Several years ago I was blessed to find two adorable beagles at a local animal shelter. At the time I had no idea what incredible teachers they were. Recently Daphne took me on a journey that would deepen my spiritual practice and expand my understanding of the power of Reiki to bring healing on all levels.
One evening Daphne began showing signs of what appeared to be digestive issues. The situation escalated overnight. I contacted our vet and was advised to bring Daphne to the local animal hospital. Fear filled my mind. What if something was seriously wrong? What if I lost her? What if there was nothing I could do to help her? What if I couldn’t afford whatever treatment she needed?
On top of these concerns I realized that I would have to leave my other dog, Dylan, at home alone while I took Daphne to the hospital. My dogs are together most of the time and I had deep concerns about how Dylan would react to being left alone, especially since I was sure he knew that Daphne wasn’t well. Bringing Dylan along for the ride unfortunately wasn’t an option.
Time was of the essence and I had no choice but to go. I called someone to come over and be with Dylan while I was gone and I left for the hospital. Dylan’s howling as I walked out the door was heart breaking. I had to trust that he would be fine. I knew that someone was only a few minutes away to give him some support.
As we drove to the hospital the fear increased but I knew that what Daphne needed the most was for me to get steady. And then I remembered that this was the perfect time for Reiki. One of my favorite ways to get out of my head and really connect with the Reiki energy is to work with the Reiki symbols in the form of a chant. As I chanted I quickly found myself releasing the fear. A feeling of peace washed over me and I knew that no matter what happened we would all be okay. I continued offering Reiki on the 30 minute drive for Daphne, for myself to help me get more grounded and calm, and for calm and comfort for Dylan at home.
Within a few minutes I felt myself level off emotionally. My breathing steadied. The panic was gone. It was a huge blessing to be able to be more present and supportive for Daphne. The more I felt these shifts the more I wanted to chant. I continued as we drove feeling confident that it was helping all of us.
In the middle of the chanting something grabbed my attention. I felt a physical sensation just below my rib cage on the left side of my body. In my mind I saw an image of a thin tube in that area of my body and what looked like molasses going through it. I also heard “gall bladder” in my head. I wasn’t sure what to make of this but I was pretty sure that the gall bladder was on the right side of the human body, not the left. And frankly, I wasn’t even sure if dogs had gall bladders! I dismissed the info and kept on chanting.
We arrived at the hospital and Daphne was admitted for testing. An ultrasound revealed a gall bladder mucocele as the cause of her distress and surgery was needed. Thankfully there was a surgeon available and she was prepped. I went home to check on Dylan and to try to keep worry from taking hold again.
When I arrived home I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Dylan wasn’t making any noise or showing any signs of stress when help arrived to sit with him earlier in the day. Score another point for that Reiki chant on the way to the hospital! It is so wonderful that distance Reiki is possible and that we can offer our support to anyone at any time without having to be physically with them.
Daphne came through surgery just fine a few hours later and when I went to visit her the next day she was looking great considering what she’d been through. I offered Reiki as we visited. Her ER doctor was wonderful and as an added bonus was a Reiki practitioner. As we spoke I became comfortable enough with her to share the vision that I had seen on the way to the hospital.
The doctor told me that the image I described sounded a lot like the common bile duct. The mucocele was described to me as a gooey ball that was clogging the gall bladder and not allowing passage into this duct. The molasses image Daphne sent me didn’t seem too far off. Other than this image showing up on the wrong side of the body for me, it seemed far more accurate a description of her situation than anything I could have come up with on my own…especially since I couldn’t have told you what the gall bladder looks like prior to her surgery.
Daphne was able to come home early the next day. She recovered very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I had a very hard time keeping her quiet. She was not supposed to walk off leash, no stairs, no jumping, etc. She was not happy with this. She was back to her strong self. In fact, she seemed stronger than ever before.
