By Barbara Janelle M.A.
First Published In Touch, Vol. V, no. 3 & 4, December 1993
I answered a call on a very sick horse late on a Monday evening in mid-February, 1992. The horse, Jake, had a twisted caecum and had been in agony for four days. He’d spent a lot of the time down and thrashing. Two vets had told the owner to put the horse down but she couldn’t do it.
Jake was standing when I entered the arena, his eyes clenched shut in obvious pain. Karen, a friend, was stroking his face. Diane, the owner, stood twenty feet away, frozen in her pain and unable to touch the horse. My dear friend, V.J. Houseman, was with the owner and had encouraged her to call me.
I started to show Karen how to do TTEAM work on the ear acupressure points. Jake went down suddenly and began to roll. I tried to stop him but his pain was too great. Jake settled on his left side and lay there. No one else had moved and I asked if he’d gone down before. They told me that Jake had been down and rolling hourly for the last four days.
The only solution for a twisted intestine is immediate major surgery performed by a team of veterinarians at a veterinary college. The intestine is removed from the belly, straightened and repacked in the gut. It is a complex procedure, hard on the animal and costs about $10,000 in Ontario. Without an operation immediately after twisting occurs, the horse goes through a long and painful death.
Jake was beyond the point where an operation would have helped him even if the owner could have afforded it. He’d been in pain for several days, although by now that pain was felt more as pressure because he had shut off contact with much of his body. He found some slight relief by going down, rolling and settling on his side. In my first few minutes with him, Jake made it very clear to me that he wanted to leave. My job was to help the owner to release him.
First, I worked to bring the horse to a greater degree of comfort. Karen worked on Jake’s ears while I scanned and smoothed and grounded his field. Jake lay quietly and began to breath more easily. After a while, I went to the owner and asked her to tell me something about the animal. Her answers came in single words.
“Tell me something about this horse. How old is he?”
“How long have you had him?”
“Did you ride him a lot? He looks like a very athletic horse? What did you do with him?”
I moved back to the horse and continued my work. Then I spoke to the owner again, “Think of a time when you had a lot of fun with Jake. What was a time of real pleasure for both of you?” Her face lost its controlled smile. The color drained away. V.J. moved to her side and supported her heart chakra.
“The time we won the red ribbon.”
And the tears came. Jake sat up and looked at her. He got up on his feet. She walked over to him and began to work on his ears. Jake’s eyes opened wide and he looked at Diane with deep intensity and trust, and he sighed.
I showed the several people there how to unruffle and ground Jake’s energy field. In a relaxed state, with a degree of pain that he could handle, Jake began to direct the work on his body. He’d turn and show us clearly that his belly on the left side needed help and sigh when we cleared the field there. He repeated this communication several times during the next half-hour.
I tried a variety of things to see if there was any possibility of saving him. A beam of light directed through his body stopped at the sacral chakra. Energy directed in there did nothing to change the field nor the violent black-red aura around the chakra. Eventually the entire field rejected my attempts by shoving me away–a physical sensation that I have never experienced before or since. I was informed clearly by the voice in my head that it was time for me to leave. This message was repeated again and again until I did go.
Before I left, the owner made the decision to call the vet to put Jake down. She worked his ears and her friends continued to smooth and ground his field as I’d shown them. Later I learned that Jake remained quiet and comfortable for the next hour and a half until the vet arrived. The owner released him with love and Jake died peacefully.
The issue of release is a big one for most of us. This owner could only release Jake when she felt her love and pain for him. I believe that one of the things we are here to do is to feel our emotions, particularly love. Animals are artists at reaching our hearts. In this case, the question triggering a memory of joy helped Diane’s heart to open.
The TTEAM work on the horse’s ears offered her a physical connection to Jake. Therapeutic Touch brought the horse to a state of comfort where he could participate in the work that the owner and her friends did on him. When that happened, a blaze of light connected horse and owner. And of course, the light reached all of us there and all who hear the story.
Barbara Janelle. “Cancer’s Message.” Previously Unpublished. December, 1998
Working with Jake was one of my early experiences in helping people feel their emotions deeply enough to be able to release their animals with gratitude. I did not plan to do this; I simply followed the promptings from Jake, as I did recently with Rochester (see “Cancer’s Message”).
“What did this one teach you? What gifts did he bring to your life?” This is the basis of the “Celebrating Animal’s Lives” seminar that I lead every summer at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont. Owners are so swamped in the pain of loss that they cannot go beyond it. The recognition of gifts and expression of gratitude to their departed animals shifts the pain and helps them go on with life. –BJ 2/99