WATCH: Controversy after elderly golden retriever taking a nap outside its owner’s business gets a warning ticket from City of Victoria bylaw officers. Tess van Straaten reports.
Cody the dog loves to greet customers outside his owner’s Victoria business.
The 13-year-old golden retriever is everyone’s favourite employee at Charmaine’s Past & Present Home Collection.
“He is a trusted employee and probably the longest running employee we have,” says owner Charmaine Britton.
Cody even has his own office hours (Tuesday to Saturday 10 am-5:30 pm) and he takes his job seriously.
Cody eagerly follows customers around the store and greets new customers at the door.
“Cody’s probably the most popular dog in Victoria!” customer Ross Morgan says. “Everyone comes by and stops and many regulars come with treats for him.”
But Cody’s in trouble with City of Victoria bylaw officers for napping on the sidewalk in front of the shop.
Warning ticket issued even though no one had complained about Cody
“They happened to be going by and saw Cody and the bylaw officer has a choice of going against the bylaw and ignoring it or responding,” explains City of Victoria councillor and dog lover Charlayne Thornton-Joe.
A warning ticket was issued — Charmaine’s third warning despite only one complaint about Cody in 13 years.
“I can certainly appreciate 100 per cent that Animal Control is just doing their job,” Britton says. “But on the other hand, he has laid in this spot for 13 years and has only ever had one complaint.”
The warning ticket sparked an online frenzy as people defend Cody and question why bylaw officers are wasting their time on a beloved dog that isn’t bothering anyone.
“I’ve never heard of any issue with people tripping over him or having any issues and he’s a very friendly dog,” says pharmacist John Forster-Coull of the Victoria Compounding Pharmacy, which is next door. “There are certainly other things in the city that are unsafe to the public.”
But fearing a fine, Charmaine Britton says she’ll try to keep her social butterfly inside — closing the store’s front door so he can’t get out.
“It’s a disappointment for Cody, for sure, and for the fans,” Britton says.