Healing with Reiki

Reiki is described as a Japanese energy healing system used originally for spiritual development, and now is mainly used for hands-on healing.  Discovered and refined by Dr. ReikiMikao Usui in 1922, it’s a healing modality based on the idea that an unseen life force energy flows through everything and everybody including all animals, plants, every part of the earth, and the universe around us.  It is what creates life.

Rei means “spirit” and Ki means “energy.  All things are made of energy, thus all things consist of Reiki.  It’s not a religion, but it is spiritual in nature, and is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self improvement.

Reiki is an easily learned process that treats the whole person including the body, emotions, mind and spirit.  All you need is a Reiki Master to teach you healing techniques and attune your energy into the Reiki flow of life force energy.  There are several levels – level 3 is when you can become a Reiki master. You can be at level one to begin working on others, and since it is an equal transfer of energy between client and practitioner, the more you practice it, the stronger you get.

Treatments have been described as “a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you,” and has many beneficial effects that include relaxation, feelings of peace, security and well-being.  The practitioner creates an energetic safe space to support the self-healing process of the being to whom she is in contact with.  It has been effective in helping every known malady and illness, complimenting modern medicine.  Many traditional doctors all over the world are now using Reiki to assist in their patient’s healing process.

And it’s perfect for our pets.kathleen-paddy-03-550px

Kathleen Prasad is a visionary that saw how Reiki is a tremendously helping healing modality for our companion animals.  She travels the world to teach seasoned as well as new practitioners how easy it is to work with our furry and feathered friends.  She says that Reiki is ideal for use with animals because it’s gentle, noninvasive, and doesn’t require physical contact.  You’re creating a healing flow between your energy to their energy with their permission.  The animal you are practicing with is the one who chooses what needs healing or not, so there is no invasion of personal space.

All you have to do is stand or sit a little distance away and intend healing.  The energy flows through you and out of your hands to find and heal without conscious manipulation.  While you’re in the flow of Reiki the animals will either come closer to you, go away, or lay down and go to sleep because of the relaxing effect you are creating.  When they are ready to quit they will give you a sign, such as stretching or leaving the room.  You really don’t Reiki-for-animals1have to do anything else.  The healing response of the Reiki treatment will last long after the session has ended – the healing continues on even when you’ve finished for both of you.

I wish I had discovered Reiki earlier in my life.  It would’ve been beneficial for my quest to become an animal communicator.  Even though Reiki doesn’t necessarily open a communication with your animal client, it can aid with an energetic connection that is necessary for the communication process.  I’ve only been a practitioner for a short time and already I can feel the power grow around me.  The more I practice, the stronger I get.  It’s amazing.

If you’ve tried Reiki for yourself, think about the benefits for your companion animal.  There’s no special training so any Reiki practitioner can assist your pet, or you can be attuned yourself and practice with them on your own.  Either way you’ll both live better, healthier, calmer lives.


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Why Do You Want me?

We adopt our pets for different reasons.  Our pets adopt us for one.

We want to appease our nurturing instinct.  We need a running partner, protector, burglar alarm, arm candy, companionship.

I adopted my first dog because I needed a reason to get out of bed.  My second dog kept my first dog company when I was at work.  A gift from a friend, my third dog started off as a heart balm, to ease my pain of the loss of the first two dogs, but ended up as my teacher and friend.  I then felt I needed a lap dog, a furry armful to snuggle with while watching TV.  She was the perfect companion for my teacher, as he was losing his hearing and sight in his old age, and when he died my lapdog became my only canine companion, as she was happy having me all to herself.  When she left me I adopted another lap dog, a chihuahua mix that gives me joy and lots of love, and she is also happy to have me all to herself.

Actually, she has to share me with a Myer’s parrot, a bird who has bitten me, bullied me and demanded all of my attention.  This parrot is my third bird, another adoption to fill a need.  I love bird chatter; a happy bird in the house fills it with joy and magic.  I’m addicted to bird magic, and will do anything to keep my bird happy.

The two personalities keep me on my toes.  We are a family.  My house is full.


We know why we bring our family members home, but how can we be sure they want to come home with us?  Do they have their secret desires of having a hiking partner, needing a home to protect, or a reason to get up in the morning?

