Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Howl-o-ween!

And the scariest costume of all goes to...(drum roll please)
That's right! St. Pauley Girl Boxer with Cleavage!


The Dogs will say: Always TREAT!!

And they deserve lots of treats for wearing these costumes!
Thanks friends for sending me these photos found from various on-line sources.
And thanks to all of the creative dog people who made these amazing costumes!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doga Tip of The Week

Dogs have different moods as we do. I'm sure those of you with dogs have noticed this with your own dogs. Spend some time over the next few days really tuning into that with your dog. Notice how his mood can change as yours does, or notice when he is very social and cuddly and when he just wants to hang out alone. Watch for the change in expression, in the eyes, in the way he holds his mouth or body. When Gus is tired after a busy day and doesn't want to do training or teaching, his little body feels very tense, like he locks up. I honor this and don't push him past his limitations.
All of these things can give us clues as to what mood our dog is in. When we tune in like this it can help us gain more of an understanding of how to work with or even train our dogs, but best of all it enhances the special relationship we already have.
Try this Muttley Mudra to help you align with your dog's energy:
Inner Dog Mudra: Rest your forehead on your dog’s forehead. In this mudra the intention is to open up to your dog’s consciousness and connect the energy of the minds. Close your eyes and let all thoughts that aren't of your dog fall away. You can get to the other stuff later, for now focus your energy on your dog. After a few breathes in the mudra, smile at your dogi, squinting your eyes slightly, they like this expression. Practice this occasionally and remember intention is everything, so approach the time with your dogi with an open mind and an open heart.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Being Present

In my people classes this week I've been focusing on corspe pose, in honor of Halloween and Day of the Dead. It's really an acknowlegment of the cycle of life. It reminds me to try to be completely present in my life with my friends and family and with my dogs. I'm not always successful, but I try. Being present can be challenging in our ADD, multi-tasking world. I even find myself multi-tasking when I'm walking Honey and Gus. Two dogs on their leashes, me on the cell phone, sipping on a latte (I do live in Seattle after all).

But every once in a while, I'll take the dogs down to the beach, during the sunset and just stay present with them as I enjoy the ever-changing, colorful sky. No phone, no coffee, just us. I feel that connection of being fully present and in tune to the energy of my dogs. It's actually relaxing to just be. It's getting to that point of just being that's challenging for me.

It probably sounds strange, but when I'm able to be fully present with my dogs, it allows me to bring that to the people around me. It's like practicing with the dogs for the humans. It's another way to bring my doga practice into everyday life, since so much of doga is being present with our dogis, it's good practice for being fully present at other times. I'm always trying to be aware of what my dogs make me aware of and being present is one of the many things my dogs give to me.
P.S. That's not my thumb on the coffee cup, I'd never let my cuticles get that bad. The real owner of the cuticles shall remain nameless.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So my dog halloween pics are on my other lap top and due to technical difficulties, I'm not able to retrieve them yet, so sorry. I should also apologize for the above picture. But I couldn't help it. It's just so, Boxer with cleav. Wow. Just wanted to share. I found the picture on Cute Overload.

Have a fabulous evening, and maybe after some quality time with your dog, have a cold one!


YouTube of Doga Interview

My friend from Seattle Twist taped my interview on The Stay Up Late Show. Very sneaky, I had no idea she was doing it! But, cool, now I can share it with everyone:

Thanks Marlow and Joe David!

Monday, October 27, 2008

November Doga!

