Vancouver Loves their Dogs, by Mika Senda

Date:  April 4, 2018

Location: Nanaimo Street

On a sunny weekday afternoon, I witnessed one of the most beautifully brushed out dogs I’d seen in a while. The giant black poodle/sheepdog (?) was strutting down the street with its owner, black locks swaying thick and strong as people glanced back to take another peek.

Out for a Ride

Vancouver Loves Their Dogs by Mika Senda

Date:  Nov 12, 2017

Location: Main Street

I didn’t see this one personally, but someone sent me this photo taken in downtown Vancouver. A woman with a pittie hanging on her lap motored down the street on a motor bike. The pooch looked at ease – apparently it was familiar with this mode of transportation – and its ears flapped in the wind like a frickin’ dog goddess.

Laid Back Spaniel

Vancouver Loves Their Dogs, Mika Senda

Date:  October 1, 2017

Location: Main Street

On a walk down Main Street on a cool Sunday afternoon, I walked past a couple sitting on a cement barrier that lined a pathway leading into a condo complex. They were clearly waiting for someone. The Spaniel, who was sitting independently up until I walked past, leaned back to press its side against the owner’s back. I love it when this happens.

Pitbull Twins

Date:  May 9, 2017

Location: Oxford Street

On BC voting day, I voted at the nearby elementary school. On the way out, I bumped into these two pitbull sisters, adopted at the same time. The darker on was friendly/wanted a pet. The other one shyly came up and sniffed me, though didn’t allow me to get close enough to touch. Sweet, healthy looking pooches.

Popular Favourite

Date:  January 22, 2017

Location: Brassneck Brewery, Main Street

As a mid afternoon treat on a Sunday, a few of us went Brassneck Brewery for some beers. On our way out, we noticed this dog tied to a post in the front hall of the store. Something about this dog begged for some attention (maybe its eyes and soft, droopy ears), and soon it was surrounded by swooning patrons of the brewery, each taking their turns petting the dog.

Matching Sweaters

Vancouver Loves Their Dogs post 10

Date:  December 19, 2016

Location: Hastings Street, East Hastings Sunrise

Another cold day in Vancouver, which worked favourably for me, ever since I saw these two in a wine store. There they were, a hound dog (I’m not certain what kind) wearing a strip sweater, and matching stripe toque on the man. Left me with my mouth agape. Adorable.

Cradled in the Arms

Vancouver Loves Their Dogs #9

Date:  December 6, 2016

Location: Hastings Street, East Hastings Sunrise

As winter moves into full swing, Vancouver has been colder than usual, with record rainfall records in October being carried into November. This past week, Vancouverites woke up to a fresh sheet of snow, continuing throughout the day and well into the evening. The damp cold and bitter winds seeped through our heavy coats and into our bones, and it becomes difficult to wrangle ourselves to do anything outdoors, especially for errands like buying groceries. This was what I was doing, when I noticed a man ambling around with his Chihuahua in one arm, a grocery basket in the other. Dressed in a tiny sweater, it was shivering, but looked content being bundled against the warmth of a downy arm, its eyes drooped and sleepy.


Vancouver Loves Their Dogs #8

Date: November 30, 2016

Location: Garden Drive, East Hastings Sunrise

Lately I’ve been seeing the same English Bulldog and woman out for a walk around my neighbourhood at least once a week. I don’t get outside much, meaning they must be outside a lot. Sometimes I’ll see the woman rustling around for a treat in her bag, which brings out a prancing, surprisingly light footed dog onto its hind quarters, who is used to its many treats on their walks.

Wagon Pull

PItbull in Wagon Pull

Date:November 14, 2016

Location: Pandora Park, East Hastings Sunrise

There comes a time for a dog, whose creaky hips and arthritis makes it difficult to walk long or as far as they used to in their prime. In a park off of Nanaimo Street, a woman was pulling her senior dog in a wagon behind her. As she stopped by a hedge, she parked and lifted the dog out (who at that point had a particularly serene look on its’ face, but then a bit perturbed at being carried out of the comforts of the wagon) to have a sniff along the grass.

