I live in a very dog-friendly city, Seattle, and work with truly wonderful clients from all across the U.S. who love their animals.
While walking Puma this evening, I was reminded that not everyone understands animals, and that I have some work to do on my confrontation skills.
A woman rounded the corner with her Rhodesian Ridgeback and young son. Her dog wanted a taste of Puma, but was mild about it. She took the handle end of the leash and cracked him really hard across his back. He yelped. Stunned, I stood there in shock as they continued up the street in the opposite direction. I could not believe what I had seen her do, and by the time I had recovered it was too late to say anything without yelling, they were too far away.
As Puma and I walked slowly away, I found I did not respect myself for not speaking up. I felt like a bad person. I wondered if Puma thought that my silence might mean that I supported what had happened, and worried that by not saying something I had actually condoned the woman’s actions, making it seem okay for her young son to repeat her approach.
I pondered what I might have said, and gnawed on guilt. What would have worked, might have made a difference?
Should I have yelled? Perhaps I could have shown her an alternate training method to gain her dog’s attention when he was ultra distracted? Tried the reasonable approach of asking if she taught her child manners by hitting him? (I dread to contemplate that the answer might have been yes, it happened in my family and I hear an appalling amount of stories of child abuse.)
I arrived at no conclusion for what I should have done. I finally sent Reiki to the situation for the highest good, and to myself so that I might let go of guilt and whatever might have prevented me from taking action in the moment.
I guess sometimes there just are no easy answers. Perhaps the answer lies not in what might work, but in simply speaking up for what you believe to be true.
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©2010 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved. www.reikishamanic.com
Think Outside the Cage
A pioneer in Reiki and shamanic healing for people and animals, Rose De Dan has seen firsthand the profound healing impact of this work on the lives of others. A Reiki Master Teacher, mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero tradition, and animal communicator, she teaches classes and workshops for those interested in learning more about energy medicine.
Rose is also author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth through such events as A Walk on the Wild Side: Answering the Call of the Wild.
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