Hearing and Being Heard

Talking with Animals

I get asked every day, “When did you first realize you could talk to animals?”

There are two stories I usually tell people when I hear this question. There is the story of my cat Juliett, who, once I pictured the sun rising and setting for as many days I would be away on vacation, never ignored me again upon my arrival home. Then there is the story of my German shepherd/coy dog, LaLa, and how she so clearly answered my question of, “Lala, how are you today?” with, “Mom, I am dying inside.” This exchange was on the day of my first animal communication workshop, and two months before she died of cancer. LaLa did not exhibit any physical signs of sickness until three days before she died.

Though I have earlier memories. I remember lying in my crib looking upward to Taffy, our family Yorki, who was being held by my mom. “You are so small,” was the feeling she gave me as she tilted her head back and forth. “What is that sweet thing?” I wondered, watching her eyes scan my body. I remember being a toddler and seeing deer for the first time. My mother was singing a French song and my dad held me in his arms. “Hi,” I whispered to the deer in the distance, as I tried to wave. At that moment, they lifted their heads from grazing and locked their eyes on mine. The little spotted ones stepped in my direction until their mothers herded them back.

At four years of age I heard, “Let me out of this cage!” from a parrot in a hotel lobby. “This is how you do it.” He explained, poking his beak at the cage latch. I stood on my tippy toes fiddling with the door. “Get your hand away from there,” my father yelled from the front desk. When I paused and turned my head the parrot screeched “Quick!” for me to continue. My small hand fumbled until my dad pulled it away. “He is going to bite your finger off. See the sign: ‘Don’t touch cage. Parrot bites.’” “Sorry,” I said to the parrot. “Hello. You’re pretty,” he answered out loud.

At five, I was petting a Dalmatian on his neck, under his chin. “I don’t like that” he said. He was soft there so I did it again. He bit me and I was rushed to the emergency room.

Then there were all the horses that told me to feed them molasses, which trail to take, or where they were in pain; and the barn cats that would show me where their treats were kept or that they needed fresh water.

At 12 years of age, I stood on the docks of a Florida bay. We had been fishing all morning with no luck. My friend told me she was an atheist. I was not sure of my beliefs so I tested God and screamed loudly with open arms, “If there is a God, where are the fish?” As far as the eye could see, fish immediately starting jumping high out of the water. Many even flopped onto the deck. I peed in my pants and rode my bike home. Twenty years later I was brave enough to tell the story for the first time. I said, “That is when I first believed in God.” My friend answered, “That doesn’t prove there is a God. That just proves you can talk to fish.”

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