As a side note, my mother does this with her own aging dog who is also unable to walk well. On a visit to Victoria, apparently the sight of her pulling her pitbull-mix behind her in a wagon invited hoards of picture-taking by tourists. Perhaps this was an unusual sight, or just illustrated the kind (and sort of funny) Canadian nature towards their dogs.

For the Love of Dogs

Date: November 2015

Location: UBC

This is a throwback story from late 2015, but it remains fresh in my mind like it was yesterday. In fact, it was one of the driving forces for creating this blog. It was evening on a Wednesday afternoon, and I was headed towards the UBC gymnasium that featured a drop-in class for gymnastics. Before entering the building, I noticed that there was a women sitting on the steps next to a slim black lab with a leash tied to the stair railing. The lab craned its neck towards me, and with a shy wag of the tail, it crept towards me, seeking a little scritch (which I obliged of course). As I sat next to the lab, the woman next to it and I chatted briefly. She told me that she was waiting for one of her kids from the junior kids’ class of gymnastics to be let up, and the lab next to her wasn’t hers. She was allergic to dogs, so couldn’t pet it, and was simply keeping it company. This seemed to me the epitome of love for dogs Vancouver, and anywhere. The lab was just too sweet and lovely to leave alone.

Skytrain Ride

Skytrain shih tzu

Date: July 11, 2016

Location: Skytrain, Commercial Drive

Riding shotgun is what this little Shih Tzu seemed to prefer, perched against its owner’s leg. Clearly not the time to wait in a claustrophobic dog carrier that was sitting on the floor next to them.

Out for a Swim

Dogs out for a swim

Date: June 9, 2016

Location: New Brighton Park, East Hastings Sunrise

I took a run down to New Brighton Park for the first time since moving to this neighbourhood over two months ago. I had no idea what kind of a park it would be, and I was delighted to find an expansive park with an outdoor pool, tons of green space, and a path that followed the edge of the Burrard inlet. The whole park is backdropped by a clash of scenery: the North Shore mountains and the nearby industrial plants and Port of Vancouver machinery. I followed one of the paths that gave me beach access, and saw a woman with her three dogs — a Retriever, Lab (both fully grown), and a younger Lab pup — on the beach. She was throwing balls into the inlet, and the two adult dogs crashed into the water to retrieve them. The younger pup (less than a year’s old it looked) splashed near the water’s edge, watching as its siblings swam out in fetch of the balls.

Not Left Behind

dog walk as a pack

Time: 9:05am

Location: Garden Drive, East Hastings Sunrise

A woman was out walking her two dogs one morning, carrying one of them in her arms. As I got closer, I noticed that it was an elderly dog, with white hairs sprinkling its face. With eyes were half closed, it looked like it was dozing in her arms, or taking in the air as they continued onto their walk. No one is left behind, whether they walk or not. I wonder what I would do if the dog was too heavy. Maybe take it in one of those kiddie wagons?

Long for Home

Dog at Hair Salon, West Pender

Date: May 19, 2016

Location: West Pender, Downtown

Some dogs can’t hide their boredom (though some would argue that there is no dog who can effectively hide it, but I’m getting off track.) That’s what I saw when I was getting my hair done one afternoon in downtown Vancouver. I’ve been going to this salon for the last 5 years, but I don’t usually get the pleasure of seeing this particular dog, owned by someone who either owns or manages the salon… I don’t know. But when I do, I always try and get her attention, and she usually trots over, with her ears tucked back and her eyes shyly looking up at me. This time, she had apparently been there all day, and was waiting for her owner to finish up business. With a longing and bored expression on her face, she would wander back and forth the shop, weaving herself between stylist’s legs, and sticking her nose into the fingers and laps of unsuspecting patrons getting their hair washed. Almost every time, she would be met with a cooing of voices, and people stooped down to stroke her broad head. In the meantime, she would pass the minutes until it was time to go home — which was signaled with a loud resounded bark.