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Heart to Heart Pea Horsley Read the heartwarming story of Pea Horsley, the UK’s first professional animal communicator, as she tracks lost animals, tackles troublesome pets and helps people to truly understand their devoted friends.Pea Horsley never set out to be an animal psychic, so you can imagine her surprise when she realised that animals could talk, and that she could hear them.Heartwarming and funny, Pea describes how she learnt to harness her powers and, in doing so, the incredible characters that she meets - on two legs and four! Pea tells how she saved Musgo the horse who was unable to recover from a past trauma, helped a client find her reincarnated puppy, and the wonderful story of Mono the dog and his owner, Mike. Mono had saved Mike’s life, so when the vet told Mike that Mono was so ill that there was no hope, Mike refused to give up on him. Pea came to the rescue to help Mono tell Mike what he needed to survive.Pea’s immense compassion and love of animals has allowed her to help so many animals in need and to celebrate the unconditional love and devotion that our closest friends bring to our lives. Incredible and heartwarming stories from the woman who talks with animals Heart to Heart PEA HORSLEY Copyright (#ulink_994d0972-2265-537d-832d-0fd2ff03a88e) HarperElement An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) First published by HarperElement 2010 © Pea Horsley 2010 Pea Horsley asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library While every effort has been made to trace the owners of copyright material reproduced herein and secure permissions, the publishers would like to apologise for any omissions and will be pleased to incorporate missing acknowledgements in any future edition of this book. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books. HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication. Source ISBN: 9780007326600 Ebook Edition © DECEMBER 2012 ISBN 9780007516186 Version:2015-06-22 Dedication (#ulink_35ff220f-42ca-5acd-a586-4117187740ea) This book is dedicated to Morgan, a pure-bred mutt of questionable beagle heritage. He changed my life. Now he may change yours. Contents Cover (#ucd8e9b7c-bc8f-5324-912e-15d4ce533f70) Title Page (#uad8ad0b5-352c-53fd-bc31-49983d09ab86) Copyright (#uae9bfd48-d186-5ddc-abef-f25692e49dcc) Dedication (#u3afc6484-45b3-5c6b-8f04-e398feaf01bd) Foreword (#uced68d87-eac3-551a-8fbf-06e084343b27) Introduction (#ucab10f98-20f4-50d9-924c-47bd5402f563) 1. Intuition Ignited (#u2ec57eda-b7b7-5337-82fd-6e910ec69eea) 2. Practice, Practice, Practice (#ue23dcb47-716c-5128-bd03-a1cad887cda0) 3. The Texas Ranger (#u4c45a54c-1754-5120-9151-ea489b8aec27) 4. Finding Conviction (#u5540d228-3965-5eb2-9edf-ef41ab284034) 5. Opening the Door of Opportunity (#uf6df2cf6-06b8-56c5-a0f3-738ca91b2720) 6. Synchronicity Calls Again (#litres_trial_promo) 7. Animals Have Souls (#litres_trial_promo) 8. Malteser Musgo (#litres_trial_promo) 9. Empowering Animals (#litres_trial_promo) 10. Balance Matters (#litres_trial_promo) 11. Lucy Goosey (#litres_trial_promo) 12. The Well-Mannered Guest (#litres_trial_promo) 13. Spanish Explorer Joey (#litres_trial_promo) 14. Sabre-Toothed Stewart (#litres_trial_promo) 15. ‘The Doggie Guide to Stardom’ (#litres_trial_promo) 16. Tracking ‘Miracle’ Alfie (#litres_trial_promo) 17. King Curtis and Big Love (#litres_trial_promo) 18. Love (#litres_trial_promo) Afterword (#litres_trial_promo) Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo) About the Author (#litres_trial_promo) Author’s Note (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) Foreword (#ulink_e7351913-2749-5ee0-9327-a5bf5079de90) FOR AS LONG as I can remember I have wanted to work with animals. So when I stepped out of the Royal Veterinary College, London, in the dim and distant days of 1973, a qualified veterinary surgeon, I had already realized my life’s ambition. I had trained for five years, I had letters after my name and I thought I could cure every pet of every disease under the sun. Little did I know that the real learning process was only just beginning. Within a few years I had become reasonably proficient at the mechanics of being a vet. I could carry out all but the most intricate operations efficiently and speedily, I could prescribe drugs, I could diagnose as well as anybody else. But I began to feel something was missing. There were patients that simply couldn’t be diagnosed, despite exhaustive investigations, there were patients for whom drugs had more damaging side-effects than benefits and there were patients that simply refused to respond to treatment that should have worked. It struck me that pets were not little machines that all behaved in the same way to the same treatment. They were living, breathing, sentient beings that sometimes went their own way. It was at this point that I discovered the alternative world of therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and homoeopathy – a world where the feelings, emotions and character of the patient were equally as important as their physical symptoms. At last I could treat my patients as whole beings rather than as collections of body parts. Within a few years I had closed my practice and opened a centre to treat pets with natural therapies only. Joining me at the centre were other pet therapists – an osteopath, a physiotherapist and a healer. The healer, Charles Siddle, opened my eyes to a completely new aspect of animal treatment. He just seemed to ‘know’ what was wrong with pets. When I asked him how, he said, with a twinkle in his eye, ‘Oh, they just tell me.’ Around this time I went to a lecture given by the scientist Rupert Sheldrake about a book he had just written, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. Rupert had undertaken months of painstaking work on this subject and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that some dogs really are telepathic and know, amongst other things, exactly when their owners are coming home. So, if dogs are telepathic and can read our thoughts, why not the other way round? Why shouldn’t we be able to read the thoughts of animals and communicate with them? My own journey of discovery about the treatment of animals from ‘veterinary mechanic’ to ‘holistic therapist’ has been endlessly fascinating. Pea Horsley’s journey in becoming an animal communicator, from doubting through training to believing to success, has followed the same pattern. This book details that journey. When you have finished it, you may not believe a man can fly, but you’ll certainly believe a woman can talk to a rabbit. Richard Allport, BVetMed, VetMFHom, MRCVS, author of Natural Healthcare for Pets, Heal Your Dog theNatural Way and Heal Your Cat the Natural Way Introduction (#ulink_364683ed-b77f-521a-b7ef-70b6debab65f) We Are All Born Intuitive LET’S IMAGINE a world where we are born pure and innocent. A world where we are open to anything and everything. A world that is an adventure of discovery from the moment of waking to the moment of sleeping. This world is our world, the only difference is our age – we are babies. For us, everything is possible and the only limitations are those set by those around us, for our imagination is free and wild and we go wherever it takes us. As babies we are naturally telepathic, because we are communicating with life through our senses. How many times have you noticed a baby look wide-mouthed and smiling at a dog walking by wagging his tail? The baby can feel the dog’s happiness. If we smile at a baby, she smiles back. If we are upset, she looks concerned. If we are angry and shout, she cries. We don’t need to tell her verbally how we are feeling; she is using her senses to receive this information. We continue to use all our senses to understand our interactions until around about the age of seven. Animals continue to use their senses for non-verbal communication all their life. I discovered animal communication existed for the first time in 2004. I also discovered it’s not a gift: everyone can communicate with animals. The only reason the entire human race isn’t doing it is because we have been conditioned not to. As we grow up we are taught to ignore our intuition about situations and people. We develop a belief system that is not our own. Our parents, grandparents, teachers and society condition us to trust in their beliefs, until finally we lose touch with our own intuition and rely on everyone else’s for guidance. By tuning back into our own intuition, into our senses, we can open the doorway to inter-species communication. John Wheeler, the physicist, once said, ‘Everything must be based on a simple idea. Once we have finally discovered it, it will be so compelling, so beautiful, that we will say to one another, “Yes, how could it have been any different?”’ That’s how it is with animal communication – it’s a simple idea that is so compelling, so beautiful, that once discovered you’ll wonder how life could have been like anything other than this. We’re not humanizing animals by listening to their thoughts, we’re enabling them to have a voice in a world where they struggle to be heard. We communicate with animals to understand them and to bring them comfort. As we do this, we continue to respect all species and their own laws of nature. This is essential to animals’ health and well-being. Communication with animals is a deep, tender, intuitive and heartfelt method which can bring joy and end suffering. It can be a step towards a world where animals are seen as equals and treated with respect. This is my gentle introduction to the subject of animal communication, told with the help of the animals with whom I shared my journey. It is my hope that you, too, will step out on this path and find that life is as surprising and exciting as it was when you were younger. Empower yourself by venturing beyond the boundary of your own current experience, of what you have always believed to be true in your life, and prepare to join everyone who has contributed to