The Things We Do for Love: “My Dog and I Teach Yoga Together”
Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
Anne Appleby knew her Pomeranian, Madison Avenue, was something special the moment she saw her, but she had no idea that Madison would become her yoga partner — teaching doga classes to people and their dogs!
Appleby, a San Francisco-area yoga instructor and founder of YogaForce products, first saw Madison online. “My friend had just gotten a little Pomeranian puppy, and I saw the pictures on Facebook and immediately said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s my dog!’” Of course, Appleby admits, that was an odd statement to make since the puppy already belonged to Appleby’s friend.
But in a strange turn of events, Appleby’s friend decided not to keep the puppy, who had turned out to be more work than she could handle. Appleby jumped at the opportunity to adopt Madison, and the two have been inseparable ever since.
Appleby starts each day with morning yoga. Soon after bringing Madison home, she noticed that the little puppy was copying everything she did during her morning routine. “She would literally mirror me,” Appleby says.
Appleby had heard of doga — yoga for dogs — so she did some research to find out if she had the skills and knowledge to teach it. It turns out, she did. Appleby approached the local recreation center, and they agreed to let her teach a series of doga classes.
As word spread, Appleby’s doga classes grew more popular. Each class focuses on gentle moves, yoga poses, meditation and stretches for both species. She also offers doga at local dog-friendly corporations. “There are all kinds of people with all sizes of dogs,” Appleby says. “It’s so funny to see the different types!”
Madison accompanies Appleby to every class she teaches. “We always do it as a team,” she says. Madison is the perfect co-instructor because she’s so well socialized and enjoys the doga moves.
Good for Dogs…and Humans
Appleby’s not surprised that doga has grown in popularity. “It’s good for dogs and humans,” she says. “It spreads the hips and opens up the lungs.”
The benefits go far beyond the physical. Appleby says doing doga with Madison has made them closer. “It’s just made the bonding experience really good. You look in your dog’s eyes, and you can tell how they’re doing.”
Appleby dismisses those who think yoga for dogs is silly. “Where do you think we got the terms 'downward facing dog’ and ‘upward facing dog?’” she asks. “This is natural for them!”
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.