Probably, probably not.  I think the real reason they choose us, why we choose each other, is because of love.  We need love, they need love, we all need love.  I think we choose our pets at the same moment they choose us.  They look at our hearts and say, “yes, you’re the one,”  then make a connection with our souls to work out the details of their adoption.  What comes after that is gravy on a great big pile of meatloaf with sprinkles on top.

First we have to find our pets.  Actually, first we get a call from the universe.  You can go your whole life uninterested in having a cat, then one day you wake up and say, “I need a cat.”  Ever wondered what started that spark?  I think it’s our potential pet reaching out to us and asking us to come find them.  And we’ll do everything we can to accommodate them.

My first dog came from a shelter.  I picked the shelter out of the yellow pages one day and came home with a cockapoo; it only took an hour.   At the time I was in California, and I brought him with me to Virginia  within the year.   My second dog came from an ad for puppies for sale.  I saw the ad in the paper, thought, why not, visited the family and came home with a puppy that day.  My third dog was completely unexpected, a gift from a friend who had a mating pair of Scottish terriers.  My fourth, Jolene, was the hardest to find.  Up until her it was easy – all I had to do was open my arms and my pets were there.  Jolene came from North Carolina through a stream of foster parents.  I had already visited several rescues and shelters; I spent weeks searching for my perfect dog, and  had almost given up.  Jolene’s soul kept calling, though, and I was finally able to take her home after a visit to a pet adoption event an hour away from home.

It was the same with the birds: one was a gift from my boss, the second was an adoption advertised on Yahoo and I only had to drive into the next town the day after the ad was posted to pick him up.  My present bird was the hardest to find.  I researched all of the kinds of adoptable birds in the area and was finally compelled to drive 6 hours into Pennsylvania to pick her up.  I’m committed to her for the next 25 years, and she knows it.


I have a friend who adopted his dog before he even met her.  Sadie was in Kentucky, my friend was in Maryland, and a rescue volunteer was going to Kentucky to pick up a foster dog, so he offered to bring Sadie back with him.  They all came together in Annapolis and it was love at first sight; Sadie knew where she had to be and now my friend takes her everywhere with him.

I have a neighbor who adopted an Eclectus parrot from a woman who rescues birds.  Always a dog lover, it never occurred to him he’d ever be a parrot parent.  Now Maggie happily keeps him company while on the road to New Jersey and back as they visit his family.  Everybody loves her.


My newlywed neighbors who live across the street adopted two dogs after they moved in; each puppy died young from different heart ailments.  To avoid any more heartache, the couple adopted a cat, and a month later fell in love with another puppy.  To me this means that there were two souls looking for their home with the newlyweds, and one way or another they were going to get there.  The love siren was strong.

The stories are endless; I’m sure you have one of your own.  I bet, if you think about it, you’ll find that whatever reason you had in the beginning to adopt a pet has evolved into something more meaningful.  I bet that you’ll see that your pet has better ideas.  It wasn’t just your decision – they had a say in it, too.

We need them for many reasons; they need us for one.  Love is calling, and we are answering the call.  And for those looking for arm candy: you better look a little deeper into your pet’s eyes.  They are there because they want you.  There’s no other reason than love.

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My Little Visitors

Every morning I take my dog, Jolene, out to the back porch and brush her hair.  She’s small, only 16 pounds, but sheds like a great Dane so I try to keep the majority of her hair outside to let nature take care of it.  She likes the brushing because it gets her going.  Like a good morning cup of coffee, the brushing wakes her innards up and before I finish with her she always jumps up with a big smile, runs down the porch stairs and heads to the back yard.  It’s like magic.

One early June morning the sun was shining, the breeze was cool, and Jolene was her usual ebullient self.  She bounced around impatiently as I attempted to give her a thorough brushing, gave up on me  after a couple of minutes and ran down the stairs to the back yard like she always does, and dashed right past a Morning Dove chick that was sunning herself on my patio.  It took me a moment to notice the chick myself, as she was about the same color as my patio bricks, and I was surprised that Jolene, the expert bird chaser, had missed her.

When I took my camera out to take a picture of her on my porch stairs, I could see why.

This is a picture of two chicks that I took with a flash.  Can you see them?  It made me wonder what animals see when they look at each other.  These little doves were smart enough to know that they would camouflage with my indoor-outdoor carpeting, so they camped out there for days until they were strong enough to fly and stay in the trees.


