29 Jun CHENOA: an amazing sanctuary & learning experience
By Donna Righi
Recently, I visited Chenoa Manor Sanctuary for an animal Reiki class, taught by the author and Shelter Animal Reiki Association president, Kathleen Prasad. As our student group entered the driveway, a friendly donkey, one of Chenoa’s residents, trotted over to greet us. We happily gave him lots of ear rubs.
His more timid donkey companion soon joined us for his own ear rubs. It did not take long to realize Chenoa is an extraordinary place. After we took our seats in the barn, a goose strutted into our circle. He pecked gently at our legs and chattered away (not so gently!). If we ignored him too long, he really grabbed our attention by honking — loudly and emphatically! Not surprisingly, we learned Chenoa staff calls him The Emperor. The eloquent Emperor’s only competition was a rooster residing in the barn. During our class discussions, this remarkable rooster amazed us by crowing at perfect times, putting his exclamation points on our insights. Then, watching the handsome horses graze in sync beside Chenoa’s stream brought the realization of what better lives they must have now than in their past environments. At the Sanctuary, they had friends, food, and freedom. What a beautiful life!
Another of the many Sanctuary residents who stood out was the immense and affectionate calf, Jamar. Jamar seemed equally content spending time with us humans as he did with his constant companion, the steer, Kasper. Other class days flowed just as grandly too. One day, as we stood waiting to enter the gates of Chenoa, a rabbit hopped down the driveway towards us. Just as the rabbit was about to reach us and the gates, she turned and hopped back to the Sanctuary. I thought could this be for real? It was as if she were saying “Hey, folks, come on in! It’s way better in here than out there!” I couldn’t agree more. Even Chenoa’s (human) staff, including Cara, Tiffany, and Tyler, was exceptionally helpful and welcoming to our group. Dr. Rob Teti, the Sanctuary’s founder, also warmly welcomed our group and fascinated us by telling us some of the residents’ compelling stories. Undoubtedly, sharing Chenoa’s healing space with The Emperor, Jamar, Kasper, and all its memorable residents contributed beyond measure to our learning experience.