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Lilly – the rescue dog who inspired me to train to help animals in need

In 2013 I became a foster for a local dog rescue and when I met my third foster dog, I decided that she was so gorgeous, I had to adopt her! Lilly is a tri-coloured King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and was kept by a breeder in a crate along with other dogs in a shed, mostly all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. They had intended to breed from her but she was so distressed she never came into season, so after three years the breeder put her into rescue. When I met Lilly she didn’t know her own name, had never been on a walk or into a house, yet she trotted indoors, wagging her tail and chattering away to herself (I was later to learn that Lilly talked a LOT). She was such a sweet, loving dog who wanted to be my side constantly and everyone who met her, loved her. She was suffering with ear infections, had bad teeth (lots were missing and others had to be removed imminently and most of the rest were pretty much worn down completely, as she had tried to gnaw her way out of the crate), so she has never been able to chew treats or toys.

Lilly didn’t understand what dogs were doing when she saw them playing, was not used to socialising with people or animals so was quite wary of them (especially men) and panicked when I left the room. It also became apparent that she was hard of hearing in both ears. She needed a lot of love, time and patience to be able to integrate her into having a normal, happy doggy life.

Gradually over the months and years her confidence grew around people and animals; she became more affectionate and her character started to develop. She even found herself a boyfriend, Bailey, a Blenheim Cavalier who lived round the corner. Gradually he taught her how to accept attention from another dog, by greeting her with kisses whenever they met up! After four months of living with me, aged nearly 3 and a half, she came into season; according to her vet she was feeling less stressed and anxious now so her body was able to follow its natural development process.

Working with reiki and the animal world

Working constantly with Lilly to help her live in a “normal” world meant I was spending more time with animals in general, whilst also studying canine behaviour and dog training to work alongside Lilly - and so I became interested in working with animals more intensively. I had already qualified in my Reiki Level II so I decided to train in animal reiki too, working my way through levels I & II, then onto Master Practitioner/ Teacher level.

Want to deepen the bond with your pets?

Anyone can learn to offer reiki – the training process involves an attunement from a Reiki Master and this is when the chakras are opened up to allow the reiki to flow through the new practitioner. When I work with rescue animals or those that have more severe physical or emotional issues, I often recommend that the animal owner learn reiki themselves, in order to be able to offer reiki as often as possible to their pet, as sometimes it is impractical to have a reiki practitioner visit you regularly and ongoing. These regular reiki sessions with their human will benefit the animal greatly, even just on a general relaxation and well-being basis.

The animal owner will also feel the benefits of reiki themselves, as reiki can help with stress and anxiety which your pet could be picking up on) and also with issues such as insomnia and to help alleviate general aches and pains, even those that are long-term. Animal reiki level I enables you to practice on your pets and animals belonging to friends but if you wish to work on a paid for basis with clients, you would need to complete your level II animal reiki.

I offer animal reiki courses online for home study; priced at £60 - there are over 70 easy-to-follow slides, meditations and distant attunements to give you everything you need to be able to practice reiki. The course will take about 8 hours, involves two case studies and once completed, you will receive a practitioner’s certificate and be able to offer reiki to yourself and your pets!



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