I watched mom come by every day to feed them, cooing and purring all day by my window.  As long as they sat still, Jolene was nice enough to leave them be, probably because they were literally out of sight, so the chicks felt safe and comfortable.

This is the same pic without the flash.  What a difference!  So trusting and fearless; they would just sit there and watch me as I got closer and closer with my camera. I felt I had made some new friends.



With those big unflinching eyes and their quiet naive personalities they stole my heart.  Even though they pooped all over my stairs I let them stay, safe and secure in my yard, hidden from all predators.  And we have some pretty good predators.  Between the hawks, fox, and neighborhood cats, these guys would make someone a great snack.


Eventually they left, and they’d come back every other day or so to see what I was up to or spend the night on my stairs, but I knew that some day they’d leave for good.  When they did disappear completely I sent them my blessings, because I know what’s out there in the real world waiting for them.  Now that the weather is hot and dry the world is even more dangerous.  I put bird seed in the feeder and replace water in the bird bath every morning and hope they get their share.  Soon they’ll be starting their own families.   Maybe I’ll be watching some grandbaby-birdies grow up next year.

I was planning to remove the indoor-outdoor carpeting, because I’d put it there for my aging scotty who is now gone,  but I think I’ll keep it now.  I like being a haven for growing babies.

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A Day in the Life of My Dog

Josene Macaspac is a young energetic writer that I like to recommend to others.  I asked her to contribute to this blog, and she came through with flying colors!

A Day in the Life of My Dog


My day always starts with a waterfall of footsteps. Yours, when you go down the stairs, rushing to go to wherever it is you have to go to everyday. I hope you know that even before your foot hits the last step, even before you come into my view, my tail is already wagging furiously.

Everyday, I run up to you, eager to let you know that I am so happy to see you. I usually can’t contain my excitement, so you have to forgive me if I’m a little too hyperactive and jump up on my front paws. On those days when you’re rushing to get out the front door, you’re usually too busy to play with me, and after a muttered greeting and a few hurried strokes to my back, you push me away and leave the house. But sometimes, you smile, you put down your coffee cup and your newspaper, and you sit down on the floor with me. You laugh and you smile and you talk to me, and even though I don’t understand everything that you say, I’m glad you take the time to play with me and let me show you how much I love being with you.

           I love these days the best.

But on those days that you don’t have the time to be with me in the mornings, I understand. I get some luxurious stretching done, then go and see what’s for breakfast. That’s another thing you should know that I love about you: you never forget to fill up my food and water bowl, no matter how busy your day gets. Those little, crunchy morsels are what really lets me know how much you care about me. After finishing up, I go and take a stroll around the house. I jump on the windowsill and bark at the passing people just to show them who is boss in this home (me, of course, when you’re not here), chase my tail around a few times (just to show IT who’s boss) and sniff around the house to see if anything is amiss. When everything seems to be in order, I go back to my favorite sunlit spot and lie back down.

You should know how much it means to me to have a stable and secure home, one that I know I can grow and play safely in. I’ve heard stories about others of my kind being abandoned by the people that they thought would love them forever, or how they never even got to meet anyone to love them like you do, and how they had to grow up in the streets. I’ve even heard stories about how, sometimes, they never even get past puppy stage. Whenever I hear those kinds of stories, I just want to go up to you and lick your face and let you know how grateful I am that you kept me healthy and safe ever since you brought me home.

Now I’m starting to get a little bored. I remember the last time I got bored, and seeing as you weren’t home, I started to play with the things around the house, like those big, soft, things with the fluff inside them, and that black box with the sounds and pictures coming out of it. I also remember how angry you got with me when you got home. I remember that you shouted at me, and that I told myself that I wouldn’t go near those things again. So, I crawl over to the little squeaky things – toys, I think, you called them- you bought for me. You seem happy whenever you see me playing with them, and happier still when I bring them over to you so that we can play with them together.

            I don’t really like it when you keep on throwing the squeaky things for me to fetch back, but seeing as you seem to enjoy it, I’m more than happy to go along with it.

            Finally, the sun goes away and I hear your footsteps coming up the porch and your keys jingling. I hope you hear how excited I am to see you home! I know you’re tired, so after a few minutes of attention, I’m good with that. You turning off the lights and your footsteps going up the stairs are the last things I see and hear before going to sleep.

