Sonya Fitzpatrick: Darling of the Wild
David Nick Ybarra
“Hello, David. Darling, how are you?”
Her voice is an embrace that is warm and womanly. The words, silkily musical in shapes of violet, sparkles of silver in sunlight, are as instantly recognizable as the fragrance of fine French perfume.
I am calling from Los Angeles in an office that sits in the shadow of the Roosevelt Hotel, looking out the window at a car in the process of being towed away. A hot cup of coffee and a cold list of questions bridge the distance between my curiosity and the first sunrays waking the morning darkness off of the Hollywood Hills. It is 6:30AM here, but a timezone away, the lady whose number I have dialed has already been up for hours, busily working: in bed.
And what’s more: she isn’t alone.
Try not to be too shocked. This is her preferred “workspace,” to be sure, and though her profession is entirely reputable, her renown in her particular line of work requires such a comfortable environment and the company of her companions to accomplish what has earned her world famous celebrity as “The Pet Psychic.”
Sonya charms me immediately as she describes the canine retinue around her. I imagine a blonde Scarlet O’Hara with her suitors, perched comfortably in the center of a mammoth pillowscape.
Her bright British accent is like the orange peel zest in a southern marmalade-world she calls home, just outside of Dallas, Texas.
The author of two-best selling books on her psychic journey as an animal communicator and star of the ground breaking reality television series on the Animal Planet network, “The Pet Psychic,” Sonya Fitzpatrick is today the host of one of the most popular call-in shows on Sirius-XM Radio: “Animal Intuition.”
Her expertise as a reliable psychic and authentic animal communicator has made her not only a successful seminar lecturer and speaker on behalf of animal-rescue, pet-adoption and animal welfare organizations such as the ASPCA, it has also provided her a clientele that includes fellow celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Tori Spelling.
Between private phone sessions with animal lovers around the world and her hit radio show demands, Sonya is consulted on a variety of animal-related subjects including pet therapies, understanding animal behaviors and overcoming obstacles between animals and their human companions. She also specializes in connecting with animal spirits of beloved pets that have passed on. Her genuine psychic abilities with animals here and on ” the other side” are famously verified by those she has consulted, and praised by those comforted for nearly 20 years as “The Pet Psychic.”
Originally born and raised in England, Sonya discovered her ability to communicate with animals at an early age. Encouraged by her grandmother to cultivate her gift, it was also revealed to the young girl that she had inherited a great psychic ability. Indeed, Sonya’s grandmother helped her to understand the complexity and challenges of being psychic, warning her to be careful of whom she told about her special abilities.
Making friends with animals came naturally to her. Raised on a farm in the country, she was surrounded by a multitude of farm life. Upon the dinner table demise of a trio of geese she had raised from eggs, Sonya turned her back on her psychic gifts and animal communication skills. She turned to the city, where, at 17, she moved to London and pursued a successful career in fashion. She earned an enviable reputation as a top fashion model throughout Europe. On runways and on television, she modeled the designs for some of the major designers, most notably for Norman Hartnell, the influential British designer who was the Royal Dressmaker to HM The Queen, HM Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth II.
Shortly after a move to the U.S. in 1991, Sonya was inspired to awaken her dormant psychic talents and share her gift of animal communication with the world. She caught the attention of the TV network Animal Planet and, after critical testing of her abilities, was welcomed as the host of her own highly successful TV series: The Pet Psychic. A pair of books followed based on her abilities, What The Animals Tell Me and Cat Talk: The Secrets of Communicating With Your Cat.
Today, she hosts the top call-in radio show “Animal Intuition” on Sirius-XM Radio and is working on a number of projects including a new television series and her third book: about animals in the afterlife.
In private conversation, Sonya is as engaging and articulate as she appears on television and radio. If pets and other animals find it easy to communicate with her, she is truly an irresistible conversationalist with humans. The same woman who removed her trademark leopard print scarf and suddenly wrapped it around one ornery llama’s neck in a famous episode of Animal Planet’s “The Pet Psychic,” thereby quickly calming and charming him, is as magically effective and marvelously unpredictable in conversation.
Playful and graceful, she balances her identity as a serious communicator with the polish and wit suited to her rare personality. I relished being refetTed to as “darling” in her British Tallulah Bankhead style, and found myself energized and inspired by the end of our interview.
This is Sonya Fitzpatrick: “Darling of The Wild.”
Let’s start with your transition from TV to satellite radio stardom. Has your transition from television to radio been an easy or natural transition?
I’m the top rated call-in show on Sirius XM. I get l0,000 people an hour trying to call in. We do it once a week, on a Tuesday night, and we get more calls, darling, than Howard Stern! I can’t even have any guests on because everyone wants me to talk to their animals. I love it.
