Yoga for Dogs?

Duncan, doing what he does best...sleeping

Okay, for a moment, when I was writing the title of this post, I wondered if I had gone off the deep end, officially becoming the true definition of a Vancouver hippie. Alas, my doggie yoga research was really quite innocent. It all comes down to a mad love for English Bull Terriers. Allow me to explain.

This is a photo of my English Bull Terrier, Duncan, who was given to me as a gift (I do not advise such “gifts”, by the way) when friends worried I was lonely. He came into my life during a stressful time, made everything more light (despite a hefty 75 pounds of stocky poundage) and comical and brought so much love into each day. Sadly, on Remembrance Day last year, Duncan had a massive seizure and died when he was only three years old. I wrote about losing him with my Chatelaine blog, and you can read it here. To say the very least, I was devastated to lose my boy, my friend and my ultimate relaxation tool.

A year and a half has passed and so it is officially time for a new puppy, and since I didn’t quite get enough time with such an awesome breed, another Bull Terrier is officially on order and to be born in less than two months, to affectionately named Pot Roast. (The irony of the fact that I just cooked an actual pot roast last night is not lost on me, but I digress.) So, since I have no particular social life, I do a lot of “Bull Terrier” research, which is how I came across the story of Yoga Dogz, inspired by a Bull Terrier who began to imitate his owner and her yoga poses. Instantly, I ordered one of the funny calendars to brighten up my office.

But this got me to looking into actual yoga for dogs and I came across this article in Reader’s Digest. Yoga for our pets is popping up all over North America and why not? They already serve as such stress reducers for their owners that why shouldn’t they be part of our yoga practices? After all, our pets are family and all they really want is to be part of the pack. I mean, they already how “downward dog” mastered, right? And in a world where people push their dogs in strollers, carry them in purses and buy them $100 collars (guilty!), what’s wrong with a little relaxation in our lives?

But is doga (yes, I literally saw the term used in an article) a new-age fad, or do you think it has the same relaxation benefits for our pets as it does for us? Admittedly, I can’t picture any primal wolves strolling into a studio and bending into warrior pose, but at the same time, so many of the stretches we practice have been garnered from animals…cat, dog, lizard, frog, cobra. So is yoga for our pets really that far off the mark?

I don’t know if doggie yoga is in the future for Pot Roast and I, but I’d certainly be willing to give it a shot. At the very least, it can’t hurt.


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