When Carolyn Johnson and her husband, Joe, retired a few years ago, they decided it was time get a dog. Their chocolate Lab, Biscuit, is now seven and has lived with them at their waterfront condo on Queens Quay West his whole life. Over the years, Biscuit has helped Johnson make many friends in her building. All the dog owners see each other in the elevator in the mornings and in the nearby park. “It’s a bit like a moms’ group,” says Carolyn.
In 2015, Johnson befriended Anna Korovina, another dog mom in the building. They banded together to (unsuccessfully) lobby for a dog park in the area, but along the way they met even more dogs and owners. Biscuit’s friends have come and gone over the years, says Johnson, but the one thing that’s stayed the same is the building’s dog-friendly nature. “We often message each other on a Facebook group to get together and go on walks,” Korovina says. “I’ve created a valuable social network through dogs.”
In fact, there are so many dogs in her condo and the neighbouring one that several tenants have started their own dog-walking businesses. One of them, Ann Linton, even adopted a client’s dog when they could no longer care for him. “Mylo’s had many homes,” she says, “but he’s been in his forever home for three years now”—in good company with all his friends.
Age: Three and a half. Breed: Chow Chow. Fun fact: Oso is a very clean pup. He took only a week to housetrain and walks around puddles and avoids mud.
Age: Five. Breed: Pug. Fun fact: Stubbs’s favourite toy is a red lobster stuffy from Newfoundland.
Age: Five. Breed: Maltese. Fun fact: An avid soccer and ball hockey fan, Murphy loves to play goalie and can stop almost any shot.
Age: Seven. Breed: Blue heeler–German shepherd mix. Fun fact: Shady sings for his supper every day at 7 p.m. on the dot.
Age: Seven. Breed: Chocolate lab. Fun fact: Biscuit lives to eat—especially the leftover hot dogs he finds in flower pots around the city.
Age: Eight. Breed: Poodle mix. Fun fact: Teddy is a little shy with new people, but never with small children. He loves being petted by local kids.
Age: Nine. Breed: Dachshund. Fun fact: Alfie was born in England and has travelled to five countries.
Age: 10. Breed: Toy Australian shepherd. Fun fact: Sky was named for his sky-blue eyes.
Age: Nine. Breed: Yorkie-poo. Fun fact: Moby is a sweet and sensitive little guy who is often the peacemaker in the midst of a ruckus at the park.
Age: Six. Breed: Shih-poo. Fun fact: Tuck loves to dance.
Age: 10. Breed: Miniature Australian shepherd. Fun fact: Shadow is the alpha. He’s always scanning to make sure things are in order.
“Ritz” & “Smudge”
Ages: Eight and five. Breed: Pembroke Welsh corgis. Fun fact: Ritz responds to commands in both English and Korean. Smudge loves to sleep on her back under the covers.
Age: Eight. Breed: Puggle. Fun fact: Puzzle is American, originally from Ohio, His favourite pastime is stealthily jumping up on the counter to steal human food.