Inside Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mainly on the run, his office in his backpack, on the lookout for fascinating subjects and people. He speaks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban chronicle.
As of Saturday, dogs will be able to travel by metro in Montreal for a nine-month “pilot project”… Will the test be conclusive?
Several dog lovers and specialists hope that, if all goes well, this permission to travel by public transport with pet from October 15 will become permanent.
However, no one can exclude that an unfortunate incident will tarnish the experience and encourage the authorities to re-ban the pitous.
“The metro, with its noise and the crowds of people, will not be for all dogs, and several masters will probably realize that they have a lot of work to do to educate their companion,” Roxanne Nantais told me, a canine behavior consultant.
I heard about Mrs. Nantais because, among the regulars of a large dog park in the Villeray district, her name circulates as a specialist capable of “working miracles” with fearful or aggressive dogs.
Photo Louis-Philippe Messier
Kabuki wearing a muzzle. It will be compulsory in the metro.
Not a game
According to Ms. Nantais, if there are unfortunate events, they are likely to occur in the first days or weeks of permission when masters, excited about this new freedom, want to take the metro with Fido, who might not find it fun. at all.
“If it’s a disaster, if the dog is shaking, crying or barking, the masters may learn and not start again so soon. Soon it will calm down. »
The STM obliges the leash (obviously), but also the muzzle, and limits dogs outside peak hours, a question of not suffocating mastiffs in the promiscuity of the “sardine class”.
If users are allergic to dog saliva, it will be easy to avoid them when traffic is minimal.
Prohibition to use the escalators with the dog: an animal could panic there.
Pitou will have to put his booty on the ground to sit down: the benches and seats remain strictly reserved for the use of human behinds.
“You have to take the time to get your dog used to the muzzle if you haven’t done so yet and if you plan to take the metro with him sometimes, because it would be a very bad idea to put it on just before entering. “Warns Ms. Nantais.
“I recommend that people visit the metro with their dog to familiarize them with the atmosphere, the strange sounds, before attempting a first trip. »
Ms. Nantais is delighted with the STM’s pilot project.
“It’s nothing exceptional, a metro that accepts dogs, that’s the case in Paris, where it’s not a problem. »
“It is in the societies that most integrate dogs into daily life, by accepting them in shops, that they are the best behaved, the most tranquil. »
She is hopeful that the nine-month experience will be conclusive:
“The subway is not going to suddenly become a big kennel! It will just allow dog owners to get around other than by car… which is kind of the purpose of public transport. »