Regardless of how many words your dog understands, the interspecies language barrier can make for a lot of confusion. The frustrating truth is, we often have no idea what’s going on in our pets’ furry little brains. If I had a nickel for every time I wondered what my Siberian Husky was thinking, I’d be rich – or at least, I’d have enough change to plunk down for a session with an animal communicator.
As a fairly open-minded person, I’d long been curious about the field of animal communication. The most comprehensive online directory (www.animaltalk.net) lists almost 100 animal communicators in the United States alone, all working professionally using telepathy to talk with creatures large and small. I decided to track down a communicator near me to get the skinny on how it works and, fingers crossed, to have a heart-to-heart with that stubborn husky of mine.
Rain Hummingbird has been connecting with animals telepathically since she was a child. As Rain describes it, telepathy – sending and receiving messages across a distance - is something that animals are doing all the time with one another, and it's an ability that we humans possess, as well. "Most people," Rain says, “when they actually step back, realize that they have (at some point) already received and sent a clear message to an animal, because the behavior changed, or they received some kind of acknowledgement.” She gives the example of having that sudden sense that your cat’s at the door, waiting to be let in.
For a trained animal communicator, those messages can come through in many forms: They might receive a mental picture, a physical sensation or an emotion. “The information can come through in a variety of ways. Some people have one sensory channel that’s particularly honed, so they may be very visual, for example,” explains Rain. “They might receive information like a movie, in pictures. Other people tend to be more sensory so they might feel it in their body.”
Even if the ability was lying dormant inside me, I didn’t have much confidence about working through complicated ideas together with my dog Tucker. I decided to book an appointment. Beyond just satisfying my curiosity, there was definitely an agenda: If Rain could communicate with Tucker, perhaps she could explain to him the logic of trimming the bushy, overgrown fur protruding from his paws. He's an old guy of fourteen, and the wild tangle of fur covering his pads means that he's basically wearing socks, sliding around on every smooth surface like it’s freshly waxed hardwood. No amount of treat-based bribery had succeeded in convincing Tucker to let me take scissors to his paws (a treasonous act, in his eyes). I needed Rain to plead my case.
Since telepathy isn’t location-dependent, most animal communicators offer phone consultations in addition to, or in lieu of, face-to-face appointments. At our designated time, I dialed the number and was greeted by Rain's warm, welcoming voice. We chatted for just a few moments before she asked for a minute of silence to "connect" with Tucker. At that point, he got up from his place on the floor a few feet away and walked over to where I sat, his pupils wide and an air of nervousness about him. Rain laughed, and told me that the first thing coming through was that Tucker was dreading talking about his paws. Well, there you go. I agreed to table the subject for a bit, and we spent a pleasant hour talking about everything from his sore hips to preferred nicknames to his thoughts on the new man in our lives.
While individual sessions always hold surprises, animal communicators often field the same types of questions. Pet owners want to know that their animals are happy, and if they feel good physically. We want our animals to know how much we love them and, let's be honest, we’re hungry for affirmation that they love us in return! Some communicators specialize in working with owners to help locate lost pets, to navigate end-of-life decisions, or to address difficult behavior issues or challenging pack dynamics. Another common request is to connect with animals in spirit, who have already transitioned from their bodies; in that regard, animal communicators can bring much-needed comfort and closure after the passing of a beloved pet.
When Rain and I did eventually circle back to the topic of Tucker’s paws, he made it clear that his position was non-negotiable. His paws, his rules. That sounded about right for a headstrong Siberian Husky. Oh well - you win some and you lose some, but having the opportunity to finally “talk” with my best friend unquestionably felt like a victory.
Kim Wishcamper is freelance writer and dog photographer, and a recent transplant to Asheville, NC. While she misses the Rocky Mountains, she’s found plenty of beautiful places to crash her mountain bike here in western North Carolina. In her spare time, she stays busy being bossed around by a sweet, old, incredibly handsome Siberian Husky.