Editor's note

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September 18, 2006 // UPDATED 2:10 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

I’m embarrassed to admit I know more of the names of my four-legged neighbors than my two-legged ones at the Tower Lofts in the North Loop.

There’s Mango, a French bulldog; Pink, the hairless cat; Coco, a Pomeranian; Randy Moss, a Lhasa Apso puppy; and Miles, a Shih Tzu. That’s just a few names. The list goes on and on.

I don’t know the official pet population, but it seems a new dog moves in every week. According to Shannon Herbert, Tower Lofts property manager, there are 32 dogs (including my Shih Tzu Rudy) that live in the 137-unit condo building on Washington Avenue.

The mania isn’t limited to Tower Lofts. The canine obsession has swept throughout Downtown.

The North Loop horse-drawn carriage business, the Hitching Company, has proposed dog condos with a green roof with a dog run and therapy pool for the pooches. There was the recent social hour, “Yappy Hour,” at Loring Park’s Laurel Village for residents and their dogs — an event designed to promote dog park development.

Several Downtown companies, including Minnesota Premier Publications, allow dogs to come to work. Django, a Field Spaniel belonging to our publishers, is our company mascot.

There’s at least three active plans for new Downtown dog parks and a new Downtown Dogs Coalition — a self-described “better business bureau for dogs.”

And get this: the Pantages Theatre on Hennepin Avenue is planning a special showing of “Sylvia” on Oct. 10 for dogs and their pet owners (See Michelle Bruch’s note on page 6 for more details). They are putting down special mats for the pooches in preparation of the showing.

According to Sid Korpi’s “Canine Coalition” feature, which appeared in the April 10 edition of the Downtown Journal, 2,079 licensed dogs lived in the Downtown area, according to the most recent data available from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. Given the explosion in the residential market and the fact that animal control officials estimate that only about half of the dogs in the city are licensed, one could easily presume that the Downtown dog population is far larger than 2,000.

And while this obsession with dogs might be over the top, it’s been a great experience bonding with my neighbors and their canine companions — even if I have an easier time remembering the dogs’ names.

Sarah McKenzie edits the Downtown Journal and Southwest Journal and can be reached at smckenzie@mnpubs.com and 436-4371.