Saturday November 1, 1:00 pm Downtown Dog Lounge, Capital Hill
Sunday November 2, 9:00 am Twilight Artist Collective Gallery, West Seattle Junction

Wednesday November 19, 7:00 pm Seattle Humane Society, Bellevue

3 Locations, 3 Seattle areas, 3 Classes

Join the fun!

email me for more info:

Barking Buddha Doga Dog of The Week: Leo

Puppy Love A terrier cross pup named Leo risked his life on Sunday to keep guard over a litter of four kittens in a burning house in Melbourne, Australia. Firefighters say that Leo refused to leave the kittens' side in the burning house, despite the thick smoke and immense danger. The firefighters who discovered the pets had to revive Leo with oxygen and heart massage after the ordeal. A girl was also rescued from the fire and we are happy to report that everyone — furry and otherwise — is safe and sound. [MSNBC]

-This story is another example of how dogs touch our lives even if we don't have one. This heroic little guy, Leo is all the way from Australia and his love and devotion is touching people from all over the world.

I originally got this story off, they link to it from MSNBC. If you click on the link you can see a photo and a video of Leo.

Later today I'll be posting Halloween party pics and the Nov. Doga schedule.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Doga Tip of the Week

Meeting a new dog.

This is advice I usually give to children when they want to pet Honey or Gus. I sometimes need to remind myself though of the bestway to approach a strange dog because it's easy to get all excited and overwhelmed when faced with the cuteness of a dog or puppy.
Dogs are used to us big ole clumsy humans, so they generally let us hover over them and pat them on the head. But if you think about it from the dog's view point, does'nt that stance seem a little threatening and overwhelming? Especially to our smaller breeds? Of course most dogs will tolerate someone approaching them like this, but if you change your approach, I think you'll find new dogs more receptive to your attentions. Here's what to do:

1. Let's start on top and move down. Don't look a new dog in the eye, but smile and talk softly and highpitched to the dog.
2. Crouch down to their level and turn slightly to the side particularly if they seem a little shy. Approaching from the side is polite in dogdom.
3. If they do seem a little shy, let them come to you.
4. Instead of patting on the top of the head, pet under the chin or neck or shoulder. You can also start the petting by using the back of your hand, which is less threatening.
5. If you have treats and the owners permission, you can place the treat in your open palm for the dog to take, this will save your fingers if the dog is grabby.

So there you have it! I'll be posting tips o' the week from here on out, so if you have a good one, let me know!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Howl-O-Ween Fun

Fun dog stuff this weekend:
Howl-O-Ween Party at The Capital Hill Downtown Dog Lounge
Friday Oct. 24, 7:00 pm
Saturday Oct. 25, 11:00 am- 2:00
Genesee Park, West Seattle

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Doga in Real Life

Knowing how to calm your dogi down when they are stressed is helpful and important.

I took Honey and Gus into Petco to get their nails trimmed last weekend. Gus was fine with it, but Honey was acting stressed out. The groomer was really nice and very gentle, but Honey kept trying to pull her paws away. Here's what I did:

First of all, dogs are keen observers, so if you're stressed they pick up on it. I wasn't stressed on this day, but the groomers were very busy, so her sensitive soul was probably picking up on their stress. I always try to keep my face relaxed so the dogs will not note stress in my facial expressions, like I said, dogs are keen observers.

Anyway, Honey was stressed so I began to stroke her muzzle with my finger tips. I've heard that a dog's limbic system is connected to the mouth. The limbic system is directly related to things like fear so stroking the muzzle by someone they trust can have calming results. It worked! Honey almost immediately settled down and allowed her nails to be trimmed.

We do this muzzle stroke in doga class sometimes, but this was the big test, real life out of the classroom. I've had students tell me they've tried other calming techniques they've learned in doga class also with positive results. I love that, taking doga off the mat and applying it to life outside of the classroom. Cool and fabulous...

Monday, October 20, 2008

A New Leash On Life

It may come as no surprise to those of you that read this blog on a regular basis (thanks mom and husband!) that I spend a lot of time with humans and their dogs. It also may come as no surprise that I hear about some challenges people face in the relationships they have with their dogs. One of the biggest issues dog owners seem to face is the leash.

I try to figure ways out to help people relax with their dogs, I mean this is my thing with the doga and all right? I try to help when I can and if you're unable to relax on a walk with your canine companion, that sucks.

