Toronto

Pan Am Pup wins fans, hearts with athlete photo ops

Dagny the dog has been on a quest to get a photo with athletes or representatives from every country participating in the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Dagny the dog has photos with athletes, representatives of 32 Pan Am countries

It's not just the world-class athletes who have been garnering legions of fans during the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Dagny the dog has a fan base of her own; she's been on a quest to get a photo with athletes or representatives from every country participating in the 2015 Pan Am Games.

The wide-eyed friendly dog, who is a terrier-poodle mix, is 11 years old but looks as young as a puppy.

"People are always really happy to see her," says Dagny's owner Sue Janzen.

Dagny and Janzen live in the Distillery District, a popular hub for Pan Am tourists. Janzen says she wanted to celebrate the bustling, cheerful atmosphere the city has had during the games.

"It was also a fun personal challenge I wanted to take on," says Janzen.

So far, Dagny has managed to get pictures with people from 32 of the 41 participating countries — either athletes or other representatives, such as chefs de mission.

With just over a day left, Janzen says she's focusing on the countries that won't be around during the Parapan Am Games, which start Aug. 7.

Janzen says she's become a professional at spotting Pan Am participants.

"I look for people wearing a lanyard and wearing a uniform, and if I can't see what the country is then I'll go up and ask them," she says.

Janzen says she gives her photo subjects the option of holding Dagny or of kneeling down and holding Dagny's leash.

"Most people want to pick her up and give her a cuddle," says Janzen.

Even Premier Kathleen Wynne took a moment to pose with the pup.

For all the photos Dagny has been in with athletes, Janzen is never in the pictures, herself.

"It's just about her — she's the cute one."

You can follow Dagny on her quest, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @PanAmPup.

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