The Director, Producer, & Editor With His Bernese, Tetsuo
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
The Toronto dog community is awesome. When our friend Clara told us about a super creative friend of hers with a Bernese Mountain Dog, we knew we had to meet them! We spent an afternoon with Damon and Tetsuo at their work live loft, where we discovered Mr. T may be enormous, but he’s basically a giant puppy and the perfect editing assistant. This pair were brought together in the most coincidental way and have been best buds ever since. Read on as we get to know Damon and Tetsuo and get a glimpse into life with a Bernese:
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
My name is Damon, I’m a 36-year-old human and this is my 5-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog Tetsuo. I’m an artist currently living in the East side of Toronto. My professional career is in commercials, film, design and broadcast. I’ve been producing, directing, editing, writing and shooting for over 18 years and I’ve loved every moment of it. This is the furthest thing from a 9-5 office life I could come up with. If you look up “go with the flow” you’ll find a picture of Tetsuo and I next to it.
A day in the life of Damon and Tetsuo usually begins at 4am when Mr. T and I enjoy our last walk before bed. 4AM is a magical time for me, there isn’t a calmer hour in a 24hr day. Have you ever meditated at 4 in the morning?! The Transcendental Realm feels like a late-night cruise on an empty highway, it’s all yours. I’m always up late, burning the midnight oil in front of my iMac feeding my many obsessions. This is my time of solitude and utmost creativity. Mornings usually don’t exist on weekends but weekdays T-Man and I wake up with the stock market. We start our day with a 20-minute mediation followed by grass time at the park where Tetsuo sniffs his emails. Once I’ve got a handle on the market, Tetsuo and I are out living life. I’m always on the move, soaking up experiences and looking for inspiration.
Please tell us a bit about your dog. How did he come into your life? Is there a story behind the name or particular breed?
In 2009 I created an opening and graphics package for a show called “Making It”. When the show went to Air I was asked to cut a commercial from one of the episodes. This episode featured “King Ty”, the most award winningest Bernese Mountain Dog in the world. Ty was a celebrity in the dog world, a Westminster champ and one of the most majestic creatures I’ve ever seen. Fast forward 2 years later and my girlfriend at the time was giving me an ultimatum, get me a wedding ring or we’re getting a dog “I need a commitment” she said. Naturally I got the dog. But not just any dog. The Universe brought me King Ty’s son! I found out months later that Tetsuo’s father was in fact the very same dog in the commercial I cut. Do you know what the odds are in that coincidence?! It was meant to be.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style… low key urban ninja shadow walker. The way I approach fashion is, be yourself, avoid brand names and mainstream, bring back old, monochromatic layers, black black black, imperfection is perfection.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
I live in a historic building that’s over 100 years old, one of the last of its kind in the city. An old factory that’s been converted into work/live lofts. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like a little piece of NYC in Toronto. I paint, make music and do much of my creative work in this studio loft with ancient creaking floors. It’s open concept, high ceilings allow the energy to flow through the space which enhances creativity and calm…it also allows for Master Tetsu to gallop around not so calm…my poor neighbors.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
An ideal weekend for me would be to find an adventure outside of the city where Tetsuo and I can be at one with Nature. A Cottage with a fireplace and Smores always feels perfect. A Yurt in the snow-covered woods, walking the trails, on frozen lakes…Tetsuo comes to life in the winter. The joy on his face is priceless when we’re on our adventures.
What inspires you?
Innovation inspire me. Potential inspires me. Everything outside of the box. My family, my friends and every interaction inspires me. I also have a beautiful muse, a fiery soul who shares her spirit with the moon.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about Tetsuo?
I think this story is more gross than it is funny. In fact I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you this story out of ALL the hilarious moments we’ve had together…but here goes. One beautiful morning, the sun was shining into my home and woke me up with a big smile on my face. Don’t you just love those days? The kind of day you KNOW has something special in store for you. As this very thought was going through my mind I noticed a rather peculiar odor which quickly went from peculiar to the very same odor as poop. My first instinct was to check my sheets…I know weird…anyways there was poop next to my foot. Terrible right? Wait…So I jump out of bed, and I notice there was more dookie on the side of my bed and on the floor! I found myself following a trail of mud butt leading from my bed on the second floor loft down my original cast iron spiral staircase, across my foyer AND the piece de resistance…Tetsuo’s Jackson Pollock’d my foyer, splashing my front doors and shoe rack! I spent the entire day on my hands and knees scrubbing numero dos with a toothbrush.
Follow Damon on Instagram @POURSHIAN