It’s so easy, radio, but I have got another TV show in the works – and another book, too. The new TV show is a completely different series than what I did on Animal Planet, and it’s a different network, actually. I can’t say too much about it, except that I’m just keeping my fingers crossed, David.
Well, you can count my fingers crossed, too, then.
Thank you so much. I’m really excited about it.
You don’t seem daunted by the challenge of mounting another TV series. In fact, I’d say you’ve always been inspired by the challenges that you’ve overcome from early on. I’d read you were actually born deaf, and that rather shocked me …
I was born with very severe hearing loss. My parents didn’t realize I was deaf for a long time. I can hear well now because I have incredible bearing aids – which are the little tiny ones that fit it in the ear. Without them, it’s very difficult to pick up words unless people are very close to me.
My parents found out I was deaf when I didn’t start using verbal language until I was four, four and a half- – which is late for a child to start speaking – and they learned then that I had a hearing loss.
Do you think that had you been able to communicate with full hearing that you would have still been able to tap into the language of the animals? I mean, maybe your intuition to the language of the animals was heightened because your understanding of human verbal communication was not.
Having a hearing loss made the big difference towards me speaking the animals language easier and more naturally because it wasn’t dependent on a communication that required hearing with ears. I think possibly, I would have been able to communicate with the animals even with full hearing because I was born extremely psychic. My grandmother was psychic and so I inherited that gift. I used to talk to people that had passed over, I remember, very young. Interestingly enough, my granddaughter, who is 8 years old, is brilliant at communicating with animals and has the same gift that I have.
I was around animals from the time I was born. I was raised in the country and we always had dogs, chickens, and pigs around. My uncles were farmers in the same village and I used to spend a great deal of time at their homes, as well. Because of that closeness to animals, I was communicating with them very early. I thought everybody did it, you know.
Were your inherited psychic abilities encouraged by your family or something they preferred stayed dormant?
As a child, people didn’t understand the gift. Adults can’t handle it and they really can’t help the child to understand it either. This is common. Often, if you get a child that is psychic in a family that really doesn’t understand anything about it, then that child can really suffer. They’ll tell the child, “Oh, it’s just your imagination,” you know. Then, unfortunately, that child grows up and loses that psychic ability. But I was fortunate in that my grandmother helped me tremendously to know what was happening to me. My grandmother always had this incredible gift. She used to get a lot of things in dream-state but she didn’t talk about it to other people. Within the family we knew, but she didn’t talk about it ever outside of the family because – as you well know, even today – there are some good psychics and some not-so-good psychics out there. Plus there are a lot of people – particularly in different religions – who think psychics are evil. In England, we have a very different outlook but even in those days my grandmother always kept it to herself. As a little girl, I could just go to her and ask her about it, and she would always tell me or tell me how to handle things.
Also, as a child, I was dyslexic and in those days it was very hard for children who were dyslexic to be at school. Instead of learning like the other children, I would spend my time talking to animals because they would make me feel so much better. I bad 3 geese that I raised from tiny eggs and they used to come to school with me and leave me at the school gate. Then, shortly before school was over, they would leave the field, come up the road, and wait outside the school gate until I came out.
People used to say, “How do they know when she’ll be let out?” And I would think, “Well, of course I’m telling them what time I’ll be out of school! That’s why they’re coming to meet me.” As I got a bit older, I began to realize that no, other people can’t talk to animals. I thought everybody could. My grandmother was the one who told me, “You have a unique gift. You have the same gift as me.” She also warned me, early on, “Before very careful of what you say, Sonya, because they’ ll put you in a nuthouse. They don’t understand what you understand. Because they don’t experience it and feel it and sense it, they don’t believe what they can’t see with the physical eye and touch with the hand.”
I was so fortunate to have such an incredible grandmother, really, who understood and helped me to understand this gift.
Is there a difference between the types of communication of animal spirits versus human-spirits, you’ve found?
Animals communicate on a higher level of consciousness. They’ve really taught me everything I know. In life and in the after-life; they are loving. I think that’s the most wonderful tiling about animals and animal-spirits: they love unconditionally. Just think about the animals that you know: they’re tremendously trusting, incredibly forgiving and extremely loyal. Those qualities don’t change in animals that have passed over.
I work with spirit guides when I do animal healing. I have a doctor that helps me that’s in the spirit world, I have a vet that helps me from the other side. I’m very particular about the guides; I don’t just let anybody come in and work with me.
You communicate with animals that have already crossed over?
That is 50 percent of my business. When I did the show on Animal Planet, they did a section where I spoke to animals that had passed over. When peoples’ animals have died, it’s just the physical bodies that dies. The animal’s spirit never dies and in fact they’re often around you. You simply no longer see them with the physical eye; you feel and sense them.
