TTouch Instructors Debby Potts and Lauren McCall have been teaching Tellington TTouch in Japan for Companion Animals, horses and bunnies for many years. Debby was teaching a horse training in Japan when the earthquake struck and Lauren was in the air just 30 minutes from landing in Tokyo. Their on-the-spot stories that were sent out in our ENEWS on Friday, March 25th, give us a sense of being there in those historical first hours.
Animals are very important to Japanese people. I was so touched by these photos of animals living in the shelters with their people. Japan set a new precedent for the rest of the world to follow in times of crisis by allowing animals to accompany their families into the human shelters.
Authorities in charge of rescue housing must grok the need to care for our animal companions in the case of disaster as we would care for humans. Let us hold the intention that Japan will be a new model for the future for the United States and the rest of the world, so that never again will animals have to be left behind as they were during the Katrina disaster.
Please send your prayers and donations if you can. I understand there is a need for food, water and food bowls, pee pads, leashes, blankets and other supplies for all the dogs, cats, birds and other animal companions who are in shelters and may remain there for many months. By helping the animals, I know we are directly reaching out and making a difference in the lives of their guardians who love them so dearly.
My special thanks to Debby and Lauren for the spectacular work they are doing in Japan; to all the Japan TTouch Family who are reaching out to others to help in this time; and to all of you who send your prayers and donations.
Lets join our hearts and minds
with healing intention and support
sending Heart Hugs to the people and animals of Japan
with the feelings of Understanding, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Compassion
and together, let us
Change the World,
One TTouch at a Time.
Many of you know that I have been teaching in Japan for the past 17 years. I love Japan and look forward to the trips I make there every year. The time is filled with TTouch, great people and animals, and wonderful food.
My most recent trip was also filled with the events I want to share here. I was teaching a basic horse workshop on March 11 and had just started a demonstration when the ground started shaking. That happens in Japan from time to time and we waited for it to stop – except this time it just kept getting bigger!
We all ran out of the barn, staff members bringing horses with them. My group sat on the ground and I grabbed a tree. Very soon I realized the tree wasn’t going to keep me on my feet and joined my group with our arms outstretched on the ground. I can tell you that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake is really huge.
When it finally stopped, we moved the horses out to the pastures where they would be safe – they just seemed happy to be back out on the grass – and everyone began making calls and sending messages to check on family and let them know we were OK. We felt very fortunate that we were in such a safe place, away from glass and walls that could fall. This was a great time for me to remind people about doing some Ear Work. Everyone had shaky legs for a while, so we finished the day doing some TTouch Body and Groundwork between people. Python Lifts and Octopus were really helpful.
When our organizer came to pick us up we learned that there had been significant damage to the place we were staying, the trains weren’t running and the highways were closed. Power was out everywhere. It looked like the best choice was to spend the night at the stable. This is a beautiful place with the nickname Wow Farm after how many times I said “Wow!” the first time I saw it.
I went with our organizer to get a few of my things and was surprised to see the damage at the house were I usually stay. I was so happy I wasn’t there when the earthquake happened! (I’ve included some photos of the house)
We stopped at a convenience store to get some food and I was so impressed with what I saw. The store was dark except for one light over the counter and the functioning cash register. People parked at the store were leaving their headlights on to put a little light into the store. Customers were lined up half way around the store waiting to pay for their purchases. How often would we see people calmly waiting in line for perhaps 20 minutes in this type of emergency? It is a lesson for us all in helping each other and being calm in a crisis.
We spent the night in the stable’s lovely reception area with blankets and the wood stove keeping us warm. A door was left open so we had an exit from the building. The staff offered us hot soup and we tried to get some rest. I was calling it the horse workshop slumber party except there was very little slumber. There were many aftershocks and we kept jumping up to run outside. They are called aftershocks but many of them were very strong. I was thankful for my iPhone and the fact that I could charge it with my computer. This became my best source of information about the quake and tsunami and for keeping in touch with people.
The next day we moved to a hotel to wait for the trains or highway to be available. I canceled the Intermediate Horse Workshop that was supposed to start that day as it was so difficult to travel and people wanted to stay close to home. We were watching the TV and my interpreter was telling me pieces of what was happening. I was so thankful she was there to help me understand the news reports. This is when we learned that the nuclear power plant was having trouble. As we were 60 miles from the reactors I decided it was important for us to move. Lauren was now in Tokyo and was working on booking flights for us to leave. I just needed to get there in time. With important help from friends we were able to drive to a city with local trains running and travel to Tokyo. Early in the morning on March 14th we flew home.
I was sorry it became necessary for us to leave. I had to cancel the TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner Training as well as 3 other workshops. It was clear that we had no choice but to postpone them. I am looking forward to the time when we will continue with these events.
Thank you so much to everyone who sent me messages and made calls of love and support during this time. It touched me very deeply. Please continue those positive thoughts and support for the Japanese people and animals who continue to struggle in this triple disaster. I am happy that our Japanese TTouch group is safe and doing OK, working to help others.
Will you take a moment to contribute what you can to help the Japanese people and their animals? Many people are in shelters with their animals and need our support as they deal with this crisis and begin recovery.
I am often asked what it’s like working with people in so many different countries and I always say that people who care about their animals are the same no matter where they live. We really are one family.
Thank you and best wishes to you all,
Address: 7-15-7 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan Zip code 106-0032
Branch # 053
Swift code MHBKJPJT
Ordinary Account # 2814596
Name of account holder: Japan Animal Welfare Society
Other organizations are accepting donations:
World Society for the Protection of Animals – Animal Disaster Fund
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support
HEART Tokushima – HEART Shelter Fund
Will you take a moment to contribute what you can to help the Japanese people and their animals? Your help will be greatly appreciated.