Dogs of Detroit: Proud Pooches Bark About Their Hometown

Clean, walkable streets. Dog-friendly places to shop and eat. More health and entertainment options. Detroit's dogs are looking for a few, basic infrastructure improvements just like anyone else.

So Model D sought out some city pups to hear their side of the Detroit story. We dipped into our stash of Scooby snacks and hit the town. Meet and mingle with dogs just like them at the inaugural "Drinking With Dogs" monthly event tonight at the Majestic's patio. Read on for the details.

McLovin (Mack), Age 6 and sister Iris, Age 5
Owners: Lisa Meshew and Julian Almany
You'd be hard-pressed to find two more sophisticated city dwellers than Mack and Iris. The two Boston Terriers just returned from a trip to New York where they vacayed at a dog-friendly pad in Harlem. Happy to be back in tha D, though, they're already back to kickin' it at their usual haunts: Belle Isle, the Dequindre Cut, and the RiverWalk. And since summer is right around the corner, they're also gearing up for sailing with their pal, Lila, and catching a few double features over at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in.

When we caught up with them outside the Motor City Brewing Works in Midtown, they were gushing about how cool they think it is to be able to hang out on the deck there and across the street at the Traffic Jam & Snug patio. But, they both agree, more dog-friendly businesses and restaurants with patios need to move into the Midtown neighborhood. They've even mulled over the idea of gaining support for a dog beach park on the river.  

That's not to say, though, that Mac and Iris think the city doesn't have enough to entice other dogs to move in. "You're going to be surrounded by lots of wonderful canine and human friends. And because we all like living here, our community values improve and so does our quality of life -- for animals and people."

Pup: Snoopy, 3
Owner: Yanlin Sun
Midtown resident Snoopy is a big a thinker. That's probably why you can usually catch him soaking up the college vibe during his daily walks on the Wayne State Campus. He's also an avid organic foodie, so he loves socializing outside Avalon Bakery on weekends.

And while Snoopy's super happy with his daily routines, he's clear about the need for two things in his neighborhood. I would love to have a real park that I can walk to," he barks enthusiastically. "Also, we need a poop bag dispenser at the corner of Cass and Canfield—the only little green area around my place. I just want to see owners picking up after their pets."

Like Mac and Iris, Snoopy encourages other pups to move into the hood, too. His main words of encouragement? "Don't be afraid of homeless people."

Pups: Bella, 2.5; Pepper, 1; Ramsey, 1
Owner: Kwesi Curry

Midtown residents Bella and Pepper (and playmate Ramsey) all agree on one thing. "The city definitely needs a decent pet supply store." But like most Detroiters, they just shrug their lack of retail options off and go on about their day. 

And that means long strolls down West Canfield, playdates at Canine to Five Doggy Day Care, and trips to the local park. They're seemingly inseparable and always into meeting the new faces in the neighborhood, no matter how big or small. (In fact, they just happened by our photo shoot with Mack and Iris and totally wanted in on the action.)

"You know, we don't really have any solid advice for other dogs that wanna move to the city," the three cuties say. "But we do have an invitation. Let's play!"

Tank Lucifer, Age 9
Owner: Rev. Faith Fowler

"My previous owners called me Jughead," says Tank, "But, yeah, I wasn't such a fan of that name. "My new owner renamed me Tank Lucifer because I'm built like an all-terrain vehicle and am full of the devil," he chortles.

Tank spent some time living on the streets before he eventually found his way to the Detroit Humane Society. It was there that he met his new owner and moved with her to Corktown. Detroit's oldest neighborhood is also where he likes to take daily walks, although he does mention he's a fan of what the city has done to the RiverWalk, too. A tireless social activist, Tank now spends most days at the Cass Scott Building where he socializes with the homeless staff, residents and volunteers -- when he's not chasing squirrels, that is.  

Although Tank is happy to be off the streets and loves the friends he's made on the inside, he's also a fan of al fresco dining and would like to see more dog-friendly patios around town. But his biggest wish? A designated dog park in the city.

Bunny, Age 3 and Argon, Age 2
Owners: Pat Deegan and Liz Blondy

Eastern Market resident Bunny may be a legal adult, but she's still living at home with her parents and younger sister, Argon. What keeps her here in Detroit? Maybe it's the fact that she's from one of Detroit's most renaissance-promoting and dog-friendly families in the city.

Mom owns Canine to Five Doggy Day Care and dad is an electrician with a penchant for renovating the city's old buildings. So it's no wonder that Bunny and her sister are happy to be out pounding the pavement for their family's boarding and grooming service or helping dad fix up the city building by building.

Bunny and Argon stay healthy with some of the city's best vets. They love the care they get from Dr. Graham at Patterson Dog and Cat Hospital on Grand River in Woodbridge. They also have visited the docs at Jefferson Veterinary Clinic.

And, naturally, the two have plenty of opinions about what more could be done to make the city more pet-centric.

"First off, we need to clean up the sidewalks. There's just too much glass," Argon growls. Sister Bunny agrees, then hangs her head a bit before discussing some of her main frustrations. "We know we're big dogs, but we're trying to really get out there and fix that perception that we should be feared," she growls. "You know, if you poked me in the eye, I'd probably just lick you."

Bunny and Argon are calling all canines over to the Majestic Theater patio on Tuesday, May 19, for the first in a summer-long series of monthly "Drinking With Dogs" events, sponsored by Canine to Five Doggy Day Care.
The fun starts at 6 p.m and runs until 10 p.m., every third Tuesday of the month. The other Drinking With Dogs nights will be:
June 16: Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub
July 21: Whiskey in the Jar, Hamtramck
Aug. 18: Fender’s Tavern at the Omni Hotel
Sept. 15: The Old Miami
For more info, go to "We're cool if you bring your owners, too," says Bunny.

Jennifer Andrews lives in Midtown and does not have a dog. Send feedback here.


Bella and Pepper (and playmate Ramsey)

Mack and Iris with owners Lisa Meshew and Julian Almany

Snoopy and Yanlin Sun

Midtown residents Bella and Pepper (and playmate Ramsey)  with pet owner Kwesi Curry

Argon, Patrick and Bunny

Photographs by Detroit Photographer Marvin Shaouni Marvin Shaouni is the Managing Photographer for Metromode & Model Contact Marvin here

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