So here are the two biggest issues I've heard:

Pulling and leash aggression. Now aggression is nothing to take lightly in human or canine. But it seems most of the aggression I've experienced with my friend's dogs or even my own has been mild and mostly a reaction to our stress as well as not enough proper socialization with other dogs.

If your dog has major aggression get thee to a behaviour expert tout de suite. However, if your puzzled by your otherwise gentle and friendly canine here's what you can try:

First of all...relax. I'm willing to bet every time you come in contact with another dog your hand and body tense up and you pull up on the leash. Right? I knew it. So this is going to help you with the double whammy of pulling and leash aggression.

1. Before you leave the house put Fido in a sit while you put on the leash. If your dog does not know how to sit, stop reading this immediately and go teach him to sit or enroll in a positive training obedience course. After the sit, praise in a sing songy voice, higher pitched than your command voice, which should be lower pitched (wow, this is a whole other ball 'o wax, we'll have to get to later).

The sit will help calm down Fido and give him a point of focus.

2. Now we go outside. If you are having training problems and use a retractable leash, stop reading this immediately and go purchase a sturdy nylon or leather leash. You can use the retractable leash after your dog child learns to mind his manners. I walk my dogs on the left, so decide which side works best for you, and stick to it. Keep Fido on a short leash without, of course choking him by taking up the slack a bit. Even though you have short leash keep a relaxed hand and demeanor. If Fido pulls, gently but firmly correct him by saying "no" (low-pitched) and put him in a sit. When he sits calmly "good boy" (high-pitched). Continue walking, if he pulls, sit again, wash, rinse repeat.

With the sit you aren't rewarding the action of pulling on the leash by allowing Fido to move forward, but you are praising good behaviour when he sits calmly.

3. Praise Fido when Fido walks calmly next to you. My dogs will respond to a firm flick of my leash hand wrist, not snapping the leash to choke them but a gentle correction along with a firm"na, ah" if they begin to pull. If you have more than one dog I suggest walking them on the same side together. I've noticed when I dog-sit or help friends with leash stuff that if I have two or three dogs in one hand it's almost easier because they get in what I call a "pack rhythm" or "the three-headed beast", walking together in a cute little dog wad.

Keep your energy calm. Keep your leash hand calm and breathe. Oh, did I already mention that? Of course I did! It's important!

Approaching other dogs:

1. Here's where everything from above comes in handy with a few modifications. You should probably notice an approaching dog before Fido does. Stay Calm and even loosen the leash a little. Put Fido in his sit and give him some treats. ( oh yeah, I forgot to mention to have some treats available for positive behaviour rewards) Keep him focused on you and the treats until the dog passes. Again, don't tighten your grip on the leash, it sends a signal to our sensitive Fido that something is wrong thus the lunge toward the approaching dog.

This will do a couple of things. It will give Fido a point of focus and it will associate an approaching dog with something positive. After a while you may not need the treats and you may not need the sit. But every dog is unique and has a different learning curve for differnt things.

2. After the dog passes with no incident. Praise, praise and praise. Continue your relaxing walk.

Be consistent. If you only take your dog for a walk once or twice a week, of course he's gonna go crazy, get out there and get him and you some exercise, fresh air and time together.

Let me know how it goes!

P.S. Do I need a disclaimer here? O.K. just in case; this is my own opinion, take my advice at your own risk. There.

Sunday, October 19, 2008



Downtown Dog Lounge Dogis


Just a few cute pictures from Saturday's doga class at The Downtown Dog Lounge.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't forget Doga on Saturday!

Downtown Dog Lounge at 1:00.
Deepen the connection to your dog and to yourself as we bring our dogis into every pose. Strengthen the already amazing bond you have with your dog as we breathe, stretch and learn massage techniques to offer to our doga partners.
You bring the dog, I'll bring the treats! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Doga At The Twilight Artist Collective Gallery!

