Dogged pursuit pays off

Raffy
Raffy Boudjikanian
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Dogged pursuit pays off

Pierrefonds/Roxboro dog owners looking to let their furry friends roam wild and free somewhere other than the off-leash run in Brooke Park may finally have their wishes come true this coming August, with the installation of a new run in Grier Park. "I've been working at this for two2 years," said Mike Trainor, a local resident and proud owner of a soft-coated wheaten terrier.

Trainor's first attempt at a dog run, at the smaller Villeret Park, was unsuccessful when a group of irate residents presented an 80-person petition to town hall stating they were against the idea, but it appears there is less opposition this time. "We sent notices to 87 people," explained borough councillor Bertrand Ward. The residences were contacted for a meeting with town hall as they were the ones immediately surrounding the park, Ward said.

According to him, only seven people showed up at the meeting itself, and only one expressed concerns about the location of the dog run, which will be a triangular, 115 by 115 square feet surface near the tennis courts in the middle of the park. "I have full confidence in Mike Trainor," said Ward. The dog owner will be in charge of daily maintenance of the off-leash dog run along with a group of interested owners who he gathered online.

One problem for some residents in November had been that several people from the online group seemed to not be Montrealers at all. "It's the Internet," acknowledged Trainor, saying it was hard to keep tabs on everybody. However, he said the problem is gone now. "These people are Montrealers," he said of the current members of his group, and they are all dedicated to taking care of the run.

According to Ward, the project will cost about $40,000. The price tag includes a fence around the run, double gates, signs, and special, soft pebbles that will make running around more comfortable for dogs.

One man who could be seen walking his two dogs Friday afternoon at Grier responded positively to the idea of a dog run as he threw a bag of doggy-doo into a nearby garbage bin. "I'm not allowed to do it but I do it anyway," he said, referring to current Pierrefonds bylaws that do not allow owners to walk their dogs in parks, except in dedicated areas. He did not want to reveal his name.

Geographic location: Brooke Park, Grier Park, Villeret Park

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