Give pets their say
By Deborah Woods
Is your terrier terrified? Your Siamese in a snit? An animal communicator may have insights
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Theresa Wilson adopted Levi a year and a half ago from the Oregon Humane Society, and there’s so much she’d like to know about her big fawn-colored dog with the soulful brown eyes.
Why is the survivor of Hurricane Katrina terrified by sudden noises, such as the sound of a pan falling in the kitchen? Why does Levi enjoy going for long walks but get stiff and tense when Wilson tries to jog with him? Does he ever think about her old dog, Tasha, who was ill and was euthanized six weeks after Wilson adopted Levi?
For pet owners like Wilson with such questions, some people say they can find answers. Like Doctor Dolittle, these folks say they can talk to animals — and can teach you to talk, too. Animal communicators (some embrace the “pet psychic” tag, others emphatically do not) telepathically touch base with all sorts of creatures, from dogs and cats to owls and orcas. More than a half-dozen communicators live in Oregon and western Washington, and since most communicators will telepathically chat with your pet while you have a phone conversation or send an e-mail, proximity isn’t necessarily an issue.
We decided to check out the experience. The Oregonian hired three to communicate with Levi. The ground rules: They were told nothing about what we knew of Levi’s past, other than to say he was adopted from the humane society; his name; and, if they asked, his estimated age. Afterward, we revealed what we knew of his life, and then asked specific questions.
How did they do?
Well, of course, we were hoping that at least one would blurt out, “Oh my gosh! The water is rising!”
Alas, none was that specific, But all three gave information about his past that jibes with what we know about him.
Morgine Jurdan was the most impressive, especially interesting since her conversation with Levi took place over the phone. She said he came to the shelter “very hungry” and “people took him places.” She also nailed the behavior issue that has most worried Wilson: that Levi is afraid of loud noises. Jurdan said this before Wilson asked about it.
During the phone conversation, Jurdan would stop the discussion and telepathically speak with Levi. While Levi tended to pace and move while he was in the small office we borrowed for the sessions at the Oregon Humane Society, when Jurdan spoke with him, the dog stayed still and got a faraway, serious look. Eerie.
“I thought she was very insightful,” Wilson said.
Faye Pietrokowsky also had some notable insights. One of her first comments was that Levi would benefit from acupressure on his heart points. What she didn’t know from looking at this now-healthy dog is that Levi, like many Katrina dogs, had been treated for heartworms. She described his personality well, especially his tendency to have comments on everything.
Kathleen Jones, with whom we also chatted by phone, by following our format was working against her usual pattern. Jones usually asks people to send in questions ahead of time. According to her Web site, she connects with the spirit of Sasquatch for answers. She then sends a written copy of her comments. While she did nail some details, such as Levi’s dread of crates and confined spaces, she was the only communicator to get some details wrong: She described him as a young dog (he’s about eight) and she thought he wanted to be a therapy dog (Levi is clearly fearful of a stranger’s touch).
Interestingly, the comments from the communicators all painted a similar picture of his early years, and, once they learned of his background, all talked about him running during the storm. And for some reason, Levi seems to want Wilson to make a career move.
“There were a lot of interesting things they picked up on,” says Wilson. “I don’t know if I learned all that much more, but it reaffirmed what I already knew. It reminded me of things I should be doing, like visualizing Levi feeling calm.
The bottom line: Wilson says that if she’d paid the $75 we paid for each talk, such a session would have been worth it.
The Oregonian Pet Talk columnist Deborah Wood is the author of 10 books, including “Little Dogs: Training Your Pint-Sized Companion.” You can reach her by e-mail at TaoBowwow@aol.com; by mail at Deborah Wood/Pet Talk, The Oregonian, 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201; fax, 503-294-7691; phone, 503-221-8416.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Web site: www.inner-design.net/petpsychic
Fee: 10 minutes, $30; 15 minutes, $45; 20 minutes, $50
Original comments without background information: Levi walked a lot. His feet got sore. If you do acupuncture or acupressure, heart points would be helpful.
When asked about his fearfulness: His first home wasn’t happy. There was fighting in that first house. There was a man with heavy black boots that I think was harsh.
On the death of her old dog, Tasha: Tasha absorbed his pain and showed him the routine. I think he was paying her back by escorting her out of this life. He wonders why you haven’t brought home another dog. He’d like a buddy. He doesn’t want a yappy, bouncy dog or a big dog that will tower over him. He doesn’t want a cat — that would be a disappointment to him. He knows about pet birds, but doesn’t want one of those, either.
Other notes from Levi: He says he has a nervous stomach. He’s got a comment for a lot of things and has a sense of humor.
Advice: Apologize to him for what has happened to him in the past. Tell him you know it must have been rough. Talk, talk, talk to him. When you leave him at home to go to work, give him a ballpark time of when you’ll be home. Telepathically send him smiles during the day.
Web site: www.communicationswithlove.com
Cost: 30 minutes, $45; One hour, $80;
Original comments without background information: He says he was hungry. He was confused before he got to the shelter. People took him places. He lived in a household where there was a lot of yelling and screaming. He was hit and pushed around. He doesn’t like loud noises.
Why he likes walking but not jogging: I think this is a reaction to his experience during Katrina. I think there was a lot of running involved. There may have been loud noises during this time that he associates with running.
About Tasha: He says he still sometimes feels her presence.
Other notes from Levi: He says that kindness was something he learned from you. He says you aren’t always gentle with yourself. Be gentle and patient with yourself.
Advice: Try flower essences to calm him. Try Tellington Touch (a feather-light system of calming touches). Visualize him as a calm, happy dog. Always think in positive terms and see him doing well.
Web site: www.sasquatchspeaks.org
Phone: 541-846-0234 Cost: $95 for the reading
Original comments without background information: There’s a fear factor with this dog. I can see him bounding forward, but he also wants to hold back. At some point he was kept in close quarters. He has an instinct to flee.
Why he likes walking but not running: There was a lot of fear with the hurricane, with everyone moving quickly. He’s responding to and reflecting that fear.
About Tasha: She transferred care of you to him. He says he still communicates with her sometimes.
Advice: Visualize him as calm and happy.