Saturday mornings are an excellent opportunity to connect with your dog, which is what Cathy Dormaier has in mind when she and her cavalier King Charles spaniel, Winston, rent Enumclaw’s Danish Hall to lead doga classes.
Doga, or yoga with your dog, isn’t as silly as you may assume, Dormaier said.
“Most people think it’s about putting the dogs into funny yoga poses,” she said while taking her class through breathing exercises. “It’s about integrating the dogs into the poses.”
Dormaier’s classes are small and calm, filled mostly with close friends and community members who come together for three reasons: to practice yoga, spend time with their furry friends and donate money to Left Behind K-9 Rescue, a Buckley nonprofit that works to find permanent homes for homeless dogs (Dormaier’s classes are free, but money is collected and donated to the nonprofit).
“I adopted my first dog out of a shelter in 2007, and I found out how wonderful these shelter dogs become,” founder Jeff Boyd said. “They just need people to care for them and give them a home so they can blossom.”
Left Behind K-9 Rescue, which began in 2012, doesn’t run a dog shelter. Instead, Boyd organizes 50 volunteers and 20 foster homes in the area that take in homeless dogs until more permanent homes can be found for them.
The foster homes are important, Boyd said, because it gives dogs the chance to socialize with people and other dogs outside of a shelter environment – it gives them the chance to lead a normal life.
The foster system also allows potential adoptive families to really see what the dogs are like in a normal, healthy environment before they decide to take the dog home.
“There are so many homeless dogs out there that we can’t stress enough how important it is to adopt a homeless pet from a local shelter or rescue group as opposed to buy from a breeder,” Boyd said. “They all wanted to be loved and have families of their own.”
Left Behind partners with the Buckley Veterinary Hospital to make sure every foster dog is as healthy as can be.
The nonprofit offers low cost spay and neuter programs to decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and also offers emergency care in life-threatening situations by providing emergency funds for injured pets who could still lead a normal, healthy life if care is provided quickly and efficiently.
Boyd also helps struggling families who want to keep their dogs, but can’t financially afford to do so, by donating pet food and other supplies.
Close to 7.6 million animals end up in shelters every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Around 3.9 million are dogs and 3.5 million are cats.
Approximately 2.7 animals (1.2 million dogs and 1.3 million cats) are euthanized every year. That’s more than 7,000 animals a day.
According to the Humane Society, nearly 80 percent (or 2.4 million) of animals euthanized every year could have liced a healthy life if they received some sort of treatment.
Out of all the dogs in shelters, 25 percent of them are purbred.
Contact and class information
There are two more doga classes available to attend; March 19 and March 26. Both classes run from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Danish Hall on Porter street.
She can be contacted at 360-802-6799, or emailed at email@example.com.
Boyd can often be found at the Bonney Lake PetCo, where he goes once or twice a month to organize adoption events for dogs that go through his non-profit.