Permission is key in animal communication, Reiki

Photo by Unlaw on Pixabay

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.

If you are interested in an animal Reiki or communication session but are not sure about potential permission issues, contact me. Some situations are confusing, and I will do my best to help you sort it out and find the best way forward.

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.

When a ‘problem horse’ isn’t the problem

Here’s Rosie on her recent 40-mile walk, with horse and human companions, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to her home barn in Angola. Those are makeshift (diapers and duct tape) hoof boots on her front feet.

I was one of many professionals, volunteers and friends who worked with Rosie when, in July, she wouldn’t get on the trailer to go home. When I communicated with her about it, she showed me she wanted to go home, but the image I kept getting was one of a seriously stuck gear. The way a 12-15 year old rescue horse’s “gear” gets stuck is probably about the same way any of our gears get stuck: trauma, illness and factors only God knows.

If you can’t unstick a gear by the usual means, you have to figure something else out … maybe even something better. Rosie’s human was determined to find not only a fear-free, force-free solution but the larger lesson. As a therapy horse, Rosie has encountered humans with their own stuck gears. Like her, they’ve struggled with seemingly ordinary tasks and taken on the frustration and judgment of others.

To prepare Rosie, I continued our regular Reiki sessions, sharing a healing space with no expectation. Then I told her what was going to happen, visualizing the horses and humans and country roads, complete with rustling autumn leaves, and the barn and her friends back home.  

Though I wasn’t on the walk itself, I followed the live video updates on social media. As the group drew closer to home, a weary Rosie’s ears perked up and she ever so slightly picked up the pace. She knew where she was.

Was this the easiest solution? Of course not.

But aren’t we all, as Ram Dass said, just walking each other home?

Try animal Reiki at Dog Days in Angola!

Need a break? Your dog probably does, too.

On Wednesday, Aug. 10 I’m offering 10-minute animal Reiki sessions at Elemento, 65 S. Public Square in Angola, Indiana, from 4-7 pm. 

Bring your dog (or come in yourself and we can send distant Reiki to him at home!) and experience the peace of this Japanese stress relief modality.

The Let Animals Lead® animal Reiki method works through meditation, and your dog is welcome to be at your side, on your lap, or wherever she is most comfortable. With Let Animals Lead,® no touch is involved unless the animal initiates contact.

If you’d like to reserve a time, call Elemento at (260) 316-7801. The event is part of Dog Days of Summer, an event to raise funds for the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County. Cost is $10 per session; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the shelter.

Let’s make all dogs’ days a little brighter.