Recreation Mecca for People and Pets
Around here, whether we’re into snowshoeing or savasana, we often include our furry friends in the adventure. Here’s a sampling of our regional bounty, from the playful to the practical.
These Shoes Were Made for (Dog) Walking
Petlandia is perfectly perched within easy playtime proximity to mountains, beaches, deserts, and rivers. Naturally it is also home to companies that make everything from running shoes and water socks to insulated parkas.
Now one local company is offering gear for the most popular outdoor adventure: walking with dogs! The Reshod shoe is built to protect walkers from the elements — or even their dogs' paws — whether traversing forest trails or neighborhood sidewalks.
Portland walking coach and shoe designer Carmen Jackinsky says her Reshod design protects the tops of feet in case they get tromped on, and has a patented midsole that lets walkers easily shift their weight to counteract tugs from an exuberant pooch. Combined with treads designed to grip on slippery surfaces without trapping debris and an even-keeled “zero-drop” footbed for smooth strides, these great new kicks just might become a NW staple.
Take it to the mat
At Purringtons Cat Lounge, yogis share the mat with adoptable cats for an hour of all-levels yoga followed by a meditative session of lap-warming, purrs, and head bumps. At the lounge on Portland’s NE MLK Boulevard — where visitors can order wine, coffee, and snacks in the cafe — staff say yoga with cats is more than a novelty.
Purringtons helps cats find homes while encouraging people to relax and socialize among feline friends. They say it’s about joy, happy energy, and “lighting the fire of compassion.” Sunday evening classes offer a warm fuzzy way to prepare for the week ahead.
At PuppYoga in rural Forest Grove, yoga includes warm fuzzies from round-bellied puppies. Trainer Kristin Tarnowski raises assistance dogs, starting their specialized training and socialization almost as soon as they’re born. She saw a chance to socialize pups while treating visitors to adorable wiggles and cuddles, and PuppYoga was born.
Puppies arrive in a cart, like a special delivery of puppy breath and cuddles. Instructors lead classes through puppy-centric asanas like balancing in tree pose while cradling a wiggly pup.
We also love our fun runs and walks infused with canine cheer. Many local animal charities offer dog-friendly events for all fitness levels. The biggest — Oregon Humane’s Doggy Dash — draws thousands of dog lovers to McCall Waterfront Park each year. Every May, people and pooches walk or run, eat breakfast, shop, play in fountains and doggie pools, and socialize in pure Petlandia style.
During warm-weather months, Animal Aid hosts a variety of pet-centered fitness events. Fitness Fur All features a mix of free and donation-based events including yoga with or without cats, a Bark-be-que, animal massage lessons, and a morning trek through Mt. Tabor. Offerings also include classes like pet nutrition and CPR/First Aid.
- Michelle Blake