Who are the animals who teach you the most about Reiki?
My very first Reiki teacher was my sweet dog, Dakota – an Aussie-mix and the smartest dog I’ve ever known. In those days, I only knew how to share Reiki from a “human-centric” approach. In other words, I tried to use hand positions and focus on problem areas the way I did with myself and with my human friends.
Almost all of us who have dogs have experienced working with them through orthopedic injuries or ailments at one time or another. Many of us have rescued dogs who may have come to us injured. Others of us may have dogs who have faced ordeals such as surgery or a long rehabilitation due to orthopedic issues. Healing can take a long time, and issues are often chronic and painful, which takes a toll on us as their loving caregivers, and can also cause stress in our dogs.
I learned to practice Reiki in 1998. When my dog Dakota came over and sat on top of my feet during my first Reiki self-treatment, I had two incredible realizations:
1) Dakota liked the feeling of Reiki so much that he couldn’t bear to be even one foot away from me as I practiced.
2) Dakota seemed to be able to tune into the healing power of Reiki, without my having to “give” it to him. It was as if he was already fluent in a language much too subtle for me to sense!
With these two realizations, I began a long, miraculous journey of discovery and healing in my life.
The word Reiki can be translated as “true self,” which points towards our inner power of compassion. One of the misunderstandings of the way Reiki works is that we, as practitioners, are somehow “doing” the healing “to” someone else; however, from a traditional viewpoint, Reiki is seen as a path to rediscover our own inner self-healing power, which when practiced, can create a certain radiance of healing around us, from which others can benefit.
Unfortunately, cancer is an all too common health issue in dogs. After supporting my dearest dog Dakota through lung cancer, I learned the troubling statistic that half of all dogs over the age of 10 will be diagnosed with cancer!