placing this book in your hands on a wondrous journey of seeing animals in all their glory. CHAPTER 1 (#ulink_a8deb0cd-0a9f-5623-9b59-c5cccddc9fe6) Intuition Ignited (#ulink_a8deb0cd-0a9f-5623-9b59-c5cccddc9fe6) SITTING BOLT upright on my uncomfortable plastic chair, arms folded over my chest, legs crossed and no doubt a scowl on my face, I was wondering what on Earth was happening here. I didn’t believe a word of it. A rather dubious-looking man in casual jeans and a sweater was trying to tell me we could talk to animals! At the time I was working as company stage manager at the Comedy Theatre in London’s West End on a play called The Old Masters directed by Harold Pinter. Working for 15 years in the theatre, sourcing props, calculating wages, organizing schedules, running dress rehearsals, looking after the company and making sure everything went smoothly, especially on press night, I considered myself a practical and sensible person, not airy-fairy like. Yet here I was sitting listening to Doctor Doolittle-type stories. So how did I get here? Let me take you back to where it all started and I’ll explain. In the very beginning my journey began with cats. Cat ‘Grooming’ All my life I have been a huge cat fanatic. As a young child I grew up with a cat called Pixie, a no-nonsense minute dynamo. Her beautiful swirls of caramel, coffee and chocolate fooled the unwary to believing she was gooey and soft, but in reality she was more Joanna Lumley in spurs. Her original owners, our neighbours, often left her alone whilst they went on holiday without arranging for her meals and care, and Pixie checked out my family while they were away and decided to adopt us. I remember my parents and the neighbours having a bit of a heated argument about it until finally my dad said, ‘Pixie should be allowed to make up her own mind where she wants to live.’ And she did. She immediately packed her bags and moved in with us. Not long after, her old family moved away. They didn’t even come by to say goodbye to her. Pixie’s favourite sunbathing spot became the bed my mum made out of an old veggie box and some soft towels, positioned on the top shelf in the greenhouse. Years later, just before we buried her in our garden, my mum cut off a small piece of her fur, which I sellotaped into my ‘Favourite Things’ notebook, along with one of her whiskers. I was upset, but not distraught. Through her independent spirit and her fierce protection of her personal space, Pixie helped me to learn these qualities, and also, I feel, subconsciously, she taught me that we all have the right to be cared for and loved. Then Winston, my second cat, entered my teenage life and promptly took it over. The first night he arrived home he draped his large butterscotch body over my lap and we fell madly and deeply in love. I was about 13 at the time and he was my first boyfriend. He was adopted from a rescue centre in Warwickshire, but he didn’t carry the marks of a mistreated cat, he was a laid-back kinda guy who gave off an air of Italian Romeo entwined with Mafia boss. I saw him a bit like a lion who was very comfortable in his own skin. The hardest part about leaving home to attend Bristol Old Vic Theatre School was leaving Winston behind. He always knew when I was upset and would find me to offer affection and just be with me during my sadness. He’d also meet me from school, having an uncanny ability to know when to sit and wait for me at the top of the road. We developed a friendship where he was my comforter, my rock, and we grew so close, we had an unspoken understanding of one another, like an inner knowing. As often as I could, I went home especially to see him and I thought about him all the time. When he began to lose weight and became sick, those trips back home were heartbreaking, for I never knew whether I would see him again. Then one day I received a call and my parents told me it was time to put him to sleep. Once I’d put the phone down I cried out loud in agonizing pain. It felt as if my stomach was being ripped out. When Winston passed over I was utterly heartbroken and it took a long time for the pain to subside. I was 29 before I was in a position to welcome a new cat into my life. I never thought for a minute another cat would be able to touch my heart like Winston, but at that time I hadn’t met Texas. He captured my heart the moment he bolted out of his wired-fronted cage at London’s Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home and rubbed his tiny six-month body slam-dunk against my legs. He was a miniature tiger with mellow gold, ginger and cream stripes, a soft pink nose, yellow-green eyes and gleaming ivory-white whiskers. He was stunning, really friendly and the sexiest cat I’d ever met – it was a done deal. I now feel these cats were grooming me, teaching me and preparing me all my life for the moment when I would consciously realize humans and animals could communicate with one another using an intuitive language. But, to my surprise, it took a dog to make me understand