When Elika came into my life eight years ago, I received the message that I should take her in because she was going to be a partner in my healing work. I did not want a yappy little white dog, but I listened to what I was told and, in less than a week of our living together, fell completely in love with her. (She is no longer yappy, by the way.) She has assisted me with all of my Reiki classes for the past eight years, and her insistence on a life full of both adventure and kindness has brought light and joy into my life. My little American Eskimo is my Reiki dog.
But even Reiki dogs need Reiki from time to time.
Several weeks ago, Elika came up lame. When she would stand up after lying down for awhile, she would lightly limp on her right front. At first, she would walk out of it in a few minutes and seemed fine. After a few days, though, she wasn’t walking out of it as quickly and seemed to be limping more heavily. I suspected this might be the result of an old injury.
When Elika was three, my 16-hand thoroughbred, Nikos, stepped on her. It was a horrible accident. Elika was tied on a 10-foot line to the outside of the barn door. Nikos was a good 20 yards away from her in the front yard, grazing, while I was doing some minor yard chores. At one point, Nikos lost sight of me, and headed towards the barn to find me. I watched in slow motion-too far away to stop it-as Elika ran across the open doorway while Nikos approached the barn, watched as his feet got tangled in her lead, watched as his giant foot scraped down the length of her leg and landed on her foot.
I, of course, rushed her to the vet, who took X-rays and explained that she had a severe dislocation in the area that on a human is the wrist. He said that because of the severity of the injury, she might never heal completely and that she might not be able to run without pain. Because the area was too swollen to put a hard cast on, he was going to give Elika a large, puffy, soft cast instead, longer than her leg so that she could not place weight on it.
While he was in back casting Elika’s leg, I was on my cell phone calling everyone I knew who was at least Level II Reiki. (In Level II, you learn to send Reiki healing across distance.) It was the middle of the afternoon, so I was only able to reach two people, but the three of us sent Reiki healing to Elika for the next 20 minutes or so. I could not accept that this bundle of wild joy would never run again.
When the vet placed my knocked-out little dog in my arms, he said to come back in three days for a hard cast, and we’d take it from there.
For the next three days, I channeled Reiki to Elika three or four times a day, my hands placed on the gigantic pillow of a cast.
When we returned to the vet’s office, he took Elika into the back to replace the soft cast with a hard one, but returned after a short time, looking puzzled. “She doesn’t need the cast,” he said. The dislocation had closed up; the leg was normal. I explained that I and others had used Reiki to assist Elika in healing. I asked him if he would like to know more about this. He did not.
He cautioned that it would take several months for Elika to heal and that she still might be lame at the end of that time. He also cautioned that the joint might eventually become arthritic. He advised that I keep her on a leash for two weeks so that she didn’t stress the joint with running.
I followed his directions. I also continued with the Reiki. After two weeks, I let Elika off the leash. She took off running with wild abandon. Not one bad step. I called the vet to share the fabulous news. I asked again if he would like to hear about Reiki. His response was, “Some dogs just heal faster than others.” I took that to be a No.
When Elika began limping several weeks ago, when the pain seemed to be intensifying, I wondered if the arthritis the vet had warned about had begun to set in. But had it been the left or the right foot that Nikos had stepped on? Because Elika had healed so completely, I couldn’t remember what foot had been affected. After digging through my files to no avail, I called the vet who had treated her (not my regular vet) and learned that the dislocation had been to the left front foot. The one bothering her now was the right front.
So, off to our regular vet we went. X-rays revealed an old fracture to the left front (although the vet later said it might have just been a shadow) with a little ball of calcium in the joint of one toe. Arthritis. The vet took an X-ray of the other foot for comparison, the one Nikos had stepped on. It was perfect.
Now what? Elika’s movement was being compromised. I ordered pharmaceutical grade glucosamine to help with joint lubrication. I purchased a homeopathic remedy that I know from experience dissolves calcium deposits. But the glucosamine takes weeks to begin working, and the homeopathic could take many months. In the meantime, Elika was in pain (although she never complained), and there was no way I was going to give her the anti-inflammatory the vet sent me home with-with possible side effects including vomiting and diarrhea.
Over the years, I’ve had outstanding success using Reiki to reduce pain and inflammation, and it certainly had helped with her first injury, but this time Elika would have none of it. She’d pull her foot away when I tried to work with it, casting me annoying looks. Of course, I could have sent the Reiki across distance, but instead I called a wonderful healer, one of my Reiki Master students, who eagerly agreed to work with Elika.
She asked to work with Elika three days in a row. After the first session, I didn’t notice any change. After the second session, Elika’s limp was much more pronounced. I urged my student not to worry about this, reminding her that healing can sometimes be painful. After the third session, Elika was back where she’d started before the first session. But the very next day, day four, she was her normal, active self, no longer moving with caution, once again running with wild abandon. This was several weeks ago. Since this time, she has not taken a single bad step.
I called my vet and left a message on her voicemail, telling her that I had not used the meds and that after three Reiki sessions, Elika was completely sound. I said, “I’m telling you this because I know you have an open mind.” I invited her to call me if she wanted to learn more about Reiki. So far, I haven’t heard from her.
This wild bundle of white fur, my Reiki dog, both giver and receiver of this powerful healing, has helped me to teach so many students. I continue to believe that one day soon, more and more veterinarians will be among them.
Until next month . . .
*This column originally appeared in From the Horse’s Mouth in January 2009.
© 2009 by Pamela Sourelis