The Healing Presence of Animals in our lives: Reiki Healers in the Animal Kingdom. by Lisa Eileen Lentz LMT CRMT Bfa In my Reiki and Massage Practice I have had the pleasure of working not only with the human clients, but with their beloved best friends. I have a number of clients who bring their canine friends in with them, and I began to notice that when the client was aware of a traveling or stationary ache or pain (awareness) that the animals positioned themselves adjacent to that particular quadrant of the body on the floor. Sometimes they will even nudge me to a part of the body before their adopted parent has even said anything, as they are 'hooked into' their somatic system. It is our honor and privilege to be the caretakers and caregivers to these magnificent friends. Family Constellations: These are one of the many kinds of blended families, as the majority of the animals that have these gifts have been rescued from animal shelters and brought into loving and stable homes. Animals are natural healers and shamans and curranderos/curanderas in their own right, They deserve all the love, recognition, and support that we can offer them. It is my pleasure to share with you now, some of my favorites and hope that it inspires you to reach out to our animal companions, they are natural healers. I call these love stories, for in doing the interviews and in witnessing these amazing families, I was moved by the power of unconditional love. I am pleased to present the love stories of some very special families. I hope that they move you to love more deeply and to realize that life is happening now! Lydia, Zoey, and Jackson: (In Lydia's own words by proxy for the group) I am the very proud owner of two Golden Retrievers. My oldest, Zoey, is 4 years. Zoey was picked out by a senior dog that I had, Melody. Melody, a Senior Chinook, was taken to a Golden Retriever breeder in Snohomish. I kept bringing puppies to her and she kept looking away and turning up her nose. Then Zoey was brought to her and she liked her, marking Zoey with her scent. So Zoey joined our happy home! I got another Golden Zack, who was a half brother to Zoey. Zack Died from a freak accident and was only a year old, a beautiful Golden. After Zack's transition, I called the breeder, she had a 3 month old small Golden. Zoey and I took a trip to the breeder, and there was a very precious Golden. He came home with us and we named him Jackson. Jackson is a very small 1 1/2 year old Golden and has been defined as a Dwarf Golden. He may be faced with some special challenges due to his dwarfism. Jackson is a very happy Golden, he is fearless, kisses our 3 cats, and has a special bond with Zoey. Zoey watches out for him when needed. Zoey is a loving, playful, and smiling Golden. She loves to swim and chase after tennis balls at the beach. Jackson, in contrast to Zoey, walks up and down the beach, greets people, then comes over and sits on the shore. You can see him pondering what all the other dogs are doing while swimming for tennis balls. I pamper my dogs and love them dearly. They are loved by a large circle of people and are good will ambassadors, bringing healing wherever they go. I would not trade them for the world. I brought them to my massage appointments and they both came in. Zoey was busy licking the massage juice off my arms as well as the massage therapist. Jackson, on the other hand, kept showing the massage therapist where she needed to focus her attention on me, which she did. Jackson is grounded, mellow, unassuming, and quiet. Unlike Zoey who is a very active girl, and has a fun loving spirit. Lisa's thoughts: This is truly a loving family! Zoey and Jackson lack for nothing and have an extremely loving and responsible owner. I believe that there are many kinds of family----Lydia, Zoey, and Jackson are a family. They are playful, kind, supportive, and you can feel the love and devotion that flows between them. Zoey is a bright, smiling girl, and lets you know when there is an underlying anxiety or tension with Lydia's emotions. Her wagging tail, long glossy fur, and happy-go-lucky attitude are sure to turn a rough day into an easy one. Jackson, with his big soft dark brown eyes, gentle and loving demeanor, can disarm even the most stoic individual. He touches your heart and warms you to the core, nuzzling you with his face and his velour soft fur. Jackson seems to know exactly where you are hurting and you can feel his healing intention when he connects with you. Zoey and Jackson together make a powerful healing duo. Lydia, Jackson, and Zoey have a family, it may not be traditional, but the love is palpable and a reassurance to me that unconditional love and acceptance come in many configurations and family constellations. Taffy the Reiki Cat: (Lisa's story) I first met Taffy, then named Periwinkle, at the Paws Cat Shelter on Greenwood in Seattle 4 years ago. The kids and I were ready for a cat in our lives and our landlord had said that we could adopt a grown cat. We went to PAWS and introduced ourselves to the adult cats after filling out the required paperwork. Knowing that it is a synergistic process, we let the cats express their interest after we had said hello. Taffy, a colloquialism for Tefnut, was on the upper tier of a cat tree, curled up with her front paws tucked underneath her. I went up and introduced myself to her, letting her get a sniff. To my surprise, she stood up on her hind legs and hugged me around the neck! I called over to the kids and sure enough, she did the same with them. The veterinarian on call for PAWS that Saturday came running in with great excitement. Taffy had never been affectionate with any visitors up until now and had in fact, been removed from a home with children due to a high strung and temperamental nature. We, of course, applied to take complete our happy family and adopt her. How could we not after such a warm welcome? 