“Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem.” ~ Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
One of my best Reiki teachers is my husband’s buddy, Annie Oakley, a 9-year old black Labrador Retriever, who taught me the value of listening to animals through Reiki. Annie & I first experienced Reiki together after she ruptured the ACL in her left knee in the summer of 2007. This was a rough time for Annie. Physically, she experienced pain and limping. And during her 3-month recovery from surgery, she became sad and discouraged from not being able to go for a walk and run and play.
I offered Reiki to Annie as we prepared for her surgery and continued regularly throughout her recovery. I initially used a hands-on approach with her, and after only a few minutes, she got up and walked away into another room. The next time, I sat a few feet away from her and created a bubble of Reiki energy filling the entire room. After moving around the room for a few minutes, Annie eventually positioned herself in front of me, sighed deeply and fell asleep. Annie now just lies down somewhere in the Reiki bubble depending on the amount of energy she wants at the time. And she is often joined in the Reiki bubble by her three furry sisters, a dog and two cats, who are just as eager to receive Reiki. Listening to Annie taught me the value of allowing animals to choose how and when they want to receive Reiki.
Listening to Annie has also taught me to let go of my expectations when working with Reiki energy. She taught me the importance of opening my intention to facilitate healing on whatever level she needs at that time, rather than focusing solely on what I think she needs. My initial intention with Annie was for the Reiki energy to help her leg heal. I did sometimes feel the energy focusing on her physical injury. But more often, I felt the energy helping her deal emotionally with her situation. Annie’s knee has now healed and she is back to her happy, playful self.
Practicing Reiki with Annie and listening to her has deepened my relationship with her. She and I are now much closer, we better understand each other, and she often comes by to hug me just when I need a good hug. I want say “Thank You” to Annie for teaching me how to listen to the wisdom of our animal friends.