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Canines and Their Companions! Joy and Tiki Winkler!

Posted Feb 23 2009 10:16pm

Since starting Houston Dog Blog in August, I have been lucky enough to meet and chat with some really great folks!  One of my favorite parts about the blog is getting to hear fun stories about the unique relationship between dogs and their humans.  I decided to try and capture some of the unique pups and people and share them here in a new feature called Canines and Their Companions.  I hope to show how dogs and humans can inspire and help each other in their own special ways, remaining devoted companions throughout their lives.

_MG_4939 To kick off the feature, I asked my friend Joy if she and Tiki, our resident yoga-dog, would like to give us a peek into their unique world. I am lucky that I get to see them at Joy Yoga Center daily, watching the hippest mom/dog-ter team take on the ancient practice of Yoga!  Here's your peek!

Canines and Their Companions! Joy and Tiki Winkler!

HDB:    How did you meet your canine companion?
J&T:    Tiki was a gift for my 29th birthday. 

HDB:    What is your favorite memory of your pup?
J&T:    I love how on Saturday mornings, Tiki sits in my lap while I give my lecture on the history and benefits of yoga.  It’s so adorable because she looks out and connects with each and every student, like she’s the one teaching.  And considering all the wonderful lessons to be learned from watching our dogs, I think the students learn as much from her as they do from me!

HDB:    What is your favorite thing to do with your dog?
J&T:    I love to bring Tiki with me to my yoga studio, the Joy Yoga Center.  She’s our official Yoga-Dog.  Before classes, she goes around to greet every student and share the love.  Sometimes, she gets so excited and enthusiastic about being at the studio, that she just can’t contain herself.  She races around the studio like a little Tasmanian devil with a huge smile on her tiny face – I call these her happy laps. _MG_4612

HDB:    Does your dog do any fun tricks or have a hidden talent?
J&T:    Tiki does an incredible Downward Dog.  She is quite the model for my yoga students.  If you ask her nicely, I’m sure she’ll demonstrate, especially if there’s a treat involved!

HDB:    If you had to describe your dog in one word, what would that be?
J&T:    Sassy

HDB:    If your dog could talk, what would she say?
J&T:    Tiki says, “I am the perfect model for how yoga can transform your life.  I am by nature a pretty high-strung little doggie, but yoga has taught me that when I take a minute to calm down and just breathe, I can enjoy and appreciate every moment of every day.  I’ve learned that even when I’m faced with challenging situations, like going to the vet or encountering a huge, scary dog on my walks, that I have a choice – I can revert to my old stressed-out reactions, or I can begin to even appreciate these challenges because, even if I can’t see it at the time, they are for my benefit.  After all, those trips to the vet aren’t meant to stress me out; they’re meant to keep me strong, healthy, and better prepared to run my happy laps around the studio.  Choosing to let go of the old stress reactions has made me a very joyful, hopeful, and generally blissed-out little dog, and I hope that you’ll give yoga a shot to see how blissed-out it can make you, too!”

HDB:    If your dog was a celebrity, who would they be?
J&T:    Tiki would be Madonna. She is feisty, strong-willed, and loves yoga.  And of course, Tiki can be quite the little performer when she has an audience.

HDB:    What song best represents your pooch?
J&T:     “I Like to Move It!.”  It’s the song from the cartoon Madagascar. This song seems especially appropriate as you watch her running her wild-eyed happy laps around the yoga students!

HDB:    Does your dog blog?
J&T:    Of course!  Tiki is a very wise little Chihuahua and loves to share inspirational stories about her adventures.  You can view these weekly “Tiki-grams” at

HDB:    Is there an animal charity or group that you and your pooch are passionate about? If so, tell us more about the group!Lap
J&T:    Tiki is passionate about supporting the Rescue Bank.  The Rescue Bank is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization committed to supporting the animal rescue and rehabilitation community with much-needed supplies and services. Operating on the "food bank" model, Rescue BankSM is a collection and redistribution point for surplus pet supplies and donations. These amazing volunteers are working to relieve area rescue groups and fosters of one of their most difficult tasks- identifying and soliciting donors for the everyday supplies needed to keep their animals healthy.  You can find more information and donate to the Rescue Bank at

If you want to meet Joy and Tiki, why not swing by Joy Yoga Center for a class! It will change your life!  Stay tuned for more Canines and Their Companions!  You never know who we'll feature next!

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