Miniature labradoodle Teddy loves to welcome clients to Grey Lynn’s wellness space, Hana

A woman sitting on a round chair with a dog

When he’s not schmoozing clients and enjoying a sauna with his mum, miniature labradoodle Teddy all about sharing the love at wellness space, Hana.

Clients who visit wellness space Hana for an infrared sauna treatment or contrast therapy also get some bonus doggy therapy courtesy of Teddy, the miniature labradoodle. “Teddy loves the clients,” says Hana’s founder, Sara Higgins. “While they’re relaxing on the bench seat in our waiting area, he’ll hop up and put his head on their lap and snuggle up to them.”

Sara, a former pharmacist, opened Hana in June last year. Its premises, in Auckland’s Grey Lynn, are part of a new commercial development called The Scrap Yard, as the site was once a demolition and salvage yard.

Sara worked with architect Justin Roderique to create a calming space within the industrial chic building. The walls are painted a warm white, and houseplants and sage-coloured cushions add pops of soothing green.

Teddy’s presence only heightens the wellbeing vibes. “If you’re having a bad day and a dog comes up and snuggles up to you, your day is only going to get better,” says his adoring owner.

When Sara began her quest for a canine companion a few years ago, she knew she wanted a dog that wouldn’t be too big for her one-bedroom unit in Westmere, down the road from the spa.

“Miniature labradoodles are cute and have really nice temperaments,” Sara says. “Also, he’s hypoallergenic and non-shedding, which makes him suitable for taking to work.”

When he’s not schmoozing clients, Teddy socialises with other pooches at doggy day care, and occasionally hangs out with a black Labrador called Doug who visits the sauna with his owner.

But his favourite part of the day is when he and Sara have a sauna. “After we’ve closed, he runs into the sauna room and stands by the door, waiting to be let in.”

Sara also has an ice bath before work each day but although Teddy likes to peer into it, she says he’s yet to take the plunge. Clever boy.

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