WILD ABOUT DOGS

For Deb­bie Wild, su­per­vis­ing ca­nine concierges is one of the best parts of her job

Where Vancouver - - Contents - BY SHERI RAD­FORD

Elly and Ella spend much of their time play­ing and even sleep­ing on the job. But they’re prob­a­bly the Fair­mont Ho­tel Van­cou­ver’s most pop­u­lar em­ploy­ees, judg­ing by the num­ber of photos of them on In­sta­gram. And they’re will­ing to work for kib­ble.

Elly lives with Deb­bie Wild, a concierge at the ho­tel. All of the ho­tel’s cur­rent and past dogs trained to be ser­vice an­i­mals but didn’t fin­ish, of­ten be­cause they were too friendly. “We don’t like to call them flunkies,” Wild says with a laugh. “We call them non-qual­i­fy­ing and ca­reer-changed.” Guests are of­ten tired and jet­lagged by the time they ar­rive at the ho­tel, but qual­ity ca­nine time al­ways im­proves ev­ery­one’s mood. Su­per­vis­ing Elly and Ella is easy com­pared to some of the chal­lenges Wild faces at the concierge desk, ev­ery­thing from find­ing out-of-sea­son gar­de­nias for Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den to give his wife, to hav­ing Christo­pher “the ul­ti­mate trav­el­ling pig” stay in the ho­tel for Van­cou­ver Fash­ion Week. Less chal­leng­ing is the task of rec­om­mend­ing restau­rants, be­cause Van­cou­ver has so many stel­lar ones. For re­gional cui­sine, Wild likes Notch8 (page 88), Botanist (page 82) and Blue Wa­ter Cafe (page 97). For views, Cardero’s (page 82), Lift (page 84), Miku (page 88) and the Cac­tus Club (page 86) at English Bay all top her list. Wild rec­om­mends that all of her guests (both the two- and four-legged va­ri­eties) visit an off-leash dog park, be­cause they’re the hap­pi­est places in the city. Her favourites are in Pa­cific Spirit Park and at Span­ish Banks. And if you do go, keep an eye out for Elly and Ella—when they’re off-duty from their role as ca­nine concierges, that is.

PHOTO BY KK LAW

Deb­bie Wild sits with Ella, a Labrador/golden re­triever mix, and Elly, a black Labrador

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