Tue. May 26th, 2020

Canines (and their humans) rejoice as Montreal dog parks reopen

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Canines bounded through Montreal dog parks on Friday, many of them off-leash outside for the first time since March.

At Laurier Park, a tree cast shade on Toulouse, a 12-year-old Australian shepherd sheltering from the spring heat in the dog enclosure. She wore a red bandana to match her red merle coat and seemed to enjoy being outside. She doesn’t have as much energy as she used to, her owner Mathieu Rancourt said, but she had been getting bored in his apartment.

“Toulouse is very happy,” he said. “I think she found it difficult, the past little while. The walks aren’t enough.”

As society shut down to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Montreal closed dog parks on March 28. But the slow decline in daily infections has led municipal officials to open them.

At Percy Walters Park, on the slope of Mount Royal between Pine and Dr. Penfield Aves., a dozen dogs and half as many owners gathered.

Gio Vasquez, a dog walker, watched over three pups. Logan, a mutt, chewed on a thin stick, tossing repeatedly near Vasquez’s feet. Freedom and Charlie, who belong to clients, ran around the field.

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