How my dog is keeping me sane during lockdown

Events, Fitness

At DOSE, we are obsessed with getting our happy hormones firing and one of the best ways to do this is spending time with our canine companions.

Petting them reduces our blood pressure by 10% and releases serotonin and oxytocin that in turn lowers stress hormone cortisol. They help us to build a better immune system and walking them can be a great way to get in more exercise. But before you go rushing to your nearest breeder or adoption centre, remember that dogs are for life, not just for lockdown.

Whether you own a dog or not, we have come up with a great way to keep you feeling the warm fuzzies regardless. Join us on Sunday 10th May for a fitness collaboration with BorrowMyDoggy, where you’ll experience everything from ‘High Intensity Hounds’ to ‘DOGA’.

Take part in the workouts and watch as fitness trainers from Barry’s Bootcamp’s Naomi Heffernan to DOGA’s Mahny Djahanguiri, use their pups as props. Get yours involved too! No dog? No problem. Anyone can join in. Tune in to @BorrowMyDoggy on Instagram Live from 9.45am. 

Meet our talent lineup and the pups who are keeping them sane during lockdown…

NAOMI & BAILEY

Naomi Heffernan, Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor and Nike Trainer

It’s been pretty great having a dog during lockdown, which I’m spending with my boyfriend Ben, sister Emily, our dog Bailey and Gerry the Cat.

The animals give us purpose every day! Whatever happens throughout the week for me, the one constant is Bailey. It’s been an interesting transition moving my work online in isolation and there is not one day or week that has been the same. But the dog’s routine is keeping me sane. He keeps me in the present moment and that has got to be good for my mental health right now.

Come rain or shine he gets us outside and exploring. During the recent sunny weather he’s started to paddle around in the streams and rivers that we pass on our running routes. He’s even inspired us to splash around with him too. His company for me is second to none though. We play games, we cuddle and we workout together;  he even knows when I’m down. I couldn’t think of life without Bailey during isolation. The most entertaining thing is watching Bailey and Gerry tumble around together. It’s better than any Netflix series I’ve seen during lockdown. The happiness Bailey brings us all is priceless.

Join Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor and Nike Trainer Naomi Heffernan and her faithful hound Bailey, for a 30 minute high-intensity fitness class. Expect burpees, planks, crunches and an endorphin rush that lasts all morning. The session takes place on Sunday 10th May at 10:00am – 10:30am.

HETTIE & CHILLI

Hettie Holmes, Editor & Co founder of DOSE

I always say that getting Chilli was the best investment I ever made in my wellbeing. And I feel certain of that fact even more during lockdown. It can feel like groundhog day at times, but she keeps us moving, providing structure to our day. She’s a working cocker spaniel, a particularly hyperactive breed, so needs lots of exercise.  Our walks in the Braunton Burrows, near our home, are the best part of our day. She doesn’t need a ball to entertain her because she’s off running free, truly in her element. Seeing her like that makes me so happy and validates our decision to leave London to live in the countryside.

It’s being outdoors that keeps me sane, and Chilli is my connection to nature. Wind, hail, rain or shine, she gets me out in it, and this is when I feel happiest of all – at the mercy of the elements. I am also enjoying the bond that she is forming with our one year old daughter, Heidi. We have made so many happy memories during lockdown, watching the two of them chase each other round the house that always leaves Heidi in fits of giggles.

She curls up next to me when I’m working and at night when I go to sleep, providing me with constant reassurance that everything is OK.

Join DOSE editor Hettie Holmes and her Cocker Spaniel, Chilli, for a live interview with scientist and author Zoe Cormier about how dogs and humans respond to love hormone oxytocin and the role it plays in social relationships. The session will be wrapped up with a Q&A. The session takes place Sunday 10th May at 11:00am – 11:30am.

MAHNY & ROBBIE

Mahny Djahanguiri, Founder of DOGA

My dog Robbie is the mirror to my soul. When I’m frustrated, he gets frustrated. When I’m happy, he’s happy. During lockdown I’ve come to recognise the importance of staying well, physically, mentally and emotionally for him, otherwise he suffers.

From my personal experience I have noticed a huge change in my dog, since I’ve started teaching DOGA on Zoom over the past two months. It’s funny, but also disconcerting, how much Robbie dislikes me talking to a laptop or an iPhone. Each time I start a DOGA class, he scurries off and hides. This has never happened before in a class setting. I know my dog is fed up of me working from home. In the real world, he would play with other dogs during the DOGA session and then eventually settle on my mat for some poses.