It's a little hard to read so here's the skinny:

Sunday, November 2 Doga at The Twilight Artist Collective 4306 SW ALaska Way

20.00 A portion of the proceeds will go to The Twilight Artist Collective.

Space is limited so sign up early! Contact me or go to

After doing a class at The Royce Gallery in San Francisco, I realized that art gallerys are great venues for my class. Particularly those that support innovative endeavors such as Doga. Doga has a very creative nature and I find the people and dogs that attend the class to be inspirational.

Come check it out! By the way...The Twilight Artist Collective supports and sells the art of some very cool local artists. Do Doga/Look at art.

Thanks Royce and Twilight!

Doga Doyle

Does that ear stay up like that all of the time?

Scooter has been adopted! I am simultaneously joyful and heartbroken. Happy that he has a home, sad that he is not with me. Anyway I thought I should post an available possible future dogi instead. This is Doyle. Judging by the picture I think Doyle is a good listener. Here is Doyle's link:

If you are in the Seattle area and adopt Doyle, I will give you a discount on Doga classes. Incentive! In the meantime I will continue to shower love and affection onto my two precious dogis, Honey and Gus.

Scooter needs Doga, but 1st a home!

Before Doga.

After Doga.

I was perusing Petfinder, because, yes, I'm obsessed with dogs (Hello my name is Brenda and I'm a dog-a-holic).

So on Pet Finder I found Scooter, the brown dog in the top picture. Go here for more info on this delightful little guy:

I heart Scooter and really want to adopt him for myself, but the husby says "No more dogs right now" (what a killjoy, but I love him).

Someone nice please adopt little Scooter and then bring him to class so that I can meet him in person. He looks like quite the energetic little man, does'nt he?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Harry's Still Got It!

Harry and Honey after class last week.

I can't seem to stop posting pictures of 14 year old Handsome Harry. His human, Angela was reluctant to send me this picture because as she put it "Harry isn't being much of a gentleman". I say, Handsome Harry, you go!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Doga Class this Saturday!

Don't forget doga this Saturday, the 18th at The Downtown Dog Lounge at 1:00. go to the website to reserve a spot.

Do it for the dogs! Do it for yourself! Let's relax the world one dog at a time....

What does "relaxing the world one dog at a time" mean? It's my slogan, and I think it's cute. But it does have a deeper meaning to me. I LOVE working with dogs and people and people with their dogs. I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing humans react and relax when they spend time with their dogs. And... it's great when the dogs begin to relax too. Like lil' dogi Sophie. Sweet, tiny and shy. She is coming out of her cute little shell as she attends doga every week. Relaxing more and more with every class as she becomes confident in the practice and play and with the other dogis in the class. Her human, Stephanie is very devoted to Sophie and Sophie's sis Lucy and it's a lovely interaction as they learn the doga practice together. Sometimes little Sophie's doga includes bravely walking around alone getting closer and closer to the other humans and dogs. And then back to the mat to stretch with mom. It's fun and rewarding to relax the world one dog at a time...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pics From The Stay Up Late Show

Darren and Jinxy along with Kaileen and Baxter were nice enough to be on stage with us.
Honey was wandering around the stage like John McCain during the Town Hall Debates.

Finally, Honey decides to take a nap. Rebecca, our lovely host is sitting on my right.

Rebecca was cracking me up.

Honey wandering around again.

Waiting to go on with Darren and Jinxsy. I look totally serious. Oh, that's Tiffany sitting next to Darren with the super cute black bob.