I can’t wait for another day with you.





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Don’t Ignore ME!


Oh, the things our pets do to get our attention.  My dog Jolene sat in front of me and huffed and puffed until I looked at her and asked, “WHAT!”

My neighbor’s parrot climbs to the top of  the drapery and hangs out there until dad comes home so that instead of passing her by as she sits quietly on her cage, he sees her hanging  out where she’s not supposed to, goes straight to her and demands she comes down.

Another neighbor has a cat that will sit outside a closed door and squeal until someone gives up and lets him into the room.  Who needs privacy?  Not a cat.

The question is, are we spoiling our pets by giving them the attention they demand?  Or are we really starving them of attention, making them go to extreme measures to get us to focus more on their needs?

The truth is that we have busy lives and we keep getting busier.  Our mornings are filled with preparations for work or school, our days are filled with doing chores, our jobs, or school, then we come home, head for our computers and televisions, eat dinner, and prepare for the next day of work or school.  Sometimes our pets are lucky to have water in their bowls.

Even though Jolene got on my nerves with her huffing and puffing, I encouraged her to speak up and tell me if I was neglecting her.  It may seem weird to let a dog have a say in what happens in her life, but I know I can lose track of time sometimes and forget to do my parental duty.   It also encouraged her to try to communicate with me, opening a dialogue of sorts between us that actually improved our bond.  And when she had to resort to the huffing and puffing it gave me a clue that I needed to pay more attention to what I wasn’t doing for her.

Like children, though, it’s possible to relay the wrong message with our attention.  Our cat pees outside the litter box.  Our dog chews on our favorite shoes.  Our bird lights on a shelf and starts throwing our delicate knick-knacks onto the floor.  We rush into the room to admonish them and then clean up their messes, forcing us to stay in the room and focus on their presence, wanted or not.  This is the way habitual bad behavior gets started.  A little light bulb goes off in their little heads and they think, “Hey, now I know how to get mom to spend some time with me!”  Not good.

I guess the trick is to pay attention when the clues are a minor inconvenience instead of waiting until they have to resort to major misbehaving to attend to their needs.  When you bring an animal home make the commitment to listen to them when they are talking to you.  When you have a pack animal like a dog, or a flock animal like a bird, remember that they need a structured family dynamic to feel secure.  Even an independent animal like a cat needs to know that we care.   Don’t be afraid to validate your pet when he looks at you and says something.  Even a response of, “Really?” or “You don’t say,” can be enough to let them feel heard, and when your pet feels he’s getting enough attention he’ll be more secure and calm and be more inclined to stay out of trouble.  With a little practice you might actually be able to understand the message being relayed.

I find myself taking the responses a step further, making me seem a bit odd to the average human onlooker.  When I’m outside I find myself relaying my gardening plans to the squirrels and wild birds, sometimes, even, to the larger insects.  If they look at me, I look back and validate them.  I can’t help it.  Just the other day I was given the once-over by a large carpenter bee.  He hovered in front of my face and looked me straight in the eye, I think, and I told him it was nice to meet him.  I was surprised when a new human neighbor jumped out from behind his car and returned the sentiment.   Who knows, maybe that was the bee’s intent all along.

One day I was in the kitchen prepping food and cleaning up, busy in my own thoughts as I whiled away the morning.  I was mildly aware of the bird chatter in the other room as my bird, Charlie, sat in her cage and waited for me to join her.

Suddenly the chatter turned into an admonition: “Answer me!”

Apparently she got tired of me ignoring her.  She wanted me to talk to her, join in on her conversation with the world.  She wanted me to acknowledge her presence in our home. Needless to say, I made sure she was acknowledged, and I’ve tried every day since to answer her calls.  Treating Charlie like a fellow sentient being has helped my relationship with her and has brought us both joy.

Every critter has a brain.  That brain has a communication center.  We can’t ignore it, they won’t let us.  It might take a little practice to focus on everybody in the room, but it can be done.  A little positive attention can go a long way, and you can avoid an animal disaster by getting the message the first or second time.  Letting your little loved one know you have her attention will improve your relationship and your ability to care for her.

The rewards are high for those who listen to their pets, so pay attention people!  You won’t regret it.

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