WATCH: He was Victoria’s most famous pup. Cody, the golden retriever was a constant presence in front of Charmaine’s antique store on Fort Street. Though he’s not there to greet passersby any more, he’s still finding a way to give. Kori Sidaway has the story.
For a decade and a half, if you were walking up Fort Street, you could expect to bump into Cody.
A fixture of downtown Victoria, the golden retriever spent his life dutifully giving kisses, and giving warm hellos to those who visited Charmaine’s furniture store.
“Cody was a small puppy of seven weeks when I picked him up. I started bringing him here the very next day, so he was a real total shop dog,” said Charmaine Britton, owner of Charmaine’s Past and Present.
And on his stoop he stayed, welcoming everyone.
“Right at the front door, bordering the city sidewalk and our sidewalk is where he sat for the majority of those 14-and-a-half years,” said Britton.
In 2016, he even made international headlines for doing just that.
The City of Victoria’s animal control gave a warning to Cody, for being off leash.
But the loyal business doggy was beloved by many, and when he passed away in October 2017, his death came as a blow.
“He was here, always here,” said Dee Docherty, here all the way from Campbell River. “He’s very much missed, a beautiful beautiful dog, and I miss him every time I come in now.”
“This dog is so well loved,” said worker Susie LaRoque. “There’s never been a shift I’ve worked here that someone doesn’t say ‘where’s Cody?’ or ‘tell me a Cody story.'”
And in the wake of his death, those in the community wanted to help.
“People wanted to give us donations, wanted to help out in some way, in memory of Cody,” said Britton.
So Britton chose an annual pet food drive for other doggies in need. Victoria’s Pet Food Bank provides food and blankets for pups that live on the streets or are low income.
“Their shelves are bare at this time of the year. they desperately need our help and the help of the community,” said Britton.
Donations typically slow in January, but unfortunately, the demand does not.
“There’s still hungry animals, if not more,” said Johnny Mavrikos with Victoria’s Pet Food Bank.
“Unfortunately sometimes around the holidays’ people get animals and don’t keep them, and they need a home and the need food.”
And Britton says giving back, is what Cody would have wanted.
“He was a giving dog, and he would love that people are still supporting him and supporting dogs in this community,” said Britton.
Donations are being accepted at Charmaine’s Past and Present store on Front Street, or through Facebook until Jan. 25.