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Mountain Yoga For Cardiff Dogs Home

This week is a first for me as I'll be teaching up a mountain at sunrise!

One of the things I wanted to do this year was be of more service. I think that in the current climate it can often feel overwhelming deciding where to start, there are so many causes that need and deserve our attention. Sometimes it can be easier to just bury our heads in the sand and pass it off as someone else's problem. It can also feel scary trying to organise something when you don't have experience doing it. Sure, you see people fundraising all the time, but can I do that?

Angel, no worries, just ready for tummy rubs please

Luckily I knew at least where I wanted to start. Dogs to me are a staple of happiness and genuinely are one of the things in this world that motivate me to be a better person. They are a force for good, a creature that simply wants to love and be loved. When my Labrador Angel died in 2018 I was heartbroken. As a golden lab with ADHD you can imagine the amount of madness and energy she brought into the room simply by wiggling into it. She was a dog who could literally smile, when she was a puppy she couldn't walk in a straight line because she wagged her tail so much, she would either go off track or fall over. She was there for me through some of the toughest times, a little beacon of bottomless love and acceptance. She was my dog and she loved me, but she also loved everyone else, without discrimination. If you existed and you were in front of her, you were her friend. She also once ate five bars of soap and had to have her stomach pumped, but that's another story.

Angel as an older girl

When she died I really needed to feel like there was still good in the world. It's weird to say that I learnt humanity from a dog, but it's true. If we could all be just a fraction as loving as Angel was, then there would be no war. One of the things that made Angel and I the same was our blonde hair, so I decided to donate it in her name to the Princess Trust. My hair isn't very thick or strong so I doubt they got a whole wig out of it, but if someone could benefit just a little from a few strands, then I reasoned, I was worth it.

Moving to Wales I very much missed seeing dogs on the regular, I am that person who will cross the park to say hello to your puppy. But I also know that not everyone is a fan of this. I also knew that you could volunteer to walk dogs that had been rescued whilst they waited to find their forever home, and that's how I found CDH.

Daisy, the first dog I walked for CDH and a certified diamond

Cardiff Dogs Home rescues dogs for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes their owners can't afford them, or die or even abuse their dog. Sometimes a dog is brought in as a stray or as a retired racer. Cardiff Dogs Home takes them all in, cares for them and then lovingly finds them a new owner. Sometimes this care may simply be food and a place to stay, but sometimes this can mean huge vet bills, time with a behavioural specialist or even just time to teach the dog to trust again. The home is currently overwhelmed and they are seeking funding to build their new kennel so that they can continue helping as many dogs as they can.

Walking Lyla, a brilliant bulldog who I only wish I had walked more, but she has now luckily been adopted

As a walker for CHD I need to do something to help and, having no more hair to give, decided that I would have to reply on the only other thing I have in abundance to give: yoga. And that brings us to where we are now.

On Friday 15th at 05:25AM I am leading a walk up Pen Y Fan to teach a beautiful sunrise yoga class. Spaces are unlimited and you're more than welcome to come along If you can't make it then you are, of course, more than welcome to donate to the JustGiving page. It's my hope that we can raise £450 for the home and, if people like then event, that this can become a regular part of the EDY timetable!

So, if you too want to make a different but don't know where to begin, sometimes it can be as simple as seeing what's in front of you and helping there. I know that's what Angel would do and, when all is said and done, that's good enough for me.

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