Fido barks incessantly at visitors, even when he knows them. Bella the cat often mistakes the rug for a litter box. Your parakeet seems depressed. You don’t have to bark back at your pets. Instead, contact your local animal communicator (also sometimes known as a pet psychic – though most communicators prefer not to be addressed as psychics). These equivalents of Dr. Doolittle are experiencing an increase in demand as pet owners seek to cure behavior problems in their animal friends. Prices range from $50 to $200 an hour, but for those who really want to get along with their pets, no price is too high to pay.
I recently spoke with Janet Ridgeway, an animal communicator based in Syracuse, N.Y., about her unique job. Even though she lives in Central New York, Ridgeway has traveled the country, from Florida to California, teaching classes and helping pets and their people become better acquainted.
Miranda Marquit: When did you first realize that you had this gift?
Janet Ridgeway: I’ve always been able to understand animals. Watching Disney movies really reinforced the idea that animals have personalities. It was very real to me. I thought all people could hear them, but I thought people were dismissive of them, as they were with children. My friends knew about it, and I was the person that when everyone goes out of town for Christmas, I have 14 animals with me.
MM: How do you speak to animals? Can anyone do it?
JR: I hear words in my head or see images. Sometimes it’s like watching a movie in my head. It’s a matter of learning to raise you [spiritual] vibration. It’s learning to develop telepathy. What you focus on is what you get. You must learn to be quiet in mind and receive. Most people just don’t believe that if you talk to an animal that it will talk back. You have to be aware of the energy and signals you are sending as well as receiving.
MM: Does this help change unwanted behaviors in animals?
JR: It helps people understand why an animal is doing something. Your response makes all the difference. People have to shift selves and energy or it won’t help. Find out why this is happening, and then changes can be made to improve the quality of life between people and animals. I teach modification models in my classes.
MM: When pets an their owners start a dialogue, there are probably some very funny things that come out. Do you have any stories?
JR: A woman brought me her dog. She also brought two friends along. The dog began talking to the woman, through me. After a while, the dog went under the table, as if uncertain of what to say next. The woman asked what it meant, and I told her that the dog was worried about saying something. She said that the dog could tell her anything, and she wouldn’t be mad. So the dog said, “You wear your pants too high.” She started arguing with the dog, with me acting as intermediary. The dog went over to one of the friends she brought with her and put his paws in her lap. The dog said, through me, to this lady’s friend, “You tell her.” So the friends admitted that they thought she wore her pants too high. “You couldn’t tell me?” she said. “I had to find out from my dog!”
MM: So sometimes you have to relay difficult information.
JR: I think, Oh my god! Do I have to tell them that? I had one couple whose dog thought they should have sex more often and in better places than just on the bed.