I only knew Charlie a short time, but he reinforced for me an important Reiki lesson. Charlie’s lesson is that consistency is important when offering Reiki to animals (and people); multiple and frequent sessions may be needed to achieve or maintain whatever result is optimal for the animal at that time.
I met Charlie, a very sweet Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Labrador Retriever mix, in mid-November at Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary. Charlie was suffering from bone cancer that was affecting his hips and hind legs, and the desire was to keep him comfortable and improve his quality of life as long as possible. Even though he was suffering physically, he was always happy to see me and was in good spirits.
Charlie and I shared Reiki during six or seven sessions over 4 weeks, some distance and some in-person. Charlie was very accepting and open; he even enjoyed receiving Reiki hands-on when we were together in his suite. The sanctuary staff reported that after each session, they noticed improvement in the swelling in his legs and in his spirits. Reiki also helped with his overall comfort level.
Each time I connected with Charlie, I felt that the improvement from the last session had weakened, as might be expected given his condition. Charlie was ready for more Reiki, and may have asked for a treatment a day or two sooner if he could have asked for it. Two days after my last session with Charlie, I learned that Charlie had suddenly gone downhill and was asked to work with him again. Charlie unfortunately passed away before I was able to connect with him.
My experience with Charlie reinforced for me that one Reiki treatment will often not be enough to achieve and maintain balance and harmony. We should consider offering frequent and consistent treatments for many conditions, especially for end of life comfort. Charlie also reminded me that while Reiki cannot save someone from dying if their time has come, Reiki can offer comfort and dignity during the final days and weeks and ease the transition.
Charlie’s lesson also highlights a key benefit of SARA for animal shelters and sanctuaries. The more volunteers and staff we teach as Animal Reiki practitioners, the more consistent we will be in offering the benefits Reiki to the animals in their care.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to offer Reiki as a source of comfort to this sweet guy named Charlie!