Blood tests were needed to be sure she was healing properly. This would be a challenge. Vet visits have always required at least two if not three people to get things done with my dogs. My sweet little Daphne turns into a bucking bronco no matter what they try to do with her. We have been blessed with a wonderful vet who seems to be an expert at handling “beagle drama” but even so, I know that my dogs don’t make it easy for her.
During the recheck I left the room so they could draw blood without my stress adding to Daphne’s. I could hear them trying to coax her and having to struggle to convince her to settle. And then she let out a shriek that almost brought me to tears. I know that this was just her way of expressing her displeasure and that it was disproportionate to what was being done to her…another example of classic beagle drama, but it was still awful to hear. I wished that there was something I could do to help her. I just didn’t know what that would be. She needed the blood work done. End of story. We all got through it. Kudos to our vet for her endless patience and for getting the job done!
Daphne was healing well and I was able to travel to a Reiki class at The C.A.R.E Foundation in Florida. At C.A.R.E I had the privilege of meditating (sharing Reiki) with tigers, Asian black leopards, a crocodile, venomous snakes and many other animals. It was an incredible trip. I felt as though my connection to Reiki had gone to a deeper level as a result of my time at C.A.R.E and I hoped that I would be able to continue at this level when I got home and back to “real life.”
Daphne was due for another recheck when I got home. With the C.A.R.E experience fresh in my mind, I decided that while the vet was taking blood from Daphne this time I would go sit in the other room and offer Reiki in hopes that it would somehow make it less traumatic for all of us. I set an intention to offer Reiki for whatever Daphne (and our vet!) would need and I began to meditate.
I’ve been a Reiki practitioner since the mid-1990’s so I am familiar with the fact that it works. But I couldn’t help but feel a little amazed when after just a couple minutes of relative silence I heard the vet from the other room using words like “incredible” and “flawless.” I stayed where I was because I’d not heard any crazy noises or struggling. I assumed they hadn’t started. She must have been talking about something else. When the vet said “all done” I was amazed. Daphne had settled down and although she wasn’t thrilled, she let them take the blood without much protest. This was a first with Daphne and I was very grateful that the process had been relatively easy for all involved.
A month passed and Daphne was due for another recheck. As I left the room the vet asked if I’d done Reiki with her before the visit. I had intended to but I hadn’t been able to fit a session in that morning so I told her no, but I was going to go into the next room to do some right then. I could hear Daphne whining through the door. The drama was starting. I was concerned that the previous recheck ease had been a fluke. I dug deep to ground myself and then offered Reiki for whatever everyone needed. I was filled with happiness a couple minutes later when I heard “that was excellent” through the door. Reiki had done it again!
My preference would certainly have been that Daphne not have to go through any of this, but looking back I have such gratitude for her willingness to teach me, and all who were involved with her care, how helpful Reiki can be when we are in our spiritual practice and when we are striving to “Be Reiki” at all times.
Daphne’s healing journey reinforced for me that Reiki can be used to calm and ground no matter what the situation. It showed how well Reiki can support our healing so that we can bounce back quickly and easily from illness. It showed how effective distance Reiki can be. And it even revealed itself as a way to possibly provide clues to the question “where does it hurt” so we can share that information with the medical professionals who are working with our animals.
It also made me conscious of the fact that until I got serious about Reiki as a daily spiritual practice, I had never seen it work as quickly or as powerfully as it did to calm Daphne during her two rechecks. I never would have thought results like this possible with her, maybe not even with consistent sessions! I truly believe that traditional Japanese Reiki (meditation) can help us in extraordinary ways.
I am filled with gratitude for my beautiful Reiki teacher, Daphne, and for all of the talented medical professionals who treated us so well through the entire process. These people were filled with compassion and whether they would label it this way or not, they were beautiful examples of “being Reiki”. They went to that space of compassion and gave care from the heart. What a gift!
It is my hope that Daphne’s story will inspire others to commit to their daily Reiki practice and make it a central part of their life, helping Reiki meditation and compassion spread throughout the world, and healing our planet one beautiful spirit at a time.
Shine your light. Be Reiki!