After a long week at school, nothing compares to spending some quality time with puppies and their unconditional love. Although owning pets is impossible for most students living away from home, Le Doggy Café, located on St-Denis Street, provides a temporary fix. Not only does this café have enough space to work and eat at the same time, it is also filled with dogs bouncing from person to person to receive pats.
While food and animals don’t often overlap, the environment at Le Doggy Café doesn’t feel unsanitary or uninviting. The staff keep the space clean by abiding to a few rules that other cafés do not.
“We have a ‘dog café’ licence,” Le Doggy Café owner Gabrielle Aubin said. “There are a few rules that we have to follow that are added on to the regular [restaurant health code]. Our kitchen has to be closed, we can’t have an open pass for the food.’”
On a regular day, the café welcomes customers to bring their dogs to meet others. Those who don’t own a pet can still drop by to get their fill of doggy kisses, and most owners are happy to introduce their pets to dog-lovers. Many come bearing funny anecdotes about their pets current and past, uniting strangers over a shared love of dogs.
For Ana Paula Sánchez, U1 Arts, bringing her dog to the café was an unforgettable experience.
“I went on a Friday morning so it was pretty quiet,” Sánchez said. “But an elderly woman came with her granddaughter in the hopes to see some dogs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything cuter than them playing with my shih tzu, Pepper, and pug, Raisin. It’s just really nice in general to bring in my dogs into a café, that way I can spend more time with them but also see them interact with other adorable dogs.”
Once a week, Le Doggy Café hosts Les Samedi Puppy, or Puppy Saturdays, which it advertises as an opportunity for puppy owners and their puppies to meet. The café also invites people to come with full-grown dogs, and is just as welcoming to those who come without a dog at all. According to Aubin, the weekly event began as a way to appease customers’ requests to see more puppies.
“Last year we did a puppy casting and it was the most popular [event] we ever had,” Aubin said. “We kept having people asking us if there were days dedicated to puppies, so we put two and two together and created Les Samedi Puppy.”
For Jade Perraud, U2 Arts, Le Doggy Café’s Les Samedi Puppy is a great way to de-stress in the midst of a busy semester.
“It’s definitely one of my favourite places in town,” Perraud said. “Going there is like therapy and there’s always the cutest variety of dogs hanging out.”
So if you’re feeling stressed this semester and need a dog to pet, consider making a trip over to Le Doggy Café. Enjoy some quality time with the most café-cultured dogs of Montreal.