I believe in reincarnation and I know that I’ve been in many animal forms in past lives. I know that when we die, t11e physical body dies. We then go home to the other side. There’s no death, really. So, whenever animals or people “come through,” the first thing I feel is peace and love. One foot’s in the spirit world and one foot’s here. All I feel is peace, love and joy.
Are animal spirits ever angry, bitter or resentful the way some human-spirits are alleged to be in the afterlife?
Never, never, never. Animals are so forgiving and so loving. Animals don’t get into that junk that people do. They don’t have guilt or regret. That’s why I prefer working with animals. I mean, I can do psychic readings but people get into so much junk and they create so much around them themselves. It’s a joy to work with animals. When you start working with people, it’s a different scenario altogether.
Is the blessing you have ever a burden?
I never think of it as a burden. Obviously, I get very emotional about animals because when I’m talking to animals, I’m feeling what they feel and what they’re going through. I love talking to them, sorting out their problems between them and their human companions.
You live with animals, I assume …
I have 16 animals that live with me.
Tell me about the most unusual animal that lives there?
I have 3 frogs I saved from a Walmart: “Billy, “Tommy” and “Alfred .” I went in to Walmart one day and they had these little tiny water frogs for sale. The frogs were suffocating and so many of them had already died that my heart went out to them. So, I picked them off the shelf, got a tank and all the things I’d need for them to survive and brought them home. As I was at the check-out line with these 3 frogs, the checker said, “Oh, you don’t want those. They’re nearly dead.” I just looked at her and said, “Well, actually, I’m hoping to save their lives.” Today, they live in a tank right in my kitchen.
You also have an intuitive sense of style and flare that comes across attractively in your professional endeavors. I mean you’ re the most stylish psychk out there! Surely that must come from your training as a fashion model…
Yes, I think very much so. In another day, I used to model for The Queen’s couturier , Norman HarUlell. In those days, Norman used to stand at the door and you bad to arrive looking like a model. He would be waiting to see that your makeup was already on and you were dressed properly because when you were out on the street, you were representing him and his collection. If you forgot to wear your pearls as you walked over the doorstep at 8 o’clock in the morning, he would look at you and say, “Girls, girls, where are your pearls?” You would never be able to cross that threshold and enter the showroom without your pearls on. If you didn’t have your pearls on, be would send you away and say, “Don’t ever come again without your pearls. I want to see them on in the morning.” I earned great grounding there. I didn’t earn any money when I worked for him because many debutantes were working for him, as well, and they didn’t need money because their families kept them. I came from a middle class family and my father worked very hard, and he believed that you should work for yourself and stand on your own two feet. Though, I certainly didn’t get any financial help when I worked for Norman and I certainly didn’t earn any money either, what I did earn was a solid grounding.
I must tell you that I searched for and studied critical analyses of your work and it was impressive to discover not a single negative experience or negative critique of your abilities as a psychic. So often, psychics who have made a name for themselves in mainstream culture have as much praise for their skills as they do skeptics who denounce their abilities. Sonya Fitzpatrick’s reputation is stellar.
Thank you for doing that, looking into me. I really appreciate that I work from a place of honesty and truth. I don’t make things up. My integrity is intact. If I don’t get something, I say to people, “I’m sorry, I’m not getting that.” Very rarely does that happen, but I think it’s very important to stay truthful and tell people exactly what the animals are telling me, even though it’s not always what people want to hear. Often, I give people what they don ‘l want to hear because I am honest and straight, but I try to do it in a nice way.
It was very hard when I came to America because a lot of people would laugh when they fotmd out I was an animal communicator and psychic. It wasn’t tmtil I got the television show that those people began to reconsider. Believe you me; before I got that show I had to prove myself to Animal Planet over and over again because they didn’t want someone that wasn’t genuine, that couldn’t do what they said they could
do. Once I got the show, it changed completely and people began to have great respect for me.
You work a lot, but what’s your idea of “the perfect weekend”?
My perfect weekend is having no people around me and just being at home with my animals. I love it with my cats and my dogs – and now, as I’m talldng to you, I have 7 animals on my bed! I do telephone conversations with people from all over the world and whenever I work, the animals are always with me. I lay on the bed, working, a telephone to my ear, and I communicate all over the world, just like this. I think I have the best job in the world.
What would’ve become of Sonya Fitzpatrick had she not developed and later shared her psychic abilities and animal communication gifts?
I think, darling, that I would’ve probably have been an interior designer. I love homes, I love interior design, I love to put a lot of character into a bouse. That’s what I’d love to do ifl wasn’t doing this. But I love what I do – absolutely love it – talking to animals is the best job in the world! And they talk to me – that’s what the great thing is: they talk to me.