24 hours later, we brought our friend home and life has never been the same. When I am doing distance treatments in Reiki, Taffy, takes the polarity of the direction in which the Reiki is being sent and when the treatment is concluded, she disengages and walks away. She is a natural healer and has a grounded, and unconditionally loving presence in our lives. We love her dearly and make sure that we do our part to take care of our beloved friend so she has a long, happy, and comfortable life. Mordacai: Pit bulls can be kind and loving creatures. Our neighbors have a 6 month old Pit bull still growing and big. He is often misunderstood by his size, but not for very long, his big brown eyes and genuinely loving demeanor brighten the day of all who know him. He has become a real friend to my children and myself, always glad to see us, nuzzling us and enticing us to play fetch, stick, or tug-of-war with him. He brings levity into our lives! He heals through everyone around him through gentle and loving playfulness. Even the other animals in the neighborhood love Mordacai and make friends with him. His adopted parents are raising a gentle giant, who is surely an ambassador for his breed. Mary, Mick, & Senior Boo: Mary first met Mick after a friend of hers called her from the animal shelter in Shelton, saying that he was going to be put down and that he was the dog that she had been waiting for. Mary quite literally jumped in her car and drove to Shelton. Within hours she was at the shelter and looking for Mick. Mick, large and black, with huge soft brown eyes was no where to be found. The other dogs in the shelter either seemed disinterested or were hyperactive. Mary went back to the front desk and said that she did not see Mick. Mick was all the way in the back on the floor, resigned to his fate to be put down---he knew what was happening. When Mick and Mary met, it was love at first sight! Mick came over, wagged his long luxurious tail, and a family was born. Mick is also called 'Nurse Mick' as he senses when you are sad or in need of love an support. Mick has a grounding presence that can only be described as deeply nurturing. You truly feel perceived. Senior Boo a small terrier mix, who sadly, following my interview with Mary and her family, disappeared while she was in another state signing the papers on her new home. Senior Boo found Mary. He was a stray who decided that Mary and Mick were his new family. Senior Boo, as Mary said, seemed to represent her fears and limitations, and made them visible to her. He expressed for her, her deepest level of hopes, dreams, and needs. Mary loves Mick dearly and misses Senior Boo deeply, but knows that he has found a home with another family that needs him, his work with Mary is done. Mick and Senior Boo helped Mary through a transitional period in her life when she was separating & divorcing from her spouse of many years, and finding her way a single woman. When Mary was injured, Mick and Senior Boo would stick close by her, making sure that they were doing their part to take care of her. When she was grieving, they literally held her in bed and were her constant companions. Ironically, it was after Mary had sold her home in Seattle, and purchased her new home that Senior Boo moved on to the next family in need of healing. It reminds me of the movie Mary Poppins, when Mary Poppins gracefully moves on to the next family in need of re- connection or healing. Animals, our best friends and healers: Our animal friends offer healing in many forms. They are patient, kind, and empathetic. Because they 'hook' into our nervous (somatic) system, it is in your and their best interest to take care of yourself. I have worked with many clients whose animals reflected the medical issues that they have. One of my clients with diabetes and hyperthyroidism had their beloved pet with the same medical condition and nearly the same medications! Another clients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and low back issues, has a cat that has the same medical problems and will massage them with their paws to help boost their immune system. Our animal friends are a reflection of our health. Take care of yourself and you are taking care of your beloved pet. Offer them gratitude in their currency and make sure they have their annual physicals and examinations. Love comes in many forms! Embrace this day and the animals in your life.