15 Sep 2015

Time 4 minutes

From VIP Residents to Scrappy Sales Reps, Old Montreal Has Gone to the Dogs

From VIP Residents to Scrappy Sales Reps, Old Montreal Has Gone to the Dogs

It doesn't take longer than a short walk through Old Montréal to notice that the neighbourhood is a haven for dogs. You'll notice this furry bunch strolling on the cobblestone streets, enjoying the sweet life by the water and luring clients into many of the stores and institutions of the neighbourhood. We've decided to dedicate a series of posts to these VIP residents that everybody on our turf seems to love. Well, everybody except the cats...

From VIP Residents to Scrappy Sales Reps, Old Montreal Has Gone to the Dogs!

You’ve all heard of powerful police dogs or primped pooches who spend the day tucked away in designer satchels, but have you ever met a dog who works in a boutique or gallery? Mais oui, les amis, even our canine counterparts have style over here.

Take a tour of Old Montreal and you’ll meet all kinds of four-legged friends who work 9 to 5. All too often they steal the limelight from their masters—even at work. At least that’s what I’d heard, so I decided to check it out for myself.

Did someone say W-A-L-K?

Tilou greets us at Room Service

Tilou greets us at Room Service | photo Julie Thério


My first stop of the day is at Room Service, where I’m greeted by the friendly faced co-owner, Virginie, and her pup, Tilou. And before I know it, this exuberant dog is up in my arms. According to his owner, he’s a lover not a fighter who throws his affection at anyone who’ll take it—from babies to regular clients to other dogs—and I’m inclined to believe her. Operating under the “all you need is love” banner, Tilou makes it clear that he’s the main attraction at this boutique!

Room Service is a great little spot that sells exclusive and resolutely modern clothing for the working woman. They even offer personal style consultations for anyone who wants to make a statement with what they wear while letting their own personality shine through. Consider it an essential stop for all fashion-forward ladies.

While the clothing at Room Service works therapeutic magic, so does Tilou. Virginie describes how he’s a great companion for elderly people, having kept Virginie’s grandmother company when she was in hospital.

Virginie’s hoping that he lives to a very old age himself—even in dog years. “I’m hoping he’ll breaks the Guinness World Record for longevity,” she says. “I want it from the bottom of my heart!”

Moose is my gracious host at Elca London Gallery

Moose is my gracious host at Elca London Gallery | photo: Julie Thério


The next stop is at Elca London Gallery, where Mark, the owner, welcomes me with a huge grin. Right behind him is Moose, an impressive Bernese Mountain dog, whose noble mug stares back at me from sofa. She looks so comfortable—and regal—from her perch that I decide to snap her pic right there. I mean, who am I to ask her to move?

Even though Mark owns three dogs, Moose is the only one who has the privilege of spending the day at the gallery. That’s because he needs to keep an eye on her, or else she’ll spend the day gnawing the wood trim at home. What started as a punishment has turned out to be a win-win-win situation for the dog, owner and gallery.

Even though Moose is quick to prove to other dogs that she’s the alpha female, it’s not the same with humans. She’ll unabashedly throw herself at clients’ feet in hopes of some tender caresses and she has a natural knack for zeroing in on people who need a little extra love in their lives. She, too, is the queen of her realm and she consistently draws the affection of people missing their own pets, like the many tourists who stop in.

While I was there, I obviously seized the opportunity to check out the gallery. Established in 1960, Elca London offers an impressive selection of Inuit works from various eras, ranging from naive art to the latest creations. I loved learning more about this fascinating culture and their art—especially while petting Moose, like Mark’s doing in this picture!

Don't miss out on our next furry guests: Zara and Chubakka!

Have you captured cute shots of animals in the Old Montreal, recently? Share them using #oldmontreal so we can feature them and mention you! The furrier, the merrier!