Shelter Animal Reiki Association

Shelter Animal Reiki Association

Riley and Reiki

Riley was a ten- pound King Charles Cavalier with big soft eyes. Chasing summer toads around the driveway in summer and falling leaves in autumn, his heart soared.

Riley enjoyed car rides, cuddles, serving as his mom Victoria’s study partner, hanging out with me. We call our little farm the “dog camp” because friends and family are welcome to bring their pets to visit their canine cousins. Riley loved to wander about, filling his sinuses with sniffs of horses, cats, raccoons, and those wonderfully hoppy toads. Occasionally he felt the need for a run and would take off down the half-mile driveway. Chasing after, laughing at his puffy tail wagging, ears flapping back, we’d encourage him to veer into the field and chase new sniffs by the pond – geese, heron and deer. Elusive snapping turtles twice Riley’s size teased, ducking their large heads under water as he barked furiously. Kensi, our border collie, amused herself herding Riley into his crate at bed time – the only attempt to herd she has ever made. I guess his tiny size brought out her nurturing side and once she determined it was bedtime, little Riley didn’t get much say in the matter. Of course, he snuck back out as soon as she turned her back.

Escaping all the usual illnesses associated with pure bred Cavaliers, Riley was 16 when he began showing signs of age. Rear legs began to wobble, eyesight went dim, hearing faded. He willing sat with me in Reiki, curling into a fluffy ball of black and white and snoring loudly; readily accepted distance treatments. Sadly, Riley developed a cancerous growth in his abdomen. Slow growing, it nonetheless sapped his energy and filled him with an aching pain. With resignation and a heavy heart, Victoria, asked me to accompany her to Riley’s final visit to his veterinarian.

On the drive to the clinic, Riley curled in my lap unable to get comfortable. Tiny whimpers slipped from him even as his tail wagged. I began chanting silently for all of us, allowing gentle Reiki to fill the car and support us on the drive and then as we spoke with the veterinarian. Her compassion for Victoria and Riley enhanced the Reiki energy and as the decision was made to help Riley into transition, he stopped fretting, curled up in Victoria’s arms, and let himself relax into sleep. Held with love and feeling peace, Riley slipped away.

Recently, I have been called on several times to be there and be Reiki as beloved pets moved on. I am grateful for the support and strength that Reiki brings to pet parents during these difficult decisions and sudden transitions. Reiki sustains us, allows us to assist and comfort quietly, gently, even as our own hearts are breaking.

Beth Cavalier
SARA Practitioner


  1. Barb
    March 25, 2018

    Wonder story about Riley and Reiki….. My husband and I own a Veterinary Specialty Clinic treating only very ill animals with cancer and other internal medicine issues(cardiac, GI, and neurologist issues). I am a master and often utilize the gift of Reiki to help both pets and owners. Reiki has been there for healing and passing. Always a blessing. It also grounds us to the realization that life is so precious and to make the most of it for ourselves and others. ❤️

  2. March 25, 2018

    Lovely blog Beth! I have been in that place with many animals over the years. Reiki is so supportive in a gentle, compassionate way, not only for the animal and their family, but for the vet as well. It would be wonderful to see it offered at vet’s offices everywhere.

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