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If Animals Could Talk

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If Animals Could Talk

By Barbara Hey, Natural Solutions

I am living in a newly blended family consisting of two adults, four children, three cats, and two dogs. All the humans have issues–the adults too numerous to discuss, the teenagers what you’d expect (angst at the constrictions enforced by the parental regime), the younger kids the anxiety of displacement.

But as people we have an outlet for our issues: We talk. When that’s not enough, we turn to the battalion of therapists we see and we get to talk some more.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed that the creatures sharing our space seem out of sorts, too. The animals have been acting out–not by skipping school or piercing body parts, but with an exaggeration of their usual behaviors. One dog has grown clingy, the other withdrawn. Meanwhile, the cats have taken to hunting, leaving the body parts of small animals on the doorstep each morning.

I understand how they must feel with their territorial boundaries in flux, their sleeping spots usurped. But my patience reaches its limit when their distress leads to an unfortunate scent around the home, traceable to what is politely described as “elimination problems.” Something must be done.

In less forgiving times the solution for such unruly pets was to send them to the “farm” (to which my frisky Labrador retriever was dispatched in 1968, never to return). But these days, our pets are as much members of the family as our children are, and there’s no shortage of experts ready to offer advice, from trainers to behaviorists to “animal communicators.”

It’s this last category that intrigues me. I grew up watching Lassie (“I think she’s trying to tell us something”), and I need someone to help me get inside my animals’ heads and figure out what they need from me.

That’s exactly what animal communicators do, says Penelope Smith, who has been one since the 1970s and is the author of Animal Talk and When Animals Speak. “We’re born with the ability to communicate telepathically with animals, but it’s socialized out of us,” she says. Communicators are more tuned in to those abilities than the rest of us. With practice, many say they can hone their skills to the point where they can even work with animals over the phone.

It sounds far-fetched, but I am desperate. So I place a call to Kate Solisti-Mattelon. Based in Boulder, where I live, she and her energy healer husband, Patrice Mattelon, have been communing with animals professionally for nearly a decade. Kate is the author of the Conversations with Dog (and Cat and Horse) series. I ask for a home visit so she can meet the animals face to face.

First, there’s Sherlock the high-strung sheltie, who spends his time alternately sleeping, trying to herd me, or looking at me forlornly, in need of something he can’t articulate. Then there’s Lily, the smooth collie mix from the pound, who’s skittish around doorways, men, and golden retrievers. Lily’s anxiety has escalated to the point where she’ll only rest when she’s by my side. Neither dog will eat or play unless I watch, and both ooze apprehension.

While we’re on the phone, Kate tells me to speak to each animal and tell them, “Kate is coming to talk to you.” Lily listens attentively, Sherlock averts his gaze, the cats ignore me, and the kids think I’m nuts.

If I’m nuts, I tell them, then so was Saint Francis of Assisi, a plastic statue of whom stands in my backyard surrounded by tennis balls and chewed bones, and who is the most well-known animal communicator besides perhaps Dr. Dolittle. “All good animal communicators use telepathy, intuition, sensing, and feeling to understand each animal from the inside out,” Kate says.

I explain to Kate the situation that has five animals and six humans commingling in a small space. I tell her the names, ages, and stories of how each animal came into the family, but I focus on Lily, a dog born in puppy-mill country, fostered as a baby, and adopted, then relinquished within a year for reasons she’s not telling.

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+ add your own
4:02PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Awesome, ty.

4:00PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Awesome, ty.

3:59PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Awesome, ty.

3:57PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Awesome, ty.

6:49PM PDT on May 23, 2011

I talk to all my pets but, the dogs & cats more!! The dogs & cats are most demanding....give me attention, where's my food...almost always under my feet to the point at times of causing an for sleeping in, forget it....they have me where they want me.....and, honestly I wouldn't want it any other way!!! BTW, when I'm upset or not feeling well....they sense this & stay quietly by my side....they are my comfort & joy!!

6:24PM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

Thanks for reminding me. I am an empath and have a dog and a cat that don't et along. Due to the new schedule of getting up before 7 (instead of sleeping to 8) to walk the dog because me partner cant's walk well and the animosity between the cat and dog and other things... I have forgotten to take time to listen to them both unless they demand it.

9:54PM PST on Mar 5, 2010

I've always talked to animals (my pets or not) & they do have their own way of talking back...if they choose to! ;) If an animal lives with you or you are familiar with it, you can carry on a fairly normal conversation. (Altho I can't vouch for my neighbors' agreement ;)

5:13PM PST on Feb 27, 2010

My cats have always been able to communicate with me although this pair of litter siblings tend to be less talkative. However, I have rarely got such clear pictures.

10:33AM PST on Feb 27, 2010

Animals are so sweet i like cat, parrot and dog i have cat and parrot in my hom. if they could speak they would say why are all people considering money on every other thing they will say why we fight for food why humans love money.

1:00PM PST on Feb 26, 2010

GR8 poste, there is a lot of interestings information here but to correct one minor details, Animals DO talk, but the language and accents are not the same as ours because they have their own skills of communication. Some animals (like dogs, cats, wolves and several others) respond to some humain words and commands, they also tell us when they are hungry, content, or need to use the John. It takes time to learn this but it is worth the effort.

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