THE PET WHISPERER: Laura Stinchfield talks with animals telepathically. She’s always had a gift for getting along with animals, and she eventually decided to examine it, cultivate it, and devote her life to it. “My mind translates their physical sensations, thoughts, pictures, and feelings into words,” she explained. Stinchfield helps pet owners all over the world (she’s especially popular in Japan) solve behavioral problems and even works with veterinarians to shine light on an emotional issue or unexplained malaise. She generously shares her knowledge and skills, giving explicit instructions for communicating with one’s pets — it involves visualization, positive suggestion, patience, reasonableness, and a willingness to listen — which a lot of people say have also improved their relationships with coworkers, family members, and other humans. Stinchfield lives in Ojai with a small menagerie that contributes regularly to her very entertaining and illuminating weekly column in The Santa Barbara Independent, Our Pet Psychic. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Bert Show, and on major metropolitan-area morning shows; Time Warner Cable did a segment on her work; and her next large speaking engagement is at the Wholistic Expo in San Diego on August 24.