Respect for animals and their people is the foundation of my work as an animal communicator and Let Animals Lead® animal Reiki practitioner. This means an animal is free, at any time, to choose not to communicate with me or participate in a Reiki session. We can try again another day or I can issue a refund. Either way, the animal’s “no” is honored.
It also means that regardless of who pays, I must have permission of the animal’s owner for an animal communication or Reiki session. By owner (or guardian) I mean the person who is legally responsible for the animal, whether that is an individual or an organization such as a shelter or rescue.
That permission is required is stated on my website, but it’s still come up a couple of times recently. So this is to let you know where I’m coming from and how you might handle potentially problematic situations.
Why permission is needed
Having permission from the person who is legally responsible for the animal:
- Keeps everything above board, which naturally brings better outcomes for the animal communication or Reiki session.
- Protects the animal and respects the boundaries and relationships of all humans involved. (Put another way: Say you have a child, or an adult for whom you are legally responsible. Barring some kind of emergency, you would not want a friend or relative to arrange a counseling session or alternative treatment for that person without your permission. Anyone who tried to do so, however well intentioned, would probably lose your trust. You wouldn’t think much of the practitioner involved, either.)
- Is in keeping with the codes of ethics I follow for animal communicators and animal Reiki practitioners.
But what if …
There’s an animal you love and want to support with animal communication or Reiki, who isn’t technically yours. How do you handle that?
Here are some examples:
- A rescued horse has been returned — again — to the sanctuary where you volunteer. The vet has ruled out injury or illness as a cause for his behavior issues. The director, barn supervisor, and other volunteers are all at a loss as to where or even whether to try to place him next. Asking the horse could yield information about the behavior and what kind of home he wants, and you are willing to pay for the session out of your own resources.
- You are fostering a cat from your local animal shelter. The cat has been over-grooming to the extent that raw, bald patches are showing up on her legs and belly. The cat was thoroughly checked out by the shelter vet before coming to your home, and there is no medical cause. You know from experience that this is a common sign of stress, and the bald patches could put off prospective adopters. That is, if you don’t adopt this sweet kitty yourself. You’re happy to pay for a Reiki session to help her feel more relaxed and secure.
- Your sister is struggling with decisions regarding the care of her dog, who is severely ill. Her veterinarian has placed a couple of choices before her, and she is overwhelmed. You love this dog, too, and you’d do anything to help your sister. Should you just go ahead and book the session, see what the animal has to say, and then tell your sister?
In the above scenarios, I need the permission of the sanctuary director, the shelter director/adoption supervisor, and your sister, respectively. Talk with the animal’s owner, share a link to my website, and offer an animal communication session as a gift to support the animal — and them. They’re also welcome to contact me with questions. If the answer is yes, I am honored to help. If the answer is no, that is absolutely fine.
Giving animals a voice is a responsibility, and part of that responsibility is maintaining the trust and respecting the boundaries of the people and animals involved.
It lets us all speak, and more importantly listen, freely.