Polly Doesn’t Want a Cracker. Sonya Fitzpatrick Should Know: She’s the Pet Psychic
Move over, John Edward. Red Rover’s comin’ through.
The Pet Psychic is here. Watch it with your dogs, cats or critters.
Sonya Fitzpatrick of The Woodlands connects with a feathered friend on The Pet Psychic on Animal Planet. From rabbits and dogs to a 500-pound alligator, Fitzpatrick lends an ear to animals and their human companions.
Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Woodlands’ own Dr. Dolittle, is now a weekly regular on Animal Planet. The first of 13 episodes produced in Washington, D.C., premiered June 3, and Animal Planet reports good ratings and mostly positive feedback from an “interested but still skeptical” audience.
Nothing sells like a good dog story — that’s a rule as old as the news biz. And if that’s still true, I predict Fitzpatrick could become the guilty pleasure of animal lovers everywhere, skeptics and believers alike.
She’s a TV natural, and her show is a smooth mix of appealing animals and adoring owners, most of whom express amazed agreement with her explanations of their pets’ pet peeves and problems. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) should make her their poster girl.
In the premiere, she did her thing face-to-face in the studio, on the road and from the spirit world. And her animal guests seemed remarkably ready to hold up their end of those conversations.
“Can Sonya find out the horrible secret that this horse has hidden for years?” boomed an offstage voice.
Sonya could and did. That poor horse was on his way to becoming horse meat when his current owner bought him and made him a Hollywood star.
Hershey, a skittish dog, told Fitzpatrick that her owners adopted her from a shelter and she was afraid they wouldn’t let her stay. “Do you ever let her wear a bandanna around her neck?” Fitzpatrick asked them. Yes, they did. “Well, she likes it and wants to wear it all the time. And she wants to know if she’s going to have another change of food. This food makes her (scratchy, as Sonya demonstrated).” By then, Hershey was cuddling up to Sonya like a lap robe.
Why did Oscar the mynah bird terrify Missy the dog? “He’s jealous,” Sonya translated for that mismatched pair’s mistress. “But he’ll stop diving at Missy if you sing and play the piano for him every day. He loves music.”
“I do play the piano and sing,” their mistress declared.
In a studio full of cats and dogs — all amazingly well-behaved — three sad rabbits confessed to grieving over a brother bunny who died of cancer, and being upset because their rabbit house was too clean to suit them. In a separate segment, pets that have passed on reconnected with their tearful owners.
The weirdest came last — Sonya’s first-ever chat with a 500-pound alligator at a Florida gator park. Trainer Tim Williams was upset because Pop, his onetime best gator pal, had been giving him the cold shoulder. Pop unburdened his soul, telling Sonya he was sick and tired of of eating chicken instead of red meat. If his menu changed, he’d perform and be pals again. That remedy worked, Williams reported.
This kind of thing does, indeed, require a large leap of faith. Not to mention an explanation of what on earth would make anyone claim to talk with animals.
Fitzpatrick moved here from England some years ago, and she has grown children and lives in The Woodlands with husband Dennis, four cats and seven dogs. She became a pet psychic seven years ago, because, she has said, St. Francis told her to do this work.
In 1997, she wrote a book, What Animals Tell Me. Since the publication of her book, people from all over the world have been paying her to talk to their animals.
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle TV Critic