January 2020, we set out on a year-long mission, "Operation Downward Service Dog." Our mission was to raise funds to sponsor a service dog through WNY Heroes Pawsitive for Heroes program. Well, we all know how 2020 ended up going... However, for the first two and a half months, you all came out on Wednesday nights for class and filled up the donation jar, and we thank you all so much.
Being closed for pretty much all of 2020 did not deter us from our mission. My husband and I decided that we would take the money we did raise at the beginning of the year, and we would cover the rest and sponsor a dog and complete our mission. But we weren't done (and we still are not done). After some reflection of the past year, we realized that it was more important than ever that we do whatever we could to support our local veterans, so instead of one dog, we sponsored two!
Sven is one and in this picture he is 160lbs, he may grow to 190/200lbs. Sven is a super sweet doggo, and he's really chill. He and his veteran Jason began training in the spring and are doing really well. We will keep you posted on Jason and Sven's journey and are so happy we could help make this happen.
You can find Sven this summer on a Resurgence Brewery beer can! The day I found out Sven was in the Resurgence to the Rescue contest, it was ON! And again, you all stepped up and voted for this handsome guy, and he won! The beer is coming out on August 1st; keep an eye out. I am so excited; of course, I'm biased, but it is so important having a service dog on this can and spread the message about how life-transforming and life-saving these dogs really are.
A Champion emerges
Sven for the win
After Sven's big win and becoming Buffalo's best Dog, he and his baby brother Hero (who will enter the program when he turns one) attended Pet's are people too supporting Diamonds in the ruff. My boy Jake got to meet Sven and Hero (and all the other service dogs).
On September 11th Jason and Sven Threw out the first pitch at the Bisons game.
Sven was a big hit at the outdoor Wellness fair Cuppa Culture and the studio held. And of course the most handsome boy at The WNYHeroes Red, White and Blue Gala.
Stay tuned for Sven updates!
Yoga In Action
Karma yoga is the yoga of action. It’s about purifying your heart by acting selflessly in the service of others. Through karma yoga, we learn kindness and compassion without an expectation of gain.
Every week I teach yoga to local veterans and their family members with a plan to expand to more offerings.
In May, to help spread awareness that we lose on average 22 veterans a day to suicide, we went on Facebook live every day for 22 days and offered free yoga classes.
In 2021 and 2022 I was honored to present at the Annual Female Veterans Retreat
Service Dog Nadia getting some well-deserved rest while her veteran finishes up her last round of Warrior Circuit Training.
Each year we adopt a local veteran family for the holidays through the Adopt a veteran program from WNY Heroes
Namaste and Macrame with the female veterans group
We have supported the City Mission by running different Donation drives collecting hygiene items and collecting socks. Also, holding donation classes to fill their shelves with food during the holidays.
In 2016 we raised over one thousand dollars for The Himalayan Institutes humanitarian projects in Cameroon, helping build libraries and going out into the public to teach the local villagers' hygiene practices.