By Jeff Baird, Sunrise Reiki Colorado

Growing up, we had a guy that lived behind us who was a dog catcher. He kept this beautiful Brittany Spaniel in a very small space between his garage and the neighbor’s fence. It was always filthy, muddy and not taken care of at all. Dog poop was everywhere. I used to knock on his door and ask if I could take Brandy for a walk. She loved going on walks after being locked up in her prison all day. I fell in love with this dog.

I went over one day to take her for a walk and discovered she was going to have babies. My first thought at the age of probably 12 or 13 was, “You bastard.” You son of a bitch. You are already mistreating this dog like a criminal, and now she’s going to have babies? You son of a bitch. At that young age, I discovered ignorance and animal cruelty up close and personal. The image of her in all that filth is one that will always be with me. I’ll see her again one day and we’ll go for a long walk wherever she wants to go. I won’t need a leash this time.

When I was that age, we spent our summers on our bikes. It was a different time obviously. We used to go to the park and have a fire, cook some food, smoke swisher sweets, cuss and have a blast. I always brought Candy, our dog, along with us. She sat on my lap as I pedaled my 10 speed. I wanted her to experience what I was going to experience that day. She even got in the creek water up to her chin one day as we floated picnic tables. She went as far as she could possibly go. You have to understand, Candy was a lady. She was a Poodle mix and the sweetest dog in the world. I will see her again one day. What a homecoming that will be. She was my best friend.

I always knew that four legged animals were smarter than what we gave them credit for. Now, that I am able to work on them with Reiki, I am continually amazed at their intelligence and understanding of many things that some of us never learn in a lifetime. Things like trust, unconditional love, patience and so many other worthwhile traits. They have short lives, and in a lot of ways, they’re way ahead of us.

Our pets reflect our behavior right back at us. I’ve seen it countless times with nervous dogs and their nervous owners. Again, growing up, we had a dog that lived next door to us that barked non-stop. I remember watching my mom and the woman who lived there trying to have a conversation over the fence while the dog barked incessantly.

I also remember that he didn’t bark like that when they were away. He was a completely different dog when they were gone. I used to take care of him when the family went on vacation somewhere. When I would try to get close to him when they were home, he would growl and get all worked up. Then, when it was just him and me, we hugged and hung out. No barking and no growling; just me petting him.

Giving Reiki to animals has opened up a whole new world and confirmed to me that we are indeed all connected. When a person hates an animal they hate themselves, and take it out on the innocent animal and people in their life. There seems to be plenty of hate going around these days. But, there’s also plenty of love.

I know so many people doing good things for others. People rescuing animals and then rescuing people. It’s an incredible thing to be a part of. We are all in this together and how we treat all living things has a significant impact on our soul’s destiny. We have been told to “Love One Another,” and those three words have never had more meaning than they do today. Be kind to animals. Be kind to each other. Love One Another.

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