Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reiki and Animals

The Beauty of Reiki Can Be Bittersweet

I was attuned to Reiki I in August of 2012. During the class, my Reiki Master/Teacher told us it was possible to give Reiki to animals. In fact, even wild animals might come to us for Reiki. It seemed unbelievable at the time, but I was open to the idea. After all, if humans can benefit from Reiki, why not animals? I had no idea at the time what was about to happen to my family and me. The story I am about to tell is very painful for me. It is a testimony to the healing power of Reiki. Before I get into the story, I want to share some very positive and unusual moments I have had with Reiki since I was first attuned.

I have an elderly cat who suffers from arthritis. I first tried Reiki on her within a few weeks of being attuned. She resisted at first, and it seemed that Reiki was a little uncomfortable for her. So I started giving her short Reiki treatments on her head, and later moving down to her shoulders and hips where her arthritis seems to be concentrated. She now moves along a little easier, though she still has stiffness in her hips.

Soon after I began sharing Reiki with her, she started coming to me. She would jump up on the couch and lay in my lap. I placed my hands on her in the same sequence . . . first her head, then her shoulders, then her hips. When she had enough she would stand up, purr in my face and jump down off the couch to find a quiet place to nap. She still comes to me for Reiki treatments a few times a week.

One of my favorite places to sit is outside on the porch swing. I have spent many mornings drinking a cup of coffee and listening to the chirping of the birds. I go out there to soak up a little morning peace. I watch the birds and squirrels from a distance eating from the sunflower feeders. The back yard mornings are usually quite a busy breakfast time for all the critters!

One morning after I was attuned to Reiki I, a wren came and sat on the swing right beside me. My first thought was that I had been sitting there quietly for so long that the wren just didn’t notice that I was there. Perhaps sitting on the swing was also part of the little bird’s morning routine, and she just didn’t notice me… at least not until I was startled by her presence and she flew away. This happened a few times.

Then one morning I was outside going through my morning routine, and a male Blue Jay came and sat on the swing, right beside my head. He was less than a foot away from me. I was absolutely in awe! I just sat there quietly, and he stayed. I couldn’t believe it! In all my life, I have never been so close to any wild bird! I have decided that my Reiki Master/Teacher was correct. This has happened too often since my Reiki attunement to be coincidental.

Now that I have shared the positive side of my experience with Reiki and animals, I will get to the real story . . .

Over the past several years I was in a marriage in which I was isolated from my family, my friends . . . well pretty much the entire world. I had no idea what news had transpired in the world during that time. Emotionally and physically I was a wreck. I hadn’t driven a car in three years; I had no access to money, and I had been walking on a cane for a few years. I had not been in the sun for six years.

I think the only thing that kept me sane were my pets. When I had no one else to talk to, no one else to love or be loved by, I had my pets. When I finally made the decision to get out of the abusive situation I was in, I had to leave behind all my animals, except for one. She was absolutely the sweetest soul I had ever known.

She was born “defective”. Her parents both weighed about 15 pounds, and were about a foot tall from paw to shoulder. She only grew to two pounds adult weight, and was about six inches from paw to shoulder. Her bony little legs were about as big around as a pencil. Honestly, she should never have survived . . . but she did. And she was great company. She was very loyal, and defended me when the opportunity arose. She alerted me whenever she heard a suspicious noise . . . but was usually quiet otherwise…except for the howling! She howled like a little wolf!

She was very intelligent, to have been born “challenged” like she was. She was well trained and well behaved. She loved giving and receiving affection. She even got along well with other animals . . . especially cats! She loved cats! And she absolutely loved the outdoors. She would run through the yard with such a sense of freedom . . . as fast as her little legs would carry her fragile body!

Over the past few weeks she went downhill fast. She started having accidents. Her appetite had gone from ravishing to nothing. I tried several different types of pet food to stimulate her appetite, but nothing worked. My spunky little friend had gone from playful to sleepy in just a few days.

I took her to the vet where she was hospitalized for three days. He ran several tests and found out that she was in renal failure and had problems with her heart valves. It was likely congenital. Her kidneys had either quit producing or perhaps never produced the hormone required to make red blood cells and she needed a blood transfusion. Because of her size this was going to be more like a surgical process, and would only temporarily fix the problem . . . maybe even for just a few days. If the transfusion even worked, she would have to have monthly or even weekly transfusions. She would also have to have weekly shots of the hormone she was lacking, and it might not even work. Regardless of the treatment possibilities, her diagnosis was progressive and terminal. Even with aggressive treatment, she only had a few months, maybe even a few weeks. There was nothing more the vet could do.

It was a tough decision to have to make. She had been my best friend from the day she was born. I decided I could not put her through aggressive therapy that would do nothing for her in the end except make her weak, and keep her at the vet clinic more than she was home, only to give her a few more weeks or months. I wanted more time with her of course, but she was tired and she was ready to go.

I asked the vet if I could bring her home for the night. I had decided that if she made it through the night I would return her the next day to have her put to sleep. I have never had to do this with a pet before. It was a tough decision. The vet was very concerned about letting her come home. He knew that because of the type of diagnosis she had, her passing could be very painful and drawn out for her, and very emotional for me. With tears in his eyes, he offered his personal telephone number so I could call him if things got too tough for her or for me, and he would meet me back at the clinic to ease her suffering. He was very apprehensive about letting her come home, because he felt she would not make it through the night. I could feel his pain as he rubbed her head and told her to hang on through the night, and he would see her tomorrow.

I knew we would not be back . . . she was too weak.

Sylvia was very dear to my soul and was there for me as my only friend when I had no one else. I just could not bring myself to leave my devoted friend alone in her moment of need. I brought her home and I sat on the couch with her curled up in my lap. She stayed wrapped in the towel the vet had provided to carry her home. She was wearing a pet diaper, as she was too weak to make the trip outside. She had only been home about an hour when she let out the worst cry I have ever heard. It sent us all into tears, because we knew she was in pain. I began to feel perhaps I had made a mistake in bringing her home. She had been such a devoted friend; I just didn’t want her to die in a cage alone.

I changed her wet diaper, and immediately started Reiki. I laid my hands on her, wrapping one hand around her ribcage and the other around her low back and stomach. The Reiki immediately began to flow, and this is how we sat for the rest of the night. She did not resist at all. She would occasionally shift her position, and I would move my hands to another location temporarily. I could feel the Reiki flow, increasing and decreasing throughout the next five hours.

Other than the one cry she had let out five hours earlier, she did not suffer. I had to change her diaper a few more times after that painful moment. She rested quietly in my lap, occasionally looking up at me, and looking around at the family when someone would talk to her.

In her final moments, she looked up at me, yawned and stretched, like she always did before she fell asleep. She laid her head down and took her last breath. She left us quietly and resting comfortably. I am so thankful that she did not suffer, as the vet had feared. I had read that Reiki could make passing on a more peaceful experience, but I had no idea that Reiki could allow my beloved Sylvia to be at home in her final moments, surrounded by those who love her, where she could leave us peacefully.

In Loving Memory of Sylvia
February 14, 2009-October 17, 2012 @ 11:57 p.m.