By Sarah Hauser
I am a Reiki Master, and am certified in Tellington TTouch for Companion Animals, Healing Touch for Animals Level I, and Bach Flower Remedies. I incorporate these modalities into my private practice, as well as working with animals in shelter environments (currently Bideawee and BARC Shelter), and recently I also began working with a rescue cat at Downtown Veterinary Clinic. The gentle, calming modalities I use can be particularly helpful for shelter animals, who usually arrive at the shelter having experienced emotional and/or physical trauma. One of my specialties is fearful and feral cats. My work can also facilitate bringing balance and comfort to older animals with such conditions as arthritis, kidney problems, and the like.
I first came to Bideawee when I was asked to do a talk on Animal Reiki and TTouch, and soon after that a TTouch class. After meeting the people and some of the cats at Bideawee, I was very motivated to begin volunteering there. I was also delighted to work with Kerrie McKeon (who I first met during the TTouch training) and Jon Delillo, the two primary keepers of the cats at the time, and both very gifted, caring and knowledgeable people.
I find that most behavior issues are rooted in fear. If you can help the animal to feel safe and loved, the layers of fear can begin to subside, and the inner beauty and true personality of the animal can emerge. Energy healing (Reiki and Healing Touch) and TTouch are so helpful in reaching these frightened animals, and at times I will make a custom Bach Flower remedy for additional stress relief. These modalities help to create a very quiet, safe space in which the animal can truly relax. I treasure those moments when I am working with an animal and I see them do a huge sigh – ah, finally relaxing. In that safe space it is possible to make a very deep connection with the animal. It is in that connection in the moment where the greatest communication can happen. The energy merges, flowing between the animal and me, so that I am learning from them as they are learning from me. It is so valuable for me to truly listen to them, so that I can be sensitive to what they are ready to do. In that moment of true connection, trust begins, and a process of shifting and opening up can begin. Over some time, as these positive experiences and feelings are repeated, the animals begin to be able to access that inner peace and confidence on their own.
There is nothing like the joy of experiencing the transformation of an animal from withdrawn and terrified, or irritated and agitated, or listless and depressed, to relaxed and open and comfortable and joyful. And there is the added happiness of knowing that these animals will now be more adoptable as a result.
I am pictured here with Buddy, one of my dear animal friends at Bideawee. He is not feral (he arrived at Bideawee after jumping INTO a moving car!) but he is a very shy boy. He is still reticent with other people initially, but getting better, and he is filled with an incredible sweetness. When he hears my voice, he comes running or rolling up to me, rubbing his face against me. I have seen him progress from hissing and hiding in the litter bench to being a much more confident, happy, even playful cat. And I know that when the time is right, someone will arrive and fall in love with him as I have, and want to share their home and their life with him (and, hopefully another cat – he is aptly named, as he is eager to be friends with every cat who has been housed in his resort).
It is my pleasure and honor always to be at Bideawee and to share my heart with the amazing animals and people there. Please feel welcome to visit my website, http://