Daisy, our 11-year-old black-grey-white mixed-breed dog (aka mutt) whom we rescued from the Toronto Humane Society pound almost that many years ago, was suddenly limping and spiritless.
As anyone who sees her regularly (or even spasmodically) in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood park can attest, that is quite the opposite of her usual demeanour.
She runs up to almost everyone, tail wagging, tongue out and enthusiastically solicits recognition, preferably in the form of physical human contact of one sort or another: a pat (or more), a belly rub; be creative.
But this physical malaise had been going on for several days and my wife Paulette and I grew concerned that she might not be with us much longer. After all, 11+ years is senior-citizen status for canines and her tail-wag count is running down.
So far as we could tell, she didn’t appear to have anything specifically wrong. There were no visible physical ailments or specific sensitivities. She just had brief painful reactions when she was touched in various ways, including when patted.
Around the house she avoided her fellow adoptee Tank, a Black Lab whom Paulette and I adopted three years ago. That was when his charismatic owner Danny Murphy died with Tank in the bedroom weeping over his tragic loss for a full day before Danny’s body was discovered and Tank was sent to the Toronto Animal Services in Scarborough.
Paulette frequently ran into a very friendly neighbour, Sophia Armenis, who practises a therapeutic technique called Animal Reiki. She had offered on many occasions to perform her skill on Tank, who suffers from hip dysplasia.
In the spring of 2018, Paulette finally took Sophia up on her kind offers but this time it was to help Daisy. Sophia came over to our home and quite gently laid hands Daisy, who immediately began to relax and enjoy the touching.
The result was immediate, Paulette says. Daisy got up from her prone position on the carpet and, tail wagging, was obviously more comfortable and relaxed. Sophia came to our home several times until was back to her old self.
Here’s how Sophia describes her therapeutic training and practice:
I have always been interested in spiritual practices, including Meditation, Dream work and Numerology. I also work with clients using Tarot and a mixture of modalities to help guide them in making the changes they are looking for in their lives.
I began my studies at the Spiritual Science Fellowship in Montreal in the mid-80s and continued them at the Spiritual Science Institute here in Toronto.
While there I learned and practiced various forms of Energy Work including, but not limited to, Polarity Balancing as well as Chakra Work, invoking our Spirit Guides and Distance “Healing”.
Last year I completed my Level Two in Reiki and have begun my work with animals because I had started doing energy work on friends’ pets and the results were always positive. I recognized that there is great need for this. I especially love to work with Senior Animals and have now expanded my practice to include Home Visits. This makes it much easier on the animals as they remain in their own environment.
Rei Universal Life Force and Ki Energy, Life Force
I practise Usui Reiki which is a traditional energy healing system that harmonizes and balances, this allows the animals’ natural healing capabilities to take place. I have found it to be excellent in revitalizing senior animal companions, it puts more spring in their step.
If your pet is suffering from obvious back pain or is just lacklustre, give Sophia Armenis a call at 416-360-7359 or email her.
— Frank Touby