Puppy Yoga coming to North Park

Sunday, July 14, 2019 | 12:01 AM


If the idea of combining yoga with adorable puppies sounds like a perfect way to spend an hour, you’ll want to be at North Park on Aug. 3.

Paws Across Pittsburgh is once again teaming up with Allegheny County Parks to bring Puppy Yoga to the park. There, yoga practitioners of all ages and abilities will get the chance to work on their downward dog and other poses while surrounded by little dogs looking for homes.

Just be forewarned that all participants are encouraged to bring a yoga mat they don’t mind getting, ahem, dirty.

“We put down pads for the puppies to go potty, but it happened at the first one at North Park, a puppy walked over to this woman’s mat and pooped right on it,” said Renee Hardy, development director for Paws Across Pittsburgh. “She was like, ‘Well, technically he pooped on the pad.”

Paws Across Pittsburgh has found homes for more than 1,100 animals since starting out just over three years ago. They first partnered with Allegheny County Parks in 2016 to do the Dog Days of Summer events at various county parks. This year, Hardy said, the county approached them about doing Puppy Yoga, and they held the first events in May.

Hardy admits it’s a bit less about practicing yoga and more about being pleasantly distracted by adorable puppies.

“The first session, the puppies were maniacs, then toward the end, just when they got to the relaxation part of it, the puppies just went to sleep,” Hardy said. “It was the cutest thing ever. Then we had a break, and the puppies got up, got some treats and got their second wind just in time for the people to come in and the same thing happened. They were playing, running around, one lady was trying to do something and three puppies just jumped on her stomach running after each other.”

Taking part in Puppy Yoga is about more than just helping people get their cute fix on a Saturday morning, though. Hardy said that after the spring sessions at the various parks they adopted out four puppies and have gained new volunteers as well as new foster pet parents. They also accept donations at both sessions.