Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 |
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Monique Kemper / Special to The Garden Island
Instructor Hope Ramirez and owner Anna Braun of Barre Soul finish off the yoga session with a namaste pose during the yoga with pets event at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter outside Puhi Sunday.
Barre Soul Instructor Hope Ramirez, left, beams with owner Anna Braun, right, at the pets with yoga event at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter outside Puhi Sunday.
Participants of the yoga with pets event practice yoga poses at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter dog park outside Puhi Sunday.
Participants of the yoga with pets event practice yoga poses at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter outside Puhi Sunday.
Michelle Miller pets a dog after finishing a yoga pose at the pets with yoga event Sunday at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter dog park outside Puhi.
Owner of Barre Soul, Anna Braun, pets a dog before starting the pets with yoga event at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter outside Puhi Sunday.
Dogs were running around happily in the background as Barre Soul instructor Hope Ramirez and owner Anna Braun began their yoga with pets event at the Kaua‘i Humane Society shelter outside Puhi Sunday.
For the day, pets (including cats, dogs and gerbils) could be adopted for free, with all proceeds from the yoga event going to KHS to support the animals.
“We are here to support the Kaua‘i Humane Society to raise awareness for the dogs and adoption, awareness for the fact that we need fosters,” Braun said. “The humane society is full right now.”
This was the first time that Braun has taught yoga with pets.
“This is just a good way to collaborate and bring people together for a good cause,” she said.
And it’s a cause that hits close to home. Ramirez adopted her dog, Lani, from KHS.
“She just stole my heart. She was going to be a foster for me, but I just couldn’t let her go,” Ramirez said. “She’s amazing. Adopting her is the best thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t think I’d do it because there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with adopting a dog. But you know what, I’ve adapted my life, because she’s worth it.”
As people got started doing their yoga poses, adoptable dogs came and visited people while they were doing their exercises, and they would stop to pet the furry friends.
Kapa‘a resident Michelle Miller is a cat owner looking out to adopt her own dog.
“It was so much fun. I enjoyed getting doggy kisses while doing poses,” she said. “It was good exercise, too. It was great to support a good cause. I have six kitties. I am looking for a dog, but we haven’t adopted one yet. They’re all domestic short hairs and we have one Russian blue. They’re all so sweet and I love them.”
Miller has a full house with her pets, with three from the mainland and the other three cats from Kaua‘i.
“One we adopted from the humane society, and the other two were strays that we adopted,” she said. “I’m always looking for the animals that are the least adoptable. We have one kitty that has a big scab on her nose because I think she was abused and was trying to get out of the cage. Since she’s been with us she’s been able to heal.”
Miller is an avid animal advocate, and even helped to raise a baby chick until it became full grown and she let it go free.
“I found a baby chick while along the bike path in Kapa‘a, so I picked it up. It was only a couple days old. Its family wasn’t around. So I grabbed it. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I started to care for it. I gave it what I thought it would like. Gave it a little seed, a little bit of Spam. I raised him until he was five months old. His name was Chickpea, but we called him Peep Peep for short,” she said.
Ramirez said that Barre Soul is encouraging people to give their support.
“A donation, volunteer, anything you can do makes an impact. When you do that it’s not just a little, it’s a lot,” Ramirez said. “Rescuing a dog or helping does something for you, too. It’s not just for them. It’s enrichment that you get. It’s a collaboration. Just like practicing yoga. Getting involved like this, there’s something about doing this that fills us up.”
Barre Soul has locations in both Kapa‘a and Lihu‘e. In the future, there will be yoga classes at Lydgate Park, including at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 a.m. on Sundays.
Monique Kemper is a lifelong North Shore resident who lives in Princeville and writes periodically for The Garden Island.
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