolate Lab. She was a birthday present from my two aunts, Judy and Joyce. They picked her out at a farm and it was love at first sight. The name ‘Soda’ comes from a Seinfeld episode — the one where George tries to sell a couple on the baby name ‘Soda’ after they use his name ‘Seven.’

Soda & Jesse Get Leashed Magazine Feature

How would you describe your personal style?

Jesse: Hmm not sure we have one…

Lara: I definitely own too many pairs of jeans…

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

Lara: Warm, sunny and comfortable. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they can’t sit down on a piece of furniture and relax.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

At the cottage with family and friends. We love it up there and so does Soda. She’s a water doggy and will spend the day in the lake. She’s excellent at jumping off the dock.

What inspires you?

Lara:  Good deeds and good food.

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

Jesse: My step-father smuggled expensive French cheese into the country: runny Époisses and stinky blues. It was Thanksgiving at the cottage, and everyone was talking about the cheese. It turns out Soda cleared it all off the counter. She didn’t even get sick. She has a stomach of steel.

Lara & Jesse Soda Chocolate Lab Doggy Style