inter-species communication was possible and that I could learn to talk to animals. Morgan Arrives It all began for me when I adopted my first dog from the Mayhew Animal Home: an eight-year old scruffy mutt of questionable beagle heritage whom I named Morgan. Morgan looks like an older version of one of the best-known trademarks in the world, ‘His Master’s Voice’ – a terrier with a cocked head listening intently to his master’s voice coming from a gramophone horn. He has a broken coat of both rough and smooth grungy white hair with velvet soft beagle chestnut ears that invite you to stroke them and a smooth chestnut facemask streaked with a terrier flash up between his eyes. His almond-shaped eyes with heavy black eyeliner, black playdough nose and thick black lips give him an almost clown-like appearance. Underneath his tummy hair he has Parson Russell terrier brown splodges and he has a thick mane of hair over his shoulders. He was lying on the floor of the admin. offices when I first met him, cushioned by a thick duvet. I knelt down and he welcomed me by rolling onto his back and lifting up his paw, inviting me to stroke his chest. My partner Jo and I jointly decided he was ‘the one’ because he had such a gentle face. When I looked at him there was also another quality I couldn’t put my finger on, which seemed to melt my heart, making me feel safe to be in his company. Initially we were looking for a female springer spaniel, but when we spotted Morgan we fell in love with his face and felt it would be easier for an older dog to fit in with our work commitments and for us to meet his needs. The truth is I was concerned about getting a dog. It was Jo’s idea, not mine. I was madly and deeply in love with Texas and concerned he’d be scared or angry if we brought another animal into the home. Texas liked being the centre of attention and my biggest fear was that he’d rehome himself. I also had a childhood fear. When I was a young girl, around nine or ten, I was chased off a farm by a pack of Jack Russells. I was terrified as they barked and ran after me, biting down on my ankles. This fear was multiplied when someone’s stocky Labrador was let off the lead and came charging over to me, barking aggressively. This fear of dogs made it impossible for me to walk anywhere that dogs were free to roam. Where I lived in Stratford-on-Avon there was a short cut into town down a disused tramline. It was right next to the ‘rec’ and some people would walk their dogs along there. If I saw a dog coming towards me off the lead, fear would rise from my belly, my chest would feel as if it was caving in, making it hard to breathe, and tears would try to spring from my eyes. Of course, the dogs would sense my fear and that would make the whole situation worse because then they’d start to bark at me or raise their hackles and growl. I’d have no choice: I’d have to return the way I’d come then go the long route, my legs weak and quivering. Inviting a dog into the safety of my home was quite a large step for me. Morgan arrived and the ceiling didn’t fall in. Though Texas was not impressed by our new choice of companion and ran away whenever he came close. And in the first few days of getting to know Morgan, he bit my nose. Well, that’s what I thought, and I burst into tears as the moment triggered all the years I had held on to my fear of dogs attacking me. It was a shock having a dog’s face and teeth right in my face. For a moment I thought, He’s going to have to go back. This isn’t going to work. Later, when I knew Morgan better, I realized he was just being affectionate. He hadn’t bit me, he’d just given me a friendly nibble. To this day Morgan has remembered that moment and occasionally, when he spontaneously goes to give my nose a nibble, he’ll suddenly stop himself and lower his head in shame. I still feel bad about this and say sorry for the way I reacted to him. In those early days Morgan would lie in his bed and I would sit on the floor next to him giving him a gentle stroke. I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me, yet intuitively this felt the right thing to do. I wanted to comfort him. I had a hunch that he was sad but I put this down to the obvious reasons: he was in a strange place, with people he didn’t know, and he had no idea whether he was staying or whether this was just another temporary arrangement and he’d soon be carted off somewhere else. But after the initial settling-in period rescued animals need, I became aware that Morgan’s sadness was not going away. He looked miserable lying in his brand-new luxury fleece bed and when we were out walking he’d bark obsessively at old men with walking sticks, whether they were near or far. