Isle of Dogs

We stopped some furry friends – and their owners – on their daily walkies to find out their favourite treats, best tricks and how they enjoy life at London City Island

It’s official: we are a nation of dog lovers. According to research conducted by the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report, around 26% of UK adults have a canine companion, with some 9.6 million pet dogs in the UK. The Covid-19 pandemic and back-to-back lockdowns also saw a surge in adoptions, given the sudden flexibility of working from home. In fact, around 3.2 million pets were acquired in the UK during 2020-21.

At London City Island, dogs and their owners going for their daily walk are a common sight. The 12-acre island is largely pedestrianised, making it safe for dogs and young families to roam. It is also surrounded by a verdant river walkway around the entire perimeter, and leads to several large open spaces, parks and walkways in the local area, making it ideal for dog owners. On a sunny Friday afternoon, The Islander took to the streets to discover more about our canine residents and photograph them – and their owners – enjoying their island home.•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_1-1920x1220.jpg

Missy with 'god mum' Jen

Name: Missy and Coco

Breed: Siberian Huskies

Age: 9 (Missy) and 6 (Coco)

Favourite food: Chicken

Favourite toy: Anything that squeaks

Favourite local walking route: Eco Park and the Basin

Naughtiest habit: None

Best habit: Just being themselves

Best friend: Each other

Most impressive trick: Saying ‘I love you’

Best thing about living on London City Island: All our wonderful neighbours•-LCI_website_September_Isle_Of_Dogs_Article_19-1280x1679.jpg

Coco the Siberian Husky relaxes on the iconic red bridge

‘London City Island is surrounded by a verdant river walkway, and leads to several large open spaces, making it ideal for dog owners’

Name: Saint

Breed: French Bulldog

Age: 10 Months

Favourite food: Rodeo chicken treats

Favourite toy: Squeaky ball

Favourite local walking route: A walk around the Eco Park

Naughtiest habit: Throwing toys off the balcony

Best habit: His ability to make anyone smile

Best friend: He has lots of best friends that he plays with most days on the island

Most impressive trick: His ability to solve his dog puzzle, which requires him to search for and sniff out treats

Best thing about living on London City Island: The ability for him to play with and bond with other dogs every day•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_13.jpg

Saint the French Bulldog with owner Marco

Name: Fiji

Breed: Japanese Shiba Inu

Age: 2 years

Favourite food: Flatiron steak

Favourite toy: Tennis ball or anything fluffy

Favourite local walking route: The Basin

Naughtiest habit: I love to steal toilet paper and my mum’s hairbands

Best habit: I’m a very independent boy

Best friend: My wife Lola (Shiba Inu), my girlfriend Tora (Shiba Inu) and my boyfriend Sasha (Labrador mix) – what can I say? I’m a dawg

Most impressive trick: Walking on my back feet

Best thing about living on London City Island: Seeing my friends every day and saying hi to all the staff•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_14.jpg

Fiji with owner Simon

Name: Macy

Breed: Mix of Poodle and Shih Tzu

Age: 18 months

Favourite food: Human food – any. Dog food – Sainsbury’s Milky Bones

Favourite toy: I love chasing very bouncy balls

Favourite local walking route: Through the Ecology Park and the Dock Basin where, if I am really lucky, I find some discarded chicken bones

Naughtiest habit: Playing Russian Roulette with my ball on the 7th floor balcony

Best habit: I love to give a massive loving greeting when someone comes home, even if they’ve only been away for two minutes

Best friend: I don’t have favourites – I love everyone

Most impressive trick: Doing a flying leap to catch a bouncy ball in mid-air

Best thing about living on London City Island: Meeting all my doggy friends and helping all the humans make friends•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_15-2.jpg

Macy with her owner Diane•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_16-1920x1220.jpg

Fiji the Shiba Inu with owner Simon

‘The best thing about London City Island is the community of dog owners and dog lovers’

Doby the Cavapoo

Name: Doby

Breed: Cavapoo

Age: Nearly 3

Favourite food: Chicken

Favourite toy: Ball mad

Favourite local walking route: London City Island grounds

Naughtiest habit: None, I’m an angel

Best habit: Loves to play fetch and get attention from the hoo-mans

Best friend: Fave hoo-mans outside of the pawrents are Mark and Lillia from the Ballymore staff as they always have treats for me and are so lovely. My dog furr-end is Lilo, but we play it cool

Most impressive trick: Catches the ball mid air and does a strong high ten

Best thing about living on London City Island: I’ve been raised here and this is home. The best thing is the community of dog owners and dog lovers, the number of people who stop to give me some love or throw me a ball or give me treats is so amazing. They make my day every day•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_17.jpg

Doby the Cavapoo playing with their favourite toy

Name: Priya

Breed: Pomeranian

Age: 10 years old

Favourite food: Foie gras, cheese, quail eggs, blueberries and raw meat diet

Favourite toy: A Priya-sized duck

Favourite local walking route: East India Dock Basin and the Ecology Park

Naughtiest habits: Barking when the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door, likes to over-eat the foods she loves, likes to go to strangers to ask for attention, food, or to be pet

Best habit: Generally very quiet and gentle, very obeying, loves cuddling and being pet

Most impressive trick: Playing dead, spinning

Best thing about living on London City Island: It’s dog friendly and the facilities

Follow Priya on @priyapompom•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_18.jpg

Priya the Pomeranian with owner Fan•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_19-1920x1220.jpg

Doby the Cavapoo

Names: Folly and Broadway

Breed: Rescue Pomeranians

Age: 6 and 4

Favourite food: Chicken

Favourite toy: Mini tennis ball

Favourite local walking route: Along the river and Trinity Buoy Wharf

Naughtiest habit: Always want to play

Best habit: Affectionate

Best friend: Loves humans

Most impressive trick: Begs, spins, goes to a marker

Best thing about living in the local area: The variety of walks, the views and friendly atmosphere•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_110.jpg

Broadway and Folly the Pomeranians

‘Most impressive trick? Sniffing out and stealing secret treats from strangers!’

Loki the Cavalier King Charles•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_111-1920x1080.jpg

Broadway (left) and Folly (right) the Pomeranians frolic at London City Island

Name: Loki

Breed: King Charles Cavalier

Age: 18 months

Favourite food: I love all food but I’m particularly partial to blueberries

Favourite toy: My donut, it’s great for fetch and tug

Favourite local walking route: Every time my paw-rents take me to Greenwich Park I have the best day

Worst habit: I have to say hi to everybody on walkies, even if they don’t want to say hi to me!

Best habit: Evening time cuddles

Best friend: I have so many friends but if I have to pick one it would be my uncle Pete who lives next door

Most impressive trick: Sniffing out and stealing secret treats, especially from strangers

Best thing about living on London City Island: All the doggie friends•-LCI_website_September_Dog_Article_112.jpg

Loki the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with owner Jack

Words: Gemma Billington

Photography: Lucy Mohr

With thanks to all the dogs and owners for taking part