Well, pets are continually sending signals to their owners and we just have to try to understand them, animal communicator Barbara Martin informed the Kiwanis Club at its luncheon last week.
"We are intuitive beings and animals are, too," Martin said. "We think of a friend, then we'll get an e-mail from them, or a phone call or run into them. We send out thoughts."
With our animals, we might come home from work and get busy fixing dinner, notions flitting through our brains. One of these thoughts might be: "I'll take the dog for a walk." The dog perceives it and gets excited. Then we get busy and forget about the walk. Poor dog! No wonder he's sad.
"Animals are talking to each other all the time," Martin said, meaning domesticated animals. "They don't understand why we don't talk back to them."
They understand our emotions, and they definitely know if it is a weekday or a weekend when they will get more attention.
If they send us thoughts - like, let's take a walk! - and we aren't paying attention, they may (1) go to sleep, (2) get out the leash, or (3) act out. And this is when people call Martin.
"I've gone through lots of training with other communicators," she said, and she's helped thousands of pet owners. "I facilitate the conversation for you."
She works mainly with dogs, cats and horses, and said she is 90 percent accurate.
She told the story of an 8-year-old Danville lab that seemed depressed; also he was taking the pillows off the living room couch each day and carrying them through his dog door and out into the back yard.
"For 45 minutes, I talked to the animal," Martin said. "They had three sons and one had left. The animal thinks he died."
The family gives Martin all the information ahead of time and then before a telephone appointment, she goes into a meditative state and communicates with the animal. She sees their thoughts in words and pictures. This dog also asked: What happened to his toys?
Martin told the family to explain to the dog that the son was only away at college and would be returning. And it turned out the family had remodeled and put the dog toys into the garage, so they made them accessible once again. They also began to walk the dog once a day. At last report, the dog was only disturbing the pillows once a month.
Martin said it is important for us to keep our animals informed when we go on vacation - tell them in sunsets when we'll return - and about changes in our lives that affect them. She has worked with abandoned horses and dogs and says horses are the saddest when being moved. If you adopt an animal, be sure to say, "My intention is we'll always be together." Dogs love to be walked every day and to be touched. And dogs and cats want a fresh bowl of water every day.
"Animals are super loyal," Martin noted. They don't tell her family secrets such as if a divorce may be in the works.
One family called for help with their poodle who kept defecating in the teenage daughter's room, or right outside if they closed the door.
"It turns out there was a problem," Martin said. "The parents were in denial. The 16-year-old was depressed and sad - these were unspoken things - and there were dangerous things she was up to."
Martin remembers working in the computer industry in the mid-90s and hearing Bill Gates predict to a disbelieving audience that in five years everyone would put their Web addresses in their ads. She now predicts that in five years, animal communication will be a household phrase. It is soon to become a "field of study" at some universities although scientists are finding it harder to accept, she said.
"Keep an open mind," Martin advised the Kiwanis members after lunch at Round Hill Country Club. "Your animals will appreciate it. They deserve the opportunity to talk."
--Dolores Fox Ciardelli can be e-mailed at editor@DanvilleWeekly.com.