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. I knew cats, but I wasn’t an experienced dog owner. Or dog guardian, as I prefer to be called now. When the Mayhew Animal Home e-mailed to say they were holding an animal communication workshop which would help me to get to know my animal even better, I knew I had to go along. I can’t really explain logically why I went; it was just a gut feeling. I had to go, even though I hadn’t looked into other ways of helping Morgan – I hadn’t called in a behaviourist and I would never have considered an animal healer in those days. I just didn’t think of or follow any other options. The Lightbulb Workshop So that is what brought me across a cold blue London, in the autumn of 2004, to sit in an uncomfortable plastic chair listening to Doctor Doolittle stories. When I imagined everyone else was having lazy Sunday lie-ins and croissants and getting their fix of The Archers. Twenty people, mostly women, were sitting round in a large circle, with the teacher at the front of the room. He began to tell us how he’d found he could talk to animals. He said he’d realized he’d had this amazing magical power since he was a child, and as a teenager he’d often speak to horses and have conversations with them. What have I got myself into? I thought. He can talk to animals? No, that’s not right: no one can talk to animals, except Doctor Doolittle of course. Then he shared an emotional story of how his miraculous gift had helped a distraught animal and it wasn’t long before 19 people were crying. And then there was me. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this man telling us he actually speaks to animals, and, er, hears what they say back to him? It took all my will-power to stop myself from walking out. I was astonished, soaked head to foot in disbelief, yet everyone else seemed taken in. They must have been bewitched when they came in. Was I the only one who didn’t believe this con man? By the time we’d reached lunchtime I was hungry and grumpy. I was even more sceptical than when I’d walked in at nine o’clock. The morning had been dominated by animal stories and a couple of ‘getting in touch with your senses’ exercises, but we hadn’t even glimpsed a cat or a dog, let alone talked to one. During lunch, I made a beeline for the teacher. ‘We’ve got an awful lot to cover if we’re going to be speaking with animals this afternoon,’ I said. He just smiled and carried on eating his vegetarian scotch egg. Shortly after lunch I was pleased to see my words had had some effect. We were put into pairs and told to swap the photos that we’d brought of our animals at home. So my partner had a photo of my cat, Texas, and I had a photo of her … well, I didn’t know what. I was given the photo face down and told to guess what animal was in the picture. How the heck am I supposed to know? I felt foolish and awkward. As much as I didn’t believe in all this hocus-pocus, I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of such a large group of strangers, and because my childhood passion had always been animals, there was a part of me that was curious to try it for myself. All my inner demons flew out of my mind and began stabbing me with their spears. What if I’m the only one here who can’t do this? I’ll make an idiot of myself. I don’t want to get it wrong. It’s not real. I took a deep breath and fought my demons: I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve paid my money now. I’m here, so I might as well give it a go. What if he really can talk to animals? I want to do that too! And I’m probably never going to see these people again anyway. I looked at the white back of the photo and scribbled a word on my notepad. It was the first word that came into my mind – I just heard it, almost as though it had been whispered in my ear: ‘Rabbit.’ When I turned the photo over, I found myself staring into the soft shiny eyes of a deep rich sepia-coloured rabbit. Lucky guess. It was hardly likely to be a giraffe. The demons had returned, spears at the ready. My partner told me this rabbit was called Mister Butch. Then the teacher instructed us to ask our animal a few rudimentary questions: ‘What’s his favourite food?’ ‘What’s his favourite activity?’ ‘Where does he like to sleep?’ ‘Who is he in love with?’ The room fell silent as everyone knuckled down. Everyone except me, that is. My mind was racing with doubt, my demons were gaining ground and the opposition was retreating. As I looked down at Mister Butch, my internal dialogue went like this: ‘I’ve been told to talk to you, but you can’t hear me. You can’t hear me because you’re a photo, a photo of a rabbit, and rabbits can’t talk. Let alone photos of rabbits. You can’t hear me, can you, because rabbits don’t talk.’ ‘Who do you think is listening to you?’ I heard this response like a voice inside me, but it was a male voice and it wasn’t happy, it was confrontational. Was the rabbit in the photo really talking to me? ‘Did you just speak to me?’ I asked warily in my mind as I looked at Mister Butch in the photo. ‘Yeah! I can hear you, all right!’ came that voice again. Butterflies were fluttering around my stomach. For the first time I wondered whether I could believe what I was hearing internally. ‘You can really hear me? As I talk to you, you hear me?’ ‘Yeah, I said it already: I can hear you. Who the hell do you think is listening?’ I took a moment to gather myself. They’re starting to get to me. All this talk has started to have some strange kind of effect. Yet a part of me really wanted it to be true because I really loved animals and, more importantly, I had a sad dog at home and I wanted to make his life happier. I decided to get the most out of the afternoon. ‘OK, Mister Butch, if you can hear me, tell me what your favourite food is,’ I quizzed. ‘Leaves.’ I scribbled it on my pad. Then I heard the negative voice in my mind again: Well! If that wasn’t obvious! I carried on. ‘And what’s your environment like?’ In my mind I could see a picture of a plush lawn, then the image changed and I saw a bed, and then it changed again and I saw a two-seater sofa. I wrote it all down. ‘Are you in love with anyone right now?’ There was another brief picture, this time of an espresso-coloured rabbit. It came and went ever so fast. ‘And what’s your favourite activity?’ There was another flash of that sofa. Quite a long time had passed whilst I was doing this exercise, but it felt like just a few minutes. The moment came to share the information I’d written down with Mister Butch’s guardian. Even though I felt as if I’d made up every word of it, I went through each response. My partner told me some of the things didn’t make sense, but some of them were correct. Mister Butch’s big love was an espresso-coloured rabbit and apparently I’d really tuned into his strong character: he was an impatient rabbit with attitude. As it turned out, he’d also done this before: he’d communicated with our teacher. No wonder I’d been able to sense his disapproval as I’d groped about in disbelief – he was an old pro. My partner even elaborated on the image I’d seen when I’d asked the question: ‘What’s your favourite activity?’ She told me Mister Butch would come inside and sit on her sofa at the same time every Saturday evening. He would expect the television to be on and switched to his favourite programme, You’ve Been Framed. When we shared our communications with the entire group, the other students thought this snippet was hilarious and our teacher was even able to corroborate the story: he’d been to visit Mister Butch at his home and witnessed his TV addiction for himself. As outlandish yet wonderful as this experience seemed, I still found it hard to believe that I had communicated with a rabbit using a photograph. Let alone a rabbit that watched TV. I thought his guardian was just being kind and encouraging, and maybe it was the law of averages that had produced a couple of accuracies. Then it was my partner’s turn to tell me everything she’d received in response from my cat, Texas. This complete stranger started to describe the layout of my living-room, the colour of my sofa and Texas’ favourite place to sit in the garden. How could she know this? How could she get all this from a photo? And if this complete stranger was able to receive accurate information from Texas, was I, maybe, just maybe, also receiving accurate information from Mister Butch? My God, this is really happening. I’ve just talked to a rabbit. From his photo. It was the most miraculous idea: animals can talk and we can hear them. My body and mind felt in conflict with what I’d experienced during the day and my belief system prior to it. In a daze I drove home, feeling excited, awestruck and completely overwhelmed. I felt that I was sailing out into the ocean without a paddle, surrounded by the deep blue sea. I didn’t know which way I was heading or how far I would travel. I didn’t know how many fathoms of undiscovered secrets lay beneath me. These were unchartered waters. I began to think of how my friends might respond if I were to tell them I’d just had a conversation with a rabbit. And yet, even though I had this logical fear, I couldn’t help but question my sceptical beliefs. The idea of being able to communicate with animals was changing my perception of reality. It was changing how I viewed animals. If people were to realize they could talk to animals, just think how much happier animals could be. They’d be able to tell us what they wanted and how they felt. If everyone learned to talk to animals – my God, that could change everything. Animals everywhere could be recognized as feeling and thinking creatures who can make their own decisions and form their own relationships. I was getting so excited, but then I had a thought that brought me crashing down to reality: What about all the animals behind bars in zoos? I suddenly felt a heavy weight in the pit of my stomach. And all the animals in shelters with no one to love them and make them feel special – what must they be feeling? My chest heaved and my eyes filled with tears as I thought of cosmetic testing, the fur industry and vivisection. This discovery didn’t feel quite so delightful anymore. Joy had been replaced by unbearable anguish. And that’s when I realized the journey into animal communication might not be so easy after all. It was coupled with enormous