Talking to the Animals With Sonya Fitzpatrick
October 23, 2002
Can humans actually communicate with animals? Can we know what animals are feeling? Sonya Fitzpatrick, a modern day Dr. Doolittle thinks so. The Animal Planet’s Pet Psychic believes they communicate with pictures and feelings that they send telepathically to each other and to her.
Fitzpatrick was online Thursday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. EDT, to take your questions and comments about your pets, including not only dogs and cats, but snakes, llamas, ducks, camels, and horses and birds. Author of “What the Animals Tell Me,” Fitzpatrick provides private consultations to animals and their owners around the world and is also actively involved in rescuing and assisting lost, abandoned and sick animals. She resides in Houston with her husband , her four cats (Abbie, Dante, Molly and Polly) and her seven dogs (Daisy, Foxy, Honey, Elle, Sally, Sabrina and Sammy).
The Pet Psychic airs on Animal Planet on Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT.
The transcript follows. Editor’s Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.
Washington, D.C.: What got you interested in being a pet psychic?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: It wasn’t a question of being interested. It happened. I was born with the gift as a little girl. I could hear the animals but I was with a hearing loss. The animals could always hear me and I thought everybody could do what I was doing. You don’t think you’re any different when you’re a child. Then I had three pet geese and I came home one Sunday and they were on the table for dinner. After that I closed down and didn’t talk to animals in that special way until about seven years ago.
I then came to America and left my dog and cat at home and I suddenly started to talk to animals once again in that special way. Then, suddenly everybody wanted me to talk to their animals and sort their problems out.
Washington, D.C.: My eldest cat (one of five) has been blind since birth. I’m curious as to whether the others know he’s blind, and also whether he knows it himself.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Because he has never had sight, to him we know what blind is but the animals adapt very easily and the other cats will be aware of it.
Greeley, Colo.: One of our Cairn Terrier dogs is very neurotic and likes to hide under a cedar chest we have; her name is Ceilidh. She tries to stay there all the time and is afraid of many other things, specially a large group of people or children. I think her neurosis is getting worse, can you help her? She has been living with us since she was 4-5 months old and she is now five years old.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: All animals have a network of nerves under the skin and some dogs nerves are closer to the surface of the skin, so that whenever there’s noise or people around they get shocks, like static electricity, and it frightens them. Acknowledge that the dog is sensing this. She’s hypersensitive and feels these shocks. When people move, they feel the shocks (electricity). She literally will feel the vibration. She needs a lot of loving and understanding. Tell her you understand how she feels. Explain to the dog that this is something that cannot be helped. Transmit a sense of calmness to the dog. Get down to the dog on her level and explain what is happening. She’s going away for her own protection.
Washington, D.C.: Where do animals go when they die?
I’ve heard Jonathan Edwards “speaking” with those who have crossed over, he claims they have favorite pets with them. Can you communicate with dead pets as well?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: On my show I do that all the time as you know. There are worlds within worlds when we pass over. Our spirits and and our souls leave the physical body and we go on to the spiritual realm. We don’t die, we go on to the spiritual realm, we go home. The same with animals. We all journey home. We’re all spiritual beings, having an animal and human experience. It’s only the physical body that dies. The consciousness goes on. The spirit travels on.
Washington, D.C.: Hello Sonya, I have a situation where my fiancee moved in with me and her cat and my cat are NOT getting along. My cat is 11 years old, overweight, kind of mellow and slow-moving. The newcomer is a younger, more lithe and athletic cat who has been hissing at mine whenever they meet each other. Would a pet psychic be able to help in this situation? Would they actually come to my house, or would I need to bring the cats in? At this point, I don’t think they’d be up for another trip in the cat carrier! Thanks.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: An animal communicator could be called and give advice as long as they have a picture of the pets. Give the cats time to adjust. And sometimes they need more time (6 — 12 months). It can take that long. When you talk to the cats, talk to them together. If you go to one, then go to the other. Remind the one that spits that the other cat has allowed him to come in. They’ll be putting their feelings out. Always treat them equally. If you buy one a new dish, buy the other a new dish. Treat them exactly the same. Tell them that you love them both and that they’re smart cats. Use a bit of psychology with them, just like two people.
Clemson, S.C.: I have recently had my two lovely puppies neutered, and I was wondering if they harbor any resentment towards me? If so how can I make them understand why I did it? Will they ever love me again?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: The puppies are not aware of what’s been done to them. They just know they’ve got a bit of discomfort. But they get over that. They don’t have an understanding of what’s been done. What they’ll never have they’ll never miss. Don’t worry about it. You did the right thing. As long as they’re loved and fed they’re happy. You did the right thing.
Virginia Fish Owner: Hello,
I have a fiesty Beta fish that I love very much and talk to when I can…can they hear us? Is it good to talk to fish?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Yes, they can hear you and they are very intelligent. Anything that has consciousness can understand and they can get pictures and they talk in the same way a dog would or a cat would.
D.C.: Have you ever “talked” with ferrets?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Yes, on my show. They’re very intelligent and make wonderful pets.
Alexandria, Va: Hi Sonya! I watch you on animal planet all the time…here is my question:
My 10 year old fox terrier is terrified of thunderstorms..that is not uncommon in dogs, but what I wonder is, when we are home, he will follow me around and basically, want to be where we are – on the bed, on the sofa, etc… if the storm occurs while we are out, he goes OUTSIDE (we have a doggy door) and hides under a bush. How could he possibly feel safer/less afraid outside in the pouring rain? Go figure. I have always wondered this and hope you can answer. Thank you!
