The Leslieville Tom&Sawyer retail store had been open for only a month in 2016 when we received a memorable visit by Simon and his mom Michelle. Picture the most Parisian looking summer scene, a young woman riding her vintage bicycle down a neighbourhood street with her small dog perched in the basket attached to her front handlebars. It’s a warm day so the front garage door of Tom&Sawyer is open and she stops in the entrance and is greeted by us and welcomed inside with both bicycle and pooch in basket. While we may not have been in Paris, we felt that unmistakable je ne sais quoi that Simon has! He became part of our pack of Loyal Companions that day and graces us with regular visits to pick up his “groceries”, as mom Michelle calls the shopping trips.
We sat down with the darling duo recently in our pet lounge to ask some questions so that we could share with you the story of this petit chien. Simon mostly occupied himself during this time by staring into the kitchen and barking every 20 seconds for more treats. We gladly replied every time.
Instagram Profile: @le_petitsimon
Age: 16 years young (shares his May 3rd birthday with other awesome beings like James Brown, Sugar Ray Robinson and Bing Crosby)
Mom: Michelle, creative director of her eco-conscious fashion line, Simone’s Rose (simonesrose.com) and instructor at Toronto garment sewing class workshop Sew Be It Studio (sewbeitstudio.com)
Best Friend: Betty is his girlfriend, a mixed Chihuahua rescued from the streets. He is attracted to her street kid cool attitude.
T&S: How does Simon spend his days?
M: He is a working dog, not by traditional standards like on a farm, he comes to work daily at Simone’s Rose and Sew Be It Studio where he greets clients in between naps and eating treats.
T&S: What traits best describe Simon?
M: Bossypants, confident. He was in need of a new home about 9 years ago when a baby entered his former home. Simon likes to be the only baby.
T&S: Of course Simon, we don’t disagree!
T&S: What irritates Simon?
M: Not getting to taste test everyone’s meals. Oh, and don’t even try to pick him up, he will get nasty. He hates being groomed and energetic children beware, he is a grumpy old man!
T&S: Favourite things to do?
M: Play with his hedgehog, nap and eat.
T&S: Favourite Tom&Sawyer Meal?
M: Pork Sweet Potato Hash.
T&S: Must-Have Tom&Sawyer treat?
M: Tom&Cheese Crackers.
T&S: What is Simon’s secret to staying puppy-like?
M: He used to get sick from the food he ate and from two years of eating a Tom&Sawyer pet meal diet he is peppy and so much healthier.
T&S: What would (should) be Simon’s anthem?
M: He isn’t tied to one particular song but he is about ‘80’s Rock. Definitely something by AC/DC. He has that tiny gruff thing going like lead singer Brian Johnson.
T&S: Tell us more about the bicycle.
M: About 3-4 years ago I purchased a vintage 1970’s Eaton’s Glider bicycle and fit it with a Simon-sized basket. He had never been on a bike before but was good from the very first time he went for a ride.
Maybe some day that you are wandering the streets of Leslieville or visiting Tom&Sawyer, you will get to meet Simon out for a bicycle ride, but be warned, if he barks for a treat, you better do what Simon says!
Download Simon’s spotlight in magazine format here.