Jessica Echenberg

The Events Specialist and Her Ira-Sistible Doxie

By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

Jessica Echenberg and her Doxie Ira

It’s a beautiful thing when the dog of your dreams comes into your life at just the right moment. For Jess, bringing home Ira could not have been more serendipitous. Visiting the pair at Jess’ amazing loft, in an old button factory, tiny Ira (still a puppy!) was in incredible contrast of the expansive space and high ceilings. As a busy events professional, Jess’ life involves lots of food, arts, and culture, but under pressure from her coworkers, Jess got into the social media game and created an Instagram account for Ira. See the adorableness below and you’ll understand why we’re all so glad she did!

Please tell us about a bit about yourself and your profession:

I’m an Events Specialist at the Drake Hotel. I’m originally from Montreal, and went to Dalhousie University where I fell in love with Nova Scotia! After Dal, I headed to New York to attend culinary school, and then spent some time living in Australia. When my visa expired, I was ready to plant some roots (and get a dog!), so Toronto was a great option as an English speaking MTLer. I’ve now been in TO for five years.

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

Growing up, my aunt and uncle had a long haired Dachshund. I always loved the breed and was thinking I was ready for my own dog. My brother has a very sweet dog named Billy, and after spending more time with him, I knew I needed my own.

Ira became mine at just 8 weeks old and it’s been love ever since. I was SO happy to find him. I chose the name Ira because he just looks like a nerdy Jewish accountant. I thought people were familiar with the name, but a lot of people think he’s a girl!

How would you describe your personal style?

My style involves about a dozen pairs of jeans, and tons of white shirts. Montreal influenced my style, but I will say in Toronto, I’ve gotten a bit lazy!

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

I love to entertain and cook, so the kitchen was a definite selling point for me. I would say the style is mid-century modern, industrial, and eclectic. My favorite piece would be the Robert Indiana lithograph. It was my mom’s originally, and has been in every apartment I’ve ever had.

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What does your ideal weekend look like?

I love to cook, so I like to head to St. Lawrence Market for some fresh ingredients, and I’ll come home and prepare a great meal, leaving the back door open for Ira. We have tested him being in my bike basket so he can now come with me through the city. In the evening, I’ll usually host friends for drinks, because everyone loves coming over to see Ira.

What inspires you?

I used to read cookbooks like they were novels. I would say food, food photography, and travel is what inspires me. I typically don’t want to go to the same place twice, but Japan is the one exception. The culture, food, people and design – I would love to visit again.

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

A couple of weeks ago when I was getting my backyard and patio ready for summer, Ira was outside with me and I was having a cider. I turned around for one second, and Ira was helping himself to my glass! Luckily he’s too tiny to get into much trouble.

I’m not a big social media or technology person, but I finally had one of my friends set up an Instagram account for Ira on a patio one day, after pressure from my coworkers. When they saw the name (his name and my last name), they said it was too boring! Our assistant art curator came up with Ira Sistible and it stuck!

Follow Ira’s adventures on Instagram @ira.sistible