Reiki for a good transition.
Lolly, my sweet shelter dog was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF), a condition that that develops from heart disease and refers to the heart’s inability to pump adequate blood to the body. There are many causes of CHF in dogs and while it is treatable it’s not curable. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is common in dogs, with about 10% of all dogs, and 75% of senior dogs, developing some form of heart disease.
I became a Reiki master after training with Kris Stevens and learning Holy Fire, in Grass Valley, California, and again with Kathleen Prasad, who teaches Animal Reiki around the world. As an animal shelter employee, and I wanted to help the animals!
Reiki is ideal for use with animals because it is gentle and noninvasive. It doesn’t cause stress, or pain, and yet yields such powerful results. Animals seem to respond intuitively to Reiki energy and its ability to heal emotional, behavioral, and physical illnesses and injuries.
For animals who are healthy, Reiki is terrific at helping them maintain their health. It also enhances their ability to relax and provides an emotional sense of peace.
Reiki is a wonderful healing method for animals who are ill, as well as a safe complement to Western medicine, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, flower essences, and all other forms of healing. Reiki can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, support an acupuncture or acupressure treatment, and enhance the effects of all modalities.
Reiki helps animals with behavioral issues relax and stop their fear-based aggression or anxiety. For animals in transition, Reiki is a powerful yet gentle way to provide comfort, relief from pain, fear, and anxiety, and to ease the transition.
Lolly was my friend, and my friend was sick. With medical treatment my doctor kept her active for close to another two years and she seemed happy. I’d offer her Reiki while we were in bed at night, feeling the energy running through me and filling the air around us all. During Reiki, her constant blanket licking would cease, and she relaxed into sleep.
She started getting wobbly on her feet, sometimes losing her balance when she’d do her full doggy-body shake. Getting up the stairs to our bedroom was getting harder, so I carried her up.
I talked with our veterinarian about doing hospice care and letting her die at home. It was important that he was onboard with my plans because I relied on him to keep her comfortable. But it was clear to him that she was in the later stages of kidney failure and must be suffering. It was time. I had done hospice for months, but now it was time to take a step I’d hoped to avoid.
I wanted to let Lolly die gently at home. I wanted to just do hospice and keep her comfortable until she passed when it was her time, but it looked like euthanasia was going to be necessary to keep her from suffering.
I called a doctor who was highly recommended for her gentle in-home euthanasia. She also had a crematory. Our ground was just too hard for a burial and there were too many wild animals that might disturb her body.
The day of Dr. Linda’s visit arrived. It was beautiful outside, sunny with a touch of winter bite still in the air, and I wanted to do this outside.
I brought Lolly outside and place her in a dog bed and covered her with a blanket. Using a stick of sage incense, I drew all my Reiki symbols in the air in each corner of the front deck. The water was running on the waterfall in the pond next to the deck, giving me that serenity that I always get from running water.
I didn’t add music– the water and the birds were all the music we needed. The space felt blessed, safe, and sacred.
Finally, I picked Lolly up and held her in my lap, wrapped in the blanket, and we sat there with Reiki flowing through us. She never struggled or even woke up.
The doctor arrived. Lolly didn’t even open her eyes when the car approached, or when Dr. Linda came up and put her hands on my little sleeping girl. Lolly was so relaxed that the usual sedative that relaxes the animal before the final injection wasn’t needed. The entire procedure was quickly and gently done.
Looking back, I believe Lolly was already dying when I called the vet, and that euthanasia wasn’t necessary. But that’s what we do, we second guess these important moments over and over again before and afterward. What I do know though, is that my beloved friend was no longer suffering, and Reiki made a tremendous difference for both of us.
It was the most beautiful transition I’ve ever experienced. Creating sacred space for our animals and offering them Reiki throughout their lives is so beautiful and easy to do. I believe it makes a huge impact on their health and wellbeing. And using Reiki to help them thru their transition is truly a blessing for them and for ourselves.
I offer Reiki to all my animals during grooming, and vet visits, when we’re all in bed together, and when they aren’t feeling great. But Reiki on their final days, and during euthanasia is a blessing ceremony for both of us. I hold my hands on either side of their body while the doctor administers sedation and the final injection and feel the Reiki flowing with my tears.
I am so grateful for learning animal Reiki and how to share it with others and their animals.
This article was just published in the Reiki News Magazine Fall 2022