Doga for Senior Dogis

Two of my favorite seniors: Handsome Harry (14 years) and my Beautiful Princess Honey at almost 11 years.
With Honey growing older, I think a lot about her care and well being. Just writing this makes me tear up at the thought of her leaving me. I think about how to make her senior years more comfortable. I think she'll be around for a while, but in the meantime I'll do my best to keep her in good shape.
Doga is fairly new so we haven't been able to really see how it can benefit older or aging dogs. I do know that regular stretching and massage from doga has really helped Honey's hips. She used to have a wonky right hip that would bother her after long walks. She would often limp for a few days after. Since we've been doing doga, she hasn't limped after walks for at least a year or more.
We don't do doga everyday, just like most people don't do yoga everyday, but a few times a week we take a few moments to stretch together and I'll massage her hips. I also often meditate with her next to me or in my lap, I think the calm breath and energy is relaxing to her. During this time, I'll put my hands on her and focus on her and breath with her for some time. She really seems to like this and it also helps me to feel more grounded before meditating.
I like the idea of having dogs of all ages in my classes. I think at every age doga can be beneficial. For young dogs it can help them learn to be touched and learn to be with you and focused. For senior dogis it can help keep the joints and muscles flexible. For all dogs the attention, the time spent and the deeper connection is beneficial.
I'll be working more on what we can do for our Senior Dogis, so stay tuned and I'll share with you what I learn. Feed back is always appreciated and I've changed my blog settings so it's much easier to leave comments.

Here's a link to an interesting article on making older dogs more comfortable as they age:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gus Yawns

Gus captured mid-yawn in a hotel room on our San Fran road trip.

We're a little beat today after staying up way late to be a guest on The Stay Up Late Show. It was cool, with a good turn out. I'll post pictures tomorrow. In the meantime here's the latest Doga Schedule:

Downtown Dog Lounge:
Saturdays at 1:00 pm Oct. 18, Nov 1

The Seattle Humane Society:
Wednesday at 7:00 pm Nov.19

Twilight Artist Collective Gallery West Seattle (I'll be putting a sign-up page on my website soon for this one)
Sunday at 9:00 am Nov. 2

We're going to bed early tonight to catch up on our beauty sleep. Good night!

Hugs and Wags,
Brenda, Honey and Gus

Friday, October 10, 2008

Doga on The Stay Up Late Show!

Honey and Gus demonstrate the disco nap. Saturday night Oct. 11. The show doesn't start until 11:00 pm, so take your disco nap! Mention my name at the door and you'll get a discount on admission price. Come on down!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gus Flies

Here's a picture of Gus having so much fun in the park he begins to fly, turning into a mere blur, barely visible to the human eye.

I love this picture because it reminds me of the pure joy of dogs being dogs. Also a good reminder to occasionally take time out to connect with your inner dog and run around and play in the park. Play can be as therapeutic for you as it is for your dog. Let your dog help lighten your energy next time you go outside and run around with him instead of standing on the sidelines watching. I promise, you'll feel great!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Doga at Fido Fest

Gus and I doing Pit-to-Paw Standing Twist

Robbie and Diva looking very serious in Woofing Warrior 1.

Gus in Super Dog Pose, Honey relaxing on the mat next to Jen and Snickers. Rose hugging Rascal (awww!). Huge Snicks makes Honey look like a Chihuahua!

Gus in Wheel Barrow Pose.

Rascal and Snickers helping Rose and Jen in their twists.

Gus and I going into a pose. Bundled up lady looks on in the back ground (that's one bright fanny pack!).

Cute lil' dogis, Sophie and Diva.

The whole gang on stage.

The dogs gather 'round for after demo treats.
Wow, what a long, fun day! Fido Fest followed Walk For The Animals, a benefit for The Seattle Humane Society. The biggest ever with over 600 humans and dogs walking a 5 k. Gus and I led everyone in warm up stretches pre-walk and then a Saint Franciscan brother blessed the dogs, which was very sweet.

It was rainy and windy much of the day, but us Seattlelites can't be tender when it comes to the rain because that's just the way it is up here. Although many of us did choose to find shelter in the cozy, covered beer garden provided for the Walk and Fido Fest participants. Posted above, Pics of the demo. The dogis and yogis were all a little wet and wind blown by the time the demo rolled around, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it, I know we did!

Thank you Robbie and Diva, Rose and Rascal, Jen and Snickers, Steph and Sophie.

By the way Robbie (with the daschund) is a jeweler and makes cool dog jewelry: