Holiday hounds

PHOTOS: Pet parade brings ‘pawsitive’ holiday cheer to Quinpool Road

Dogs dressed in Christmas costumes parade down business district

4 min read
A woman dressed in a Christmas sweater with her hood over her head holds a chihuahua dressed up as the Grinch. The woman to her right holds another chihuahua dressed in a red coat and Santa costume.
caption Julia Bagnell and Tori Wilson hold chihuahuas in their arms as they wait in line to take pictures with Santa.
Molly MacNaughton

It’s a cold November afternoon, but there is no stopping the annual pet parade on Quinpool Road.

Around 40-50 dogs and at least one cat were dressed up in their cozy Christmas outfits on Saturday. 

“This typically attracts crazy dog people,” said Karla Nicholson, executive director of the Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association.

The pet parade kicked off at 11 a.m. behind the Oxford Taproom. After the parade, the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (SPCA) held photo sessions with Santa Claus for all the animals and their owners as a fundraiser for the society.

A Blue Heeler mutt dressed up in a Grinch costume with a Santa hat.
caption Odin is a blue heeler mutt rescued from Texas last year. His owner dressed him up as the Grinch for the parade.
Molly MacNaughton
A woman kneels down beside her black and white dog wearing a blue sweater.
caption Christen Ferrer and her dog Possum participated in the pet parade for the first time.
Molly MacNaughton

Around 10 years ago, Nicholson and the owner of the Halifax Veterinarian Hospital, brainstormed ideas to highlight Quinpool Road as a dog-friendly street and came up with the idea of a pet parade.

“We saw that the SPCA Santa pics were taking place in other parts of the city,” says Nicholson. “We already had a Santa hired for the day for the pet parade, we already had a professional photographer hired for the pet parade, so we’re like, well, this is just a no-brainer.” That’s when they joined the two concepts together: a pet parade followed by professional Santa pet pictures. 

Santa crosses the street holding candy canes in his hand as he waves. A man and woman walk behind Santa. The man walks his dog who wears a red coat and bandana with reindeer antlers.
caption The parade lasted about 30 minutes, all the way down the Quinpool business area and back.
Molly MacNaughton
A woman wearing sunglasses gives her french bulldog a kiss on the cheek.
caption Tracy Oldham gives Lovely a big kiss. The six-month-old french bulldog recently had eye surgery.
Molly MacNaughton

“They were really good for them being just puppies,” says Tracy Oldham talking about the parade walk. One of her three french bulldogs just had surgery.

“It’s about celebrating Christmas and bringing our animals in to celebrate with us. They’re part of our family,” says Sonia Landry, a volunteer with the SPCA. “It spreads a lot of positivity and a lot of laughter.” 

A young girl holds her french bulldog dressed in black and white plaid. A man to her right holds a french bulldog as he kisses his cheek. Drool hangs down the dog's mouth.
caption French bulldogs Bella, dressed in plaid and Addy, dressed in a multicolour sweater, are sisters to Lovely.
Molly MacNaughton
Black wiener dog named Baby Ruth looks at Toblerone in the blue jacket while he’s held back by his owner as he barks at Lovely, the white frenchie dressed in a red sweater.
caption Toblerone, the dachshund in the blue jacket, is held back by his owner,. Alex Donohoe, as he barks at Lovely the french bulldog,
Molly MacNaughton
Two women bundled up in their coats and Christmas themed hats pet a dog dressed in a red tutu
caption Two women pet a dog dressed in a red tutu in front of the Oxford Taproom on Quinpool Road.
Molly MacNaughton
A white dog side eyes a dog treat decorated as a slice of pizza.
caption Charlie, a mixed breed from a farm in Saskatchewan, is a little more than seven years old. He side-eyes a treat given to him in a goodie bag provided by Pet Value after the photos.
Molly MacNaughton

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About the author

Molly MacNaughton

Molly is originally from Digby, N.S. She's in her fourth year of the BJH program. She once covered a story about a murder; a murder of crows...

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