Sometimes I wonder if we miss what our animal teachers are saying amidst the rush to complete a class or finish a task. Maybe we take their participation for granted. This is a lesson Chewy, a 6 year old rescued pug, taught me.
I had just finished teaching a two day animal Reiki for Reiki practitioners class in Pennsylvania and began gathering up my books and teaching props, one of which included the picture of Chewy enjoying her Reiki treatment with her person. I reflected on what a great illustration this picture was for demonstrating a simple and comfortable way to offer Reiki to an animal.
An e-mail arrived when I returned home informing me that Chewy had died. She had been hit and run over in her own driveway by someone who sped off and left her.
I thought of the time I met Chewy at an animal Reiki class I taught in her home. Chewy was an amazingly bouncy and joyful dog. However, it was down to the wire whether or not she could stay in the room for the remainder of the class. I loved her energy but… We noticed that Chewy calmed down during meditations, so I decided to let her stay for the attunements of the two class participants, Lenea and Mary Ellen.
When the two women sat side by side, Chewy jumped up and stretched out across their laps. When I said, “Let’s place our hands in Gassho,” Chewy totally relaxed, remaining that way for the entire attunement. Chewy became a Reiki teacher for subsequent classes, the personal greeter of students and all around friend. Always exuberant, there were times she had to be escorted out of the area so the class could continue. Yet she remained in our hearts, thoughts and the energy of the class.
Remembering this, for the first time in a while, I heard Chewy. I realized that I hadn’t talked with her for ages. “You don’t get how important the connection is between us.” she said. “Between animals and people. You don’t really get it yet.”
Had I let Chewy become just a prop, a teaching tool? “Think about it. Don’t let my reminder go to waste”.
At the Reiki Share that week, we held a special ceremony in honor of Chewy. The other animals, cats, llama, alpaca, goats and sheep were especially connected with us that evening. Chewy’s presence surrounded us. She told us that even though she was gone she still wanted her Reiki.
It has been two months since Chewy died. I do hear her telling me that I really haven’t gotten it yet, that I’m getting closer. I tell her that I’m working on it and not to worry: I won’t waste your lesson.
Mary C. Gillen
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