Animals communicate in many, many different ways. Everyone has communicated in some way with a dog by simply clapping one’s hands or simply whistling, but according to some, telepathically communicating with animals is a reality. Sonya Fitzpatrick makes a living communicating with animals, telepathically. She claims to communicate with animals through thoughts, feelings and desires where no known scientific laws exist to explain the phenomena.
Others, question the ability for telepathic communication with animals, like Bryan Farha, a known skeptic and author of the essay, Stupid “Pet Psychic” Tricks: Crossing Over with Fifi and Fido on the Animal Planet Network. While everyone agrees communication via hand jesters, noise and sight communication exists between humans and animals, it ends there with regards to everyone’s belief on communicating with animals. After reading these two experts opinions on telepathic abilities, leaves one to wonder if some can truly telepathically communicate with animals.
Sonya Fitzpatrick’s essay The Turtle Jean Lafitte: Adventures of a Pet Psychic definitely lends itself to making one believe that communicating with animals is not only a possibility but a reality. The story is quite compelling. Fitzpatrick is the host of the television show Pet Psychic which is aired on the cable channel, Animal Planet (76). She also has an ad featured on Discovery. com about her services of communicating with animals (172). Fitzpatrick believes she can hear what animals around her are thinking or trying to communicate. She also communicates with animals that have passed.
Her passion is people’s pets. Her process includes asking the pets questions and then telepathically receives their responses, in turn she relays this information to the animal’s owner. She typically caries on a dialog between the animal and its owner. Sonya Fitzpatrick’s example from her friend’s pet turtle, Jean Lafitte, that communicated he was dying from being very sad and that his aquarium tank was too small; to a laundry list of other things that the turtle requested, causes one to begin believe, if they were not a believer previously that Sonya does have the ability to communicate with this turtle.
When Sonya’s friend, Pat, did as Sonya had said the turtle asked, the turtle improved. Additionally, Sonya discusses the goldfish that the turtle requested because he was lonely, only to find out that the turtle had tricked her in to getting the goldfish for a wonderful afternoon meal. Brian Farha, contrary to Sonya Fitzpatrick, has written numerous essays that are crital of the extraordinary claims of psychics and others. (75) He is a professor in the Department of Behavioral Studies and Counseling Psychology at Oklahoma City University. He has appeared on the National Geographic Channel program Is It Real? o provide a skeptical perspective on claims of telephathic communications between humans and animals. (76)
Brian Farha’s essay, Stupid “Pet Psychic” Tricks: Crossing Over with Fifi and Fido on the Animal Planet Network begins by attacking Sonya Fitzpatrick’s claims as a communicator with animals telepathically. Brian first discusses a Psychics ability based on prior knowledge, or knowing things based on conversation. His first discusses the llama named “Tony”. While Sonya was clear to point out the Tony had behavioral issues and the owner confirmed these statements, one would begin to accept Sonya’s abilities.
Now enter, Brian Farha, the skeptic. Brian quickly points out that just before Sonya’s telepathic revelation, Tony jerked and flailed noticeably (77). Could anyone have concluded that the llama had behavioral issues or does it really take a psychic to determine a jerking and flailing llama has behavioral issues? Nevertheless, the owner, as well as the audience watching the show, wants to believe she did communicate with the llama and it was Sonya who discovered this great (or not so great) trait of Tony. Brian’s second example dealing with two dogs named Percy and Bogie.
Sonya’s questioning of some medication that one of the dogs was taking caused a response by the owner of it was for an ear infection. Brian is quick to point out that if the dog really communicated telepathically with Sonya, why did he not just tell her he had an ear ache and was taking medication for it? Another comment Brian made about “Bonnie” the dog was that prior to Sonya’s first comment, the dog was growling and snarling. (77) Sonya was quick to comment that, “She’s a talker”. Duh? Brian then discusses the Psychics ability to making the obvious seem telepathic in nature. He uses Sonya communication with two cats.
Sonya asking the owner if one of the cats crawls under things. (77) To the amazement of the owner and the audience, the owner responds with yes, that both cats enjoy going under the covers. Brian is simply looking for individuals to look at the big picture. What cat doesn’t crawl under things? Sonya provides another example of this when “Bonnie”, one of the cats, allegedly asks why its owner not wants it on her sometimes. Brian, again, simply wants people to see the obvious. Every cat owner pushes their cat off their lap at some point and time during the day to be able to get things done like cooking, working on a computer, etc.
Brian goes a step further to make the statement that he should have possibly labeled this category, “Duh. ” instead of the obvious. Brian discusses a third category he calls “Making it fit”, where he shows that Sonya discusses a cat named Joy that had run away. Sonya’s first question, “When did you [owner] change a floor in your house? [no response]. Or a carpet? ” The owner responds with, “We just cleaned our carpet. ” (78). Brian points out that when Sonya did not get a response to her question, Sonya adjusts her question to a broader fit, causing the whole message of a floor being changed to simply a carpet being cleaned.
Brian further states that if an individual wants to believe in Sonya, they will accept what she is saying and cause the answers to fit the telepathic responses. Brian’s final category called, “Comforting Themes”, discusses Sonya’s use of things we all want to here. During a show on a single day, Sonya made the following comments to owners who pets had passed: “He loves you;” “He’s with you all the time;” “He comes around you a lot;” “She’s around you, darling;” “She didn’t suffer;” “She’s with you all the time.
Brian clearly points out that these all come from the old rule of fortune telling-“tell ‘em what they want to hear. ” (78). One example used was Sonya’s the dog named Willie that had to be put to sleep. Her response was that Willie reassured his owner, “…you did the right thing. ” (79) What else would the owner want to hear. Brian concludes that Sonya is resorting to fortune telling and psychic “tricks” that only appear new when done under the guise of communicating with animals. (79) Brian even challenges Sonya to the Million Dollar Psychic Challenge and states the obvious that television is about the money and ratings.
It is this type of programming that truly does sell. He further states that even if Sonya does not want the money, she could donate it to some well known cause like a human society or other animal cause. While it is clear that both Sonya Fitzpatrick and Brian Farha have compelling arguments as to whether telepathic communication between individuals and animals exists, it is up to the person’s own beliefs, as there is no scientific proof offered by either’s essay as to the existence or non-existence of this type of communication.
What everyone is agreement on is that individuals can communicate with animals to some degree, but to truly know if one can or cannot telepathically communicate is still unknown. It is clear that those who have lost animals and those who want answers to how their animals feel, do want to believe in Fitzpatrick’s abilities. Those that are skeptical have a strong case that telepathically it is not possible to communicate with their pets. To believe or to not believe is an individual’s choice and one that should not be questioned by others.