Cody the golden retriever who was a fixture in front of a local Fort Street antique dealer’s shop and the subject of a warning related to the City’s dogs on leash bylaw has passed away. The dog would lay laying on the sidewalk outside the shop’s door and greet customers and passersby. File photo

Beloved Victoria antique shop pooch passes, his presence mourned by many

Supporters wanted off-leash exemption granted for Cody the golden retriever

An iconic neighbourhood pet at the centre of a on-leash dog bylaw enforcement action last year by the City of Victoria has passed on.

Cody the golden retriever, whose gentle manner and friendly demeanor made him a darling with passersby and customers of Charmaine’s Past and Present, would regularly lay in or near the doorway of the antique shop, causing City bylaw officers to step in and issue a warning to store owner Charmaine Britton.

Commenters to a post about the 14-year-old dog’s passing on the Victoria News Facebook page Sunday relayed their experiences with the dog.

“Cody was the highlight of my daily walks downtown,” wrote Helen Kelley Edwards. “He used to come up to me for a pat on the head and a hug. I have missed him lately and wondered why he was not there. Now I know. RIP, Cody. You will be missed.”

Michael Porter was a customer of the store who found himself petting Cody even before he stepped in the door.

“I knew that this store would be a favourite and it has remained that way to this day, as I often stopped there just to see Cody,” he wrote. “I brought treats with me for Cody from time to time and came to know that dozens, if not hundreds of people were doing the same thing.”

Tara Wallden added to the comments with, “Cody touched lives including mine. There is something wonderful about animals that seek out the love of others. He had a wonder [sic] sense of comfortable belonging and made you feel welcome.”

Britton, who through a staff member at the store has indicated she is declining media interviews on the dog’s passing, began keeping Cody inside after the warning and leaving the dog at home on hot days, as he would scratch to get out of the store to his regular post.

Outside support for allowing the dog to stay outside unleashed grew quickly once the story broke. Resident Ryan Painter gathered signatures on an online petition and delivered it to city council, asking that an exemption be granted in this situation. Council rejected the idea, saying the leash bylaw is there not only to protect the public from aggressive dogs, but to keep sidewalks safe for blind people, among other things.

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