Animal Paradise - Communication & Healing
The Underground Peace Movement
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Animal Paradise Newsletter
Winter 2010

 Nathan - Lessons In The Power Of Love 
by Janet Dobbs
Reiki Teacher/Animal Communicator


Have you ever met an animal that forever changed you? I have had that honor many times but Nathan is not only my teacher he is a teacher of many.

Nathan & Mike on the day that he arrived at TREES

He arrived at TREES (Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary in Virginia) via animal control, on Sunday June 28th, 2009, one week after the first TREES/SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association) orientation. His condition was like many of the horses that arrive at Traveller's Rest but much worse. 

The vet came right away to examine him. The diagnosis was hospice care and that Nathan would most likely not make it through the end of the week. That was not what Nate had to say about his situation!

This was the first time our eyes met. I knew instantly that he was very special

I got to meet him the next day and offered him a mini Reiki session. 

Nathan day 2 at TREES

Nathan was very clear with me that he had no intention of leaving his body at that point in time. Neurological issues were the greatest concern at that moment. 

Nathan was happy to be inside with food and water and could not believe that he had such wonderful material under his feet. 

Nathan dragged one back leg and could not move his tail at all. The condition of eachl of his feet was hard to believe. 

Chris finds the perfect fly mask for Nathan

Chris, the heart and soul of TREES, told me that she had no idea how he was able to stand at all from the pain he had to be enduring. 

The following day Nathan requested a "Reiki healing circle". The call went out to the TREES/SARA group for volunteers. That Friday, five days after Nathan arrived at TREES, six Reiki practitioners arrived to grant his request for healing. 

Our lessons began. A new teacher had arrived at TREES. It is always humbling for me when I work with animals. We humans think we are the rescuers, healers, great communicators, etc. but the truth of the matter is, we know nothing compared to the animals. They are the ones that save us. They are the ones that heal us. They are the great communicators, our teachers, our friends and so much more. 

Reiki practitioners, Elizabeth and Pat, meeting Nathan for the first time

Nathan insisted on teaching all of the Reiki practitioners "horse manners and etiquette" since no one had ever asked him permission for anything before he arrived at TREES. We listened to Chris as she translated Nathan's request as we stood quietly at the entrance to his "hospital room". He wanted us to come up to him one at a time and "properly" greet him in the way that horses greet each other. 

Lori making friends with Nate

One by one we each slowly went up to him.

Nathan greeting Carole

He lifted his head over the half door and put his nose towards our face. We were to put our mouth slowly up to his nostril and very gently blow our breath into it as he takes a breath in. As he breathes out we were to breathe in his breath. You breathe me. I breathe you. "Ah, now I know who you are. That was nice", he would say. 

We each created a kind of sacred bond or connection with him during the exchange and moment. He captured all of our hearts. 

Nathan greets Pat and Elizabeth

After each of us greeted him we formed a circle around the outside of his hospital room and Chris and I went in with him. The healing session lasted about 20-30 minutes. 

Reiki practitioners stand outside of Nathan's hospital room

Reiki is perfect for animals that are in a situation like Nathan and cannot be touched. We always begin our Reiki sessions with animals, hands off. This allows the animal to get to know us and to feel the energy. Often this is the first time an animal has experienced being with humans in this way. 

Each person began to offer Reiki creating a circle of healing energy that Nathan could move freely around in. 

Nathan came to me several times and placed his nose in my hands and my belly. He was interested in where the energy was coming from. In Traditional Japanese Reiki we bring the energy into our hara center that is located about 3 finger widths below the belly button. We next expand the energy throughout our whole body and then out into our surroundings. Nathan had no trouble finding the source of the energy. 

Next he walked over to a half wall where 3 Reiki practitioners were standing on the other side offering healing. 

He leaned against this wall taking weight off of some of his feet. 

The leaning was a miracle because he was not able to do that when he first arrived at TREES. The session ended. We thanked Nathan. 

Nathan licking and chewing as he was taking in the healing energy

The next day he put weight on the foot that he had been dragging. Then Jill arrived to offer him bodywork and other wonderful holistic healing modalities. She used a horse (Freddy) that was living next to Nathan's hospital room as a surrogate because Nathan was too fragile to touch. The very next day Nathan moved his tail! We were told that would not ever happen. What a miracle. Each day there were tiny as well as huge miracles. 

Nathan outside in his private pasture

Throughout the summer Nathan continued to thrive. There were steps forward as well as back but Nathan continued to beat the odds. Reiki and energy work continued for Nathan on a daily basis at a distance along with in-person healing sessions. 

Nathan captured the hearts of everyone that came in contact with him and now he has quite the fan club. He told me that he would become a great teacher of Amanda's. Amanda is one of the wonderful vets that care for the TREES equine residents. He shared with me that he would teach her things that cannot be found in a textbook. 

Lori and Nathan

I began to call him Casanova because he is such a love and he loves the ladies, both human as well as equine. He taught me how to give and receive horse kisses. You kiss the horse on the velvety part between the upper lip and nose. The first time I learned about this Chris was with Nathan and he first required a kiss from her. He then came over to me. Kiss! What a feeling! Then back to Chris. Kiss! Back to me again. Kiss. This continued for quite a while. It was so endearing to me as well as heart opening. He is such a love bug. 

Butternut and Nathan

TREES is a very special and magical place where horses come to live out the rest of their lives, no matter how sort of long. They are extremely well cared for, respected and loved. Chris and Mike Smith are the heart and soul of Traveller's Rest and the reason the animals thrive. 

Nathan moved out of the hospital in early fall 2009 and now lives with a pony named Butternut. He has become her knight in shining armor. Butternut is legally blind and had just lost her 2 beloved pasture mates. Finding a very special being to be with her was a very delicate matter. Nathan stepped up. Here was a horse that was not supposed to ever be able to be out of his hospital room, now having free range of a shelter and pasture with the wonderful responsibility of caring for Butternut. 

Nathan watching over Butternut

The two now live together in a very nice size pasture and barn. Nathan has a very important job taking care of and being friends with Butternut. He does not let her get too far out of his sight. 

Nathan is also quite the Casanova with the ladies that live in the adjoining pasture. He is quite a busy guy. 

Nathan January 2010

There are still issues especially with his right front foot but he is living and living well. Members of a new group at TREES called Horses & Healers continue to offer Nathan distant Reiki as well as in-person sessions. 

With Nathan's courage and Chris's love, Nathan has come a long way since his arrival at TREES in June 2009. He has taught many of us that we need to open to the animals and allow the two-way street of healing and communication to unfold and develop. We humans, many times, think that we are here to rescue, save and heal the animals but many times it is the other way around. Nathan teaches us to keep our feet on the ground and to open to all that is and the power of love. With that, all things are possible. Thank you Nathan. 

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