Dear Dog Lady,

Recently, I took my dog to a yoga class for people and their dogs. The class, called “dogma,” was developed by a local yoga studio as a way for people and their dogs to hang out together.

I am always looking for something fun to do with my Rosie. She’s an active shepherd mix and a great companion. A friend told me about “dogma,” so I signed up and we went one Saturday.

The yoga poses used in class are modified to be done while staying in physical contact with the dogs. For instance, during downward-facing dog, the humans rest their heads on their pets. When I was researching the class, the online comments were ebullient with participants saying they loved it and what great exercise it was for them and their dogs.

Unfortunately, “dogma” was kind of a bust for us. Rosie wasn’t very good at lying still. She wanted to rove and sniff. One dog turned out to be a terrible barker; another peed on someone’s leg.

I think Rosie and I will stick with our daily walks. Have you heard of “dogma” and know of any successful classes?


A: Yes, Dog Lady has heard of “dogma,” but she has no inclination to try it or force her darling dog into unnatural poses. Transcendent yoga may be very satisfying to its legion of human practitioners, but the ancient exercise is a stretch for dogs. How can we expect them to “get it”?

Such a sweet notion for you to imagine enjoying a yoga class together with your dog — the same as imagining you and your dog enjoying a cocktail party together. The reality of dogdom, however, intrudes on the fantasy. Dogs are simple. They’re not complicated yogis or cocktail party chicsters. They like walking, peeing, rolling, sleeping.

In the end, your brief flirtation with “dogma” steered you down the right path toward a realization for greater enlightenment through daily walks with your shepherd mix.

Dear Dog Lady,

I just split with my boyfriend after two years. We had two dogs together, and when he moved out, he took the older dog with him. I have the 10-month-old puppy, Winston.

Will my puppy be OK? I worry not just because my boyfriend is gone but, most importantly, because the other dog is gone and the puppy seems to miss him. They used to sleep curled up together. Now, I let Winston curl up with me instead.


A: What a conscientious dog keeper you are. The loss of your boyfriend probably doesn’t impact your dog at all. The loss of the older dog is the very big deal because your puppy was used to being part of a furry pack.

Make sure Winston has many social interactions with other dogs. Take him to a puppy class or a dog day care a couple of times a week just so he can revel in being around his own kind.

Dogs love us, but they love other dogs more. If things are civil between you and your ex, you might also ask if you can get the two dogs together from time to time.

Monica Collins offers advice on pets, life and love. Ask a question or make a comment at