Friends Of Baxter

“I have a dream; or should I call it a mission assigned to me; to help sick, abandoned and cruelly treated animals through a holistic and complementary approach. Either way it’s now my life’s passion. We may have mountains to climb, but through Friends Of Baxter Animal Care we will help thousands of animals to benefit from an approach to animal care they clearly enjoy and appreciate. If my dream inspires you to join us, please get in touch.”

Sue Malcolm – Founder

Sue's Story

The events that led to the creation of Friends Of Baxter Animal Care

January 2011 in a rather surreal moment, I sat up in bed astounded. A silent communication, that I couldn’t even try to describe, made me aware of my purpose in life – to help sick, abandoned and cruelly treated animals. I knew nothing about animals and was actually rather nervous of many, yet I couldn’t have chosen a mission I would have loved more and I wholeheartedly believed this communication, from wherever or whoever it came.

One ‘co-incidence’ led to another and whilst driving home one day, a moving picture in my head showed an image of me stroking an ill dog and as a result it was healed. Wow… fancy doing that for a job I thought and a friend said it sounded a bit like Reiki. ‘Rei what?’  I wondered.

But hearing how this holistic therapy had the potential to help animals in different ways I was hooked, and I soon booked my level 1 training. In the meantime, I had started volunteering at a local dog rescue centre and after my first Reiki course, the rescue owner saved a dog named Baxter from a dog pound just a few hours before he could have been otherwise destroyed.

As far as I understood, he’d lived with a family who were unable to look after him as much as they might have wished. They had young children and another dog, and Baxter loved chewing things and playing all the time. He required too much time and attention, so the owners handed him over to a vet. The vet’s practice, as required by law, then handed him over to a dog compound where he had 7 days to be claimed or rescued before he would be lethally injected if not rehomed. Thanks to a kind rescue owner he was saved and after walking him, I sat on his bed offering him Reiki. He jumped on my lap, soaked up the therapeutic energy like there was no tomorrow and sung to me before licking me madly. I’d fallen in love with the dog who I felt most needed loving at that moment in time and he was reserved for a life with me.

To cut a long story short, I progressed to become a Reiki and Animal Reiki Master Practitioner, then teacher for both, and my purpose in life felt to be really happening. I believed that my destiny was to open a holistic animal rescue, therapy centre and hospital with further development and expansion. I envisaged the therapy centre becoming a teaching centre too, training people from all walks of life to offer lovely therapies to animals in an amazingly relaxing and beneficial way. The idea of setting up a charity was born along with the realisation that I would need to raise significant funds. What has and has not happened since has changed my outlook. 

Above all, my anticipated plans required vast sums. Over two hundred companies were approached for funding/ sponsorship but charity status was required for a penny to be donated. The Charity Commission then refused our application & subsequent appeal advising that holistic therapies such as Reiki offer no added benefit animals if veterinary treatment is available, and that no public benefit to people was gained from our work. We and vast numbers of other practitioners and animal carers knew this to be far from true, but Charity status was not on offer to us. Whilst developing the detailed charity commission submission and supporting documentation, several years of my life were devoted to unpaid work passionately setting standards and criteria with nine organisations so that Animal Reiki could be professionally respected as it deserves to be. My personal savings dwindled during this time from having a reasonable sum, set aside for my pension from years of hard work, to a mere £200! My dream felt unrealistic and my personal situation drastic! Then words popped into my head – a realisation that my intent to help sick, abandoned and cruelly treated animals was being achieved. By focussing on training Reiki and Animal Reiki Practitioners, far more animals would be helped than me setting up a small rescue centre of my own and had I not believed in the dream of setting up a charity rescue, training and hospital venture I would not have invested my life in years of official paperwork to create professional standards. Training would also enable personal funds to be earned again and life return to a situation where I would no longer need to count every penny, seek bargains and avoid or politely refuse any non-essential spending. 

More of my journey to helping animals in need and various experiences with animals on route has been written in a book, but due to my change in direction amends are required before I can seek a publisher.

I saved Baxter by giving him a loving home and giving him a second chance in life and he was there for me in my darkest moments, whenever I needed him. Consequently, my venture had to be named after the dog who became my best friend and who treats everyone he knows and meets like a wonderful friend. In the way that Baxter loves anyone whom he meets, Friends Of Baxter Animal Care welcomes everyone who would like to join us and support us, by learning Reiki, promoting it and supporting us towards instigating a research project and fulfilling our vision. 

Sue Malcolm

Sue runs Friends Of Baxter Animal Care and her Reiki business The Reiki Experience and she is keen to promote both Reiki and Animals Reiki to see both professions grow in respect of therapy recognition and widespread use, to benefit people and animals holistically. 

Sue will be interviewed at the 2023 Reiki Rays Summit (November) on Animal Reiki. More about her thoughts on Reiki & Animal Reiki can also be read in a July 2023 magazine article

Therapy Sessions Given To Rescue Animals