SPOKANE, Wash. -- Located in North Spokane, a small gym and spa is a one of a kind in the Inland Northwest.

Animal Wellness Connection is all about dogs and other small animals. It is a place for people and their pets to stay active participate in group classes and even get spa treatments like massages and aromatherapy.

Owner Lorna Boydston opened her doors just a couple months ago. This is a place that is designed just for dogs to relax to have fun and really enjoy themselves; it s all about the dogs. We have programs just for athletic dogs, for the senior dogs, overweight dogs and just maintenance programs, said Boydston.

Her vision is to have a place where dogs and people can spend time together, but it is more than just a fun place to go. The focus is on developing healthy lifestyles for both dogs and their owners.

AWC also includes hydrotherapy, physical therapy and training for dog competitions. With more than 40 years of experience in showing dogs, Boydston spent the last several years learning therapeutic techniques. These techniques help dogs overcome physical limitations, emotional trauma and overall enhancing their quality of life. For shelter dogs, rescue dogs it s a great way to build up confidence and get them used to human touch and understanding there are people out there that care about them said Boydston.

With temperatures well below freezing, AWC is the perfect place to combine staying active, having fun and most importantly staying warm. [It s] getting impossible to get out and exercise with your dog. Coming to the gym there is plenty of exercises to do. We have classes that are for the dogs, classes that are for owners and the dog, says Boydston.

There are classes targeted toward kids, large groups and one-on-one training. The environment is well suited for people and pets; it is full of fun, color and plenty of activities for everyone. To learn more about AWC and how to sign up for classes, visit

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