When COVID-19 caused a global lockdown, many people were stuck feeling isolated and alone, including one Toronto woman named Kaya Kristina.
Like many people, Kristina was looking for a way to pass the time and find some joy in life, and that’s when she decided to do something nice for the local dogs in her community.
She lives on a street near High Park and dogs are frequently walking by her apartment after their frolics at the park.
Seeing how tired and thirsty they looked, she decided to create a little cafe where the dogs could get a drink or a bite to eat before continuing their walks. Thus, “Starpups Coffee” was formed in Kristina’s front yard.
According to blogTO, Kaya said, “I noticed that some of the dogs coming home from the park looked thirsty and tired. So I put out some water and a sign that said ‘for thirsty dogs’ out by the sidewalk.”
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Since then, Kaya continued to refresh the water, treats, and sticks every day so the dogs walking by would have them to enjoy. BlogTO reported that this kind gesture has created a beautiful community for Kaya and the neighborhood dogs. They refer to themselves as the High Park Pups and even have their own Instagram account.
Through the COVID-19 lockdown, Kristina has found comfort and joy in watching the dogs stop by her house for a stop at the cafe.
Unfortunately, the Starpups Coffee hasn’t come without challenges. Kaya shared that there was one time someone stole her whole stepup! She said they took everything, “even my little recycling bin, water bowl, treat bowl and everything.”
It was disheartening to say the least, but the community rallied together and helped her recover from the loss so Starpups could come back strong. Thankfully, for the most part, the community is nothing short of beautiful. She even noted that some people have made friends through the dog stop and are now dog walking buddies.
Kaya plans to continue Starpups for as long as possible and the community seems to appreciate it.
It’s a great idea, and maybe it will serve as inspiration for others to do something similar in their neighborhoods!
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