Loose Dog

Yoga-loving pooches stretch their muscles.

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Mel, a six-month-old Lhasa Apso, will be too wrapped up in his Dog Yoga class this afternoon to chew on an old rawhide bone at home. Not that he has a choice. His owner, Colette Barry, is a licensed massage therapist who runs the monthly session in her Westlake office. "I'm crazy about my little dog,"says Barry. "When I do my exercises, I love to have him sitting next to me."

On mats strewn on the floor, Barry's students relax, meditate, and exercise . . . with their pooches lying next to them. It might be a challenge to get puppies like Mel to sit still, but geriatric canines manage to get a therapeutic workout. "As a dog gets older, it gets stiffer,"explains Barry. "So we incorporate massage. And we can work on trigger points — certain muscles — to help the achiness and the stiffness."The owner-dog relationships loosen up too, she says. "It's bonding and relaxing. You have happier, more obedient dogs when you spend time with them. It makes them want to please you more."
Sat., Feb. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

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