Sometimes I feel bad that Robbie pulls away from “Working”. It’s frustrating because I’m working with very important clients one of which is a cancer ward for children at the university Texas hospital. But of late, I’ve come to the realisation that he’s JUST A DOG. He too needs normality and cannot be available for every zoom class. So I’ve decided to leave him be. I let him watch the session from his bed. It’s more authentic and real. Sometimes he feels left out, and he joins in when I’m chanting .That’s when I know it genuine.

I’m sure he also reflects my mood. I’m fed up of this lockdown and want my life back. However, when I go out for walk with him, we really enjoy each others company. He plays with other dogs and I interact with strangers.
This is the golden moments we share. We sit on the grass while I do my Kundalini yoga Zoom session for myself. We leave each other be. And thats the moments I will cherish for the rest of my life,

He has been my ROCK, my soul mate, my guardian, my parent, my friend. In two months, Robbie has had to take care of me. I feel so grateful for his presence. My family is abroad, and it has been the scariest time of my life. I’m a key worker and have been working out in the field without masks and gloves. Robbie has held me together. So I’m not surprised that he feels a little resentful when I turn my back and speak into a laptop and expect him to be the perfect yoga dog. I have no words to describe what gratitude I feel for this creature. I will never forget our time in lockdown.

Join Mahny Djahanguiri and her adorable pooch, Robbie for a relaxing hour of DOGA. Expect a hatha style practice with lots of stretching and hip openers to combat all the sitting we’ve been doing lately. The session takes place on Sunday 10th May at 12:00pm – 12:50pm.

Olatz Ruiz, Barketing, Social Media & Content at BorrowMyDoggy

OLATZ & BALOO

Like many other people, I’m currently working from home, which means it’s easy to get into a “not moving from the sofa” routine. I’ve always been a big fitness fan and since my gym is closed during lockdown, Baloo and I have been exercising together. He has kept me motivated by waking me up at 5am every morning, licking my face so I get out of bed regardless of weather. Most mornings we run to the park together, I bring his favourite ball and we play fetch. (I usually try to fit some bodyweight exercises for me while he is running around the park trying to find his ball).

When I have my lunch break, we both go in the garden and play “chase” until we are both out of breath. Most evenings I do a home workout, which Baloo tends to be part of (he is great at high fiving me when I get the exercise right). There is no quiet time when you have a young dog with you, and this has kept me on my feet during the lockdown. We also do different brain activities to make sure Baloo doesn’t get bored while I’m working.

If I ever feel a little bit low, Baloo always seems to know and comes over to lick my face and give me a paw – it’s like he’s saying “don’t worry everything is going to be ok….oh and can we play now!”. Dog’s live their lives in the here and now, or for the next treat, so I guess he teaches me to do the same during this time of lockdown.

Join BorrowMyDoggy team member Olatz and her Cockapoo Baloo, to bake a dog friendly banana bread. The session takes place Sunday 10th May at 2:00pm – 2:30pm. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to bake along live.

EVENT SUMMARY: SUNDAY 10TH MAY @BORROWMYDOGGY

9.45am – 9.50: Intro with DOSE editor Hettie Holmes

Hettie, editor of DOSE, will introduce the virtual fitness morning with BorrowMyDoggy that has been designed to get your happy hormones firing during lockdown.

10:00am – 10:30am: High Intensity Hounds

A 30 minute high-intensity fitness class led by Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer Naomi Heffernan and her faithful hound Bailey. Expect burpees, planks, crunches and an endorphin rush that lasts all morning.

11:00am – 11:30am: Lovin’ Oxytocin

Hettie Holmes and her Cocker Spaniel, Chilli, will interview scientist and author Zoe Cormier about how dogs and humans respond to love hormone oxytocin and the role it plays in social relationships. The session will be wrapped up with a Q&A.

12:00pm – 1:00pm: DOGA

A relaxing hour of dog yoga led by the founder of DOGA, Mahny Djahanguiri and her adorable pooch, Robbie. Expect a hatha style practice with lots of stretching and hip openers to combat all the sitting we’ve been doing lately.

1:00pm – 1:30pm: Ask a vet

A 30 minute live Q&A with Head Veterinary Surgeon at Zetland Vets, Alexis Hughes, to have all your pooch related queries answered – get your questions ready!

2:00pm – 2:30pm: Ready, steady, doggy bake!

Pots and pans at the ready! BorrowMyDoggy team member Olatz and her Cockapoo Baloo, are baking a dog friendly banana bread recipaws. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to bake along live.

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