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Because he’s right down on the soil. He doesn’t feel the electric impulses as much. The soil sort of “earths” him so that he doesn’t feel the electrical impulses so much. They sometimes dig out a hole and lie in it. When he walks around with you it makes him feel comforted by your presence just like we all do when we get scared. It reassures him that he’s not alone.
New Orleans, LA: I have two pugs, a fawn one and a black one. They get along extremely well, so well that I think they were related in a past incarnation. Maybe they were brothers or best friends in another time. Does this kind of animal spiritual connection really exist?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Yes, it does and humans too. It happens a lot.
Washington, D.C.: Can you read people’s minds too? If not, why not?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: I don’t bother with it. I don’t care to do it. Animals are less complicated and don’t carry as much baggage as humans do and they’re very honest. Humans do lie.
Capitol Hill: Sonya, Love your show. I have a four-year-old siamese cat. He’s alone most of the day and incredibly clingy and demanding of our attention when we come home from work. I’m dying to get him a little companion but he’s horribly frightened and aggressive to other cats and dogs. He starts fights with any animal he comes in contact with. Is there any hope he’d accept another cat into our household, or should we simply accept that he’s only-pet material?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Sometimes cats don’t like to be with other cats. Sometimes you do get a cat who likes to be on his own. Maybe you could get another type of animal. Just see what his response would be. It might be that he likes humans better. So try another kind of animal. Maybe some fish, something for him to watch.
Washington, D.C.: Have you ever been scientifically tested to determine the extent of your powers?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: No. I just know I do what I do and I don’t feel that’s necessary. I have a gift; I accept that gift and I’m very happy with the gift. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody scientifically. I’m grateful I can do what I do. It’s my experience and just because somebody doesn’t experience what I do doesn’t mean to say it’s not happening.
Arlington, Va.: You seem to empathize with the pets more than the people. Are you ever hesitant to tell people if the pets don’t like them?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Usually animal lovers love their pets. The only time is if someone moves into a home and doesn’t like animals that the animals sense and know it and I would tell the human companion that. Usually I only deal with people who are passionate about their animals.
Alexandria, Va.: Because you have such an in-depth knowledge of animals and their feelings I would be interested to know what you feel is the best way to train a pet? To what methods are pets (dogs specifically) most receptive and how do you personally train your pets?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Trainers come in to train the humans so that the humans know then how to train the animals. People should always be with their animals. (I’m untrainable. Ha Ha Ha.) Don’t ever send the dog away for training unless you’re with it.
Silver Spring, Md.: I believe that one of my cats that died, whom I loved and grieved for for years, will be back to be with me. How will I know that I have the “right” cat?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Often people ask that me that and worry about that. But that’s all arranged in the spiritual world, but you will get your animal back if you feel it that strongly. Sometimes animals may change their physical form to come back into the physical body.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Your cat is often with you and you’ll feel and sense its presence around you.
Bethesda, Md.: Hi, Four months ago, we adopted a five-year-old airedale whose owner gave him up. Two months ago, we also got an airedale puppy. The five-year-old has been through a lot, having changed homes and now having another dog around. How do I know if our five-year-old is happy with us and with his new “sibling?” I want him to do well with us. Thanks.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Give the older dog the job of looking after the younger dog. Let the older dog know. Make him feel important. Tell him that his help is needed. That makes him feel included, that he’s playing a role. Tell them how much you appreciate him looking after the puppy. Always make sure the puppy has his own things. Treat them alike all the time.
Adelphi, Md.: How do you deal with people who are critical of what you do and treat it with total disbelief?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: I don’t mind it at all. It doesn’t bother me one little bit. They have the right to think what they think. They have a right to be skeptical. I don’t need to defend myself. I’m not that insecure. I know I can do what I can do and they’re experience is just different than mine. Maybe they can do some things that I can’t do. Everybody’s different but that’s what makes the world go round.
Washington, D.C.: I have a one-year-old cat who I adopted when she was about three months old. I know nothing of her history before I adopted her. She is a very mellow, sweet natured kitty who follows me around everywhere, yet she shies away from me most of the time when I try to pet her. She also rarely purrs. What do you think is going on with her? Can I do anything to make her more affectionate?
Sonya Fitzpatrick: You can’t make a cat do anything and they’re all different. Accept her for the way she is. Love her the way she is. It doesn’t mean to say she doesn’t love her companion. She does. That’s what so intriguing about the cats, they’re all so different. Stop trying to make the cat do what you want it to do, just accept the cat for what she is.
Chambersburg, Pa.: My cat who is now 5-years-old was thrown away as a tiny kitten, she has been traumatized by this and gets scared so easily. How do I convince her that it’s okay when people come to visit, or all noises are not scary. I feel so sorry for her! We are very close and I talk to her all the time telling her that things are okay. she seems to understand that sometimes. But would like her to calm down and enjoy life! Thanks for your help and I really enjoy your show.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: It’s the static and noise and smell problem. When people come in, they sense a change in these things. Just reassure the cat that things are okay and let the cat go wherever it wants to go and say it’s okay.
Lorton, Va.: My malamute has to convalesce for two months while recovering from heartworm treatment. Any ideas to keep him from getting too bored? He isn’t interested in toys (although my border collie likes them). A friend told me that her dogs like watching Animal Planet, but I don’t have cable. All he really likes to do is eat and go running, and now the latter is forbidden.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: The dog is probably perfectly contented. With having another dog there he’s probably happy. Some dogs don’t need entertaining all the time. You obviously love your dogs very much. Accept him as he is. Not all dogs like to play with toys, some don’t.
Sonya Fitzpatrick: Everyone who’s written in with the questions obviously loves their pets. I would’ve liked to reply to everyone but unfortunately it’s overwhelming with the amount of people who write. Thank you for your questions and I really appreciate it. I hope I was able to give insight into how your animals think and feel.
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