Tails to Trails dog walking club enhances life for people and pets

If you’re taking a stroll on Charlottetown's Victoria Park boardwalk on a Monday night you might just catch a glimpse of a pretty cute pet parade — the Tails to Trails dog walking club attracts attention and smiles as they cruise the boardwalk each week.

'He loves coming here. I love it too'

'I enjoy getting out and I like to see dogs socialized,' says Lisa Purcell, who started the Tails to Trails dog walking club. (Sarah Keaveny Vos/CBC)

If you're taking a stroll on Charlottetown's Victoria Park boardwalk on a Monday night you might just catch a glimpse of a pretty cute pet parade — the Tails to Trails dog walking club attracts attention and smiles as they cruise the boardwalk each week. 

The club is a social group for pets and their people that includes German shepherds, Bernese mountain dogs, golden Labradors, border collies and even a puggle hound named Boozer. 

He's ready an hour before we leave to see his friends.— Paula McNally

"It makes me feel good, I enjoy getting out and I like to see dogs socialized," said Lisa Purcell. She started the club six years ago as a way to socialize dogs from the Abegweit Animal Hospital where she works.

"It's just a fun group. We walk for an hour and the hour goes by really quickly, even when it's -20," Purcell said.

The group meets every Monday night at 6 p.m. in the parking behind the provincial government buildings on Rochford Street.

'It enhances their lives'

Most Mondays 10 to 15 dogs and their owners show up ready to play.

They walk year-round in all types of weather. 

Brother and sister golden retrievers Sherlock and Lola love to bring their human Lorraine Arsenault to the park on Mondays. (Sarah Keaveny Vos/CBC)

Mike Wynne has been walking with the group for three years and says his German shepherds Gus and Riley love coming to walk every week.

"It enhances their lives. It's an hour-long walk, they get to sniff everything, they get to see everything, they get a pocket full of treats and they're quite happy," Wynne said. 

Group has bonded 

The group also gets together outside their weekly walkabouts.

They raise money for charities, like the annual Bark for Life cancer fundraising walk in Charlottetown, and make and sell cupcakes to support the P.E.I. Humane Society. The group holds potluck dinners a few times a year and even goes bowling together.

'They get to sniff everything, they get to see everything,' says Mike Wynne with Gus and Riley. (Sarah Keaveny Vos/CBC)

Paula McNally and her dog Storm have been walking with the group for two years. McNally said Storm enjoys the weekly walks by the water and being part of a big canine crew.

"He loves coming here. I love it too," McNally said. "I tell him he's coming to see his friends. He actually knows when it's Monday! I know it sounds funny but they do. 

"He's ready an hour before we leave to see his friends. It's pretty exciting. The people enjoy saying hi to them too on the boardwalk so it's great fun."

'Get me moving'

Leslie Savidant never pictured herself as a dog owner, but three years ago her husband convinced her to get Boozer — now, she can't imagine life without him.  

Want to be part of Tails to Trails? New members are always welcome, the group says. (Sarah Keaveny Vos/CBC)

"They just look at you with those eyes … and they're always there. They're always happy to see you," Savidant said. "I call him my fur baby now, just love him to pieces."

Being part of the club is a fun outing for both her and Boozer.

"My reason really for agreeing to get a dog was really to get me out and get me moving again," Savidant said. "It's bonding time for him and I too."

New members are always welcome in the club, the group says. 

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Corrections

  • A previous version of this story misidentified Paula McNally as Lisa McNally.
    May 17, 2018 9:39 AM AT

About the Author

Sarah Keaveny-Vos

Sarah Keaveny-Vos is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. Sarah loves sharing stories of Islanders doing meaningful and inspiring things in their communities. sarah.keaveny-vos@cbc.ca