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Senior and her cat maintain a legacy of dog treats on Oak Bay Avenue

Florence Boylan, 94, and Carl enjoy the visiting pups and their companions

A tin of dog treats on Oak Bay Avenue is a legacy maintained in honour of a promise made to a neighbour.

Margaret Wilson started the trend, and when she went in hospital a couple years ago, Florence Boylan promised it would be taken care of.

After Wilson passed away, Boylan, now 94, maintained the tradition. Now, two tins sit perched on the concrete retaining wall outside her town home. They’re visible from the sewing room where Boylan spends much of her time and the living room window ledge Carl the cat is known to loaf on.

“If I’m sitting there sewing people wave,” avid quilter Boylan said.

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Boylan has always owned dogs so she enjoys the visits, but at 90, she opted instead to rescue two-year-old feline Carl from the BC SPCA. She doesn’t know much about Carl from his life before her, but she’s learned he’s not a fan of dogs.

Still, with a long leash that affords some freedom, Carl enjoys spending time on the deck. As the weather warms, so does Boylan, who gets far more enjoyment out of greeting pups.

“People appreciate the cookies, the dogs are always happy to stop,” she said with a laugh.

The cat is as well-known as his human.

One photographer professed to a full file of Carl photos and another neighbour ordered a tin with his picture on the front. While it wasn’t quite big enough to transfer the dog treats to, it sits alongside the battered original tin and holds sweets for the humans.

It’s not hard to keep both well stocked. Anonymous dog treats dropped at the front door are not unusual.

Do you or your dog enjoy the treat tin on Oak Bay Avenue? Grab a photo and share it with the community by emailing

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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