WATCH: Pet food donations are being collected in memory of Cody the dog, a beloved four-legged fixture in Victoria for 14 years. Tess van Straaten reports.
Petra Conn and her little pug, Atilla, never met Victoria’s most famous downtown dog, but they felt compelled to come to Charmaine’s Past and Present on Fort Street on Tuesday to bring food donations in honour of Cody the dog.
“I think it’s touching and it’s great and we wanted to donate so here we are!” says Conn.
Fourteen-year-old Cody was a fixture at Charmaine’s since he was just a puppy, greeting customers and giving ? and receiving ?lots of unconditional love.
“Cody certainly touched the hearts of many people,” says owner Charmaine Britton of Charmaine’s Past and Present. “He was the best dog ever and he had the best dog life ever!
The golden retriever made headlines in 2016 after being targeted by Victoria bylaw officers for laying on the sidewalk outside the store. But the community rallied in support of Cody and when he died of old age last October, condolences for the popular pooch flooded in.
“It’s amazing, we have never felt so much love and compassion,” Britton says. “Hundreds of people have come in to pass along their condolences and to say how much they miss Cody and how much a part of their lives Cody was.”
Along with sharing their memories of Cody in a sympathy book at the store, many of those he touched were looking for a way to honour him, so Charmaine decided to launch a food drive for the Victoria Pet Food Bank.
“We’ve had a lot of our customers ask what they can do in Cody’s honour and Cody’s name and we want to give back to the community that gave so much to us and to Cody,” says Britton.
The pet food drive comes at a critical time. After the holidays, the need is greater than ever and the Victoria Pet Food Bank says their shelves are empty.
“We need the small kibble, we need cat kibble, canned food, coats, blankets, jackets for the dogs and donations of money,” says Victoria Pet Food bank founder Margarita Dominguez. “We need everything.”
The food drive runs until Jan. 15? all part of Cody the dog’s lasting legacy.