responsibility. The joy of communicating with animals would always go hand in hand with the anguish of how my fellow human beings would treat them. I realized that during my communications with animals, I would hear what they thought and feel what they felt. On the one hand, that would be their loving connection with people. Yet, travelling down the same path, I’d also feel all their suffering: their feelings of sadness, confusion, betrayal and loneliness, even their anger. In just one day I felt my life had changed and I was looking at the world with fresh eyes. Returning Home At home I had the daunting task of telling my partner about the day’s events. How do you tell someone you’ve just been conversing with a rabbit? There are no manuals to advise and I’d be surprised if the answer can be revealed by a web search. And I was still finding it hard to understand what had happened myself. Jo had made us some tea and we were relaxing in the living-room drinking it when she asked me how the workshop had gone. I laughed nervously. ‘OK,’ I said. Then there was a palatable silence as I tried to grasp the right words. I just didn’t know how to tell her. I decided the only way forward was just to say it. ‘I think I’ve just been talking to a rabbit. I think I can talk to animals.’ I held my breath, waiting for her reaction. She looked across at Morgan and raised her eyebrows, then looked back at me and smiled. ‘Well, that’s going to be an interesting hobby,’ she said. Little did she, or I, know at this point that it was going to evolve into something much greater. Then she added, ‘How do you know? Give me proof.’ I told her the details I’d received and that some of them had made sense. I said I didn’t know how it had happened, it just had. I also told her that a complete stranger had talked to Texas and described the colour of our sofa and his favourite lookout post in the garden. How could that be possible? ‘Wow,’ she said, ‘that sounds amazing.’ Then, without a moment’s hesitation, ‘What did the rabbit say?’ I should have known Jo would react positively. She had always loved animals – dogs being her favourite – and I think that connection helps you see there is more to an animal than sit, beg and roll over. Since that moment I have always been supported on my journey into animal communication. I am lucky in that way. That evening I knelt on the floor in front of Morgan and looked into his deep espresso-coloured eyes. He looked straight back at me and I had the feeling he was saying, ‘So now you know.’ The veil had been lifted and I could see him clearly, not only as a feeling and thinking dog but also with the realization we could connect with each other on this intuitive, heartfelt level for even deeper and clearer understanding. Listening I now know that animal communication is not so much about talking as listening; it’s about being a receptive vessel. I now realize I’d been subconsciously preparing for this. Over the years I’d been drawn to jobs where it was important to listen. Before I began to communicate with animals I volunteered on a helpline. Every weekend for approximately three months I attended training, culminating in a mock-up practical test at the end. The tutors would only allow you in the phone room if they felt you were ready and once there you received a buddy who would give you one-to-one support and guidance in the first few weeks. After I’d finished working in the theatre in the evening I’d head over to the helpline headquarters and stay up all night manning the phone. The ‘graveyard’ night shift was very unpopular, so I’d often be there on my own. People rang with a whole range of problems, some extremely upsetting, some shocking, some traumatic, and then there were people who just needed to talk to someone who would listen without their own agenda or any judgement. Looking back now, this provided the groundwork of how it feels to truly listen and I am sure it was one of the building blocks for communicating with animals. And of course I had worked with actors and creative types in the theatre, which meant I had learned to juggle different personalities within a pressured profession where deadlines were absolute. Sharing My Discovery Sharing my discovery wasn’t easy. I was nervous about telling my friends. I felt awkward saying the words, ‘I’ve discovered I can talk to animals,’ sort of embarrassed, and also scared of how they would respond. I began by telling two close friends whom I’d known for the longest time. One of them, also called Jo, took a little while to get her head around it, but at the same time felt there was no reason why it shouldn’t be possible. She said, ‘I think when you’ve had a pet you feel really close to, it doesn’t seem such an alien idea that someone would find a way of communicating with animals.’ But my other friend from theatre school, Caroline, went silent on the phone. She still doesn’t understand it. Dinner parties, and most social events like birthdays and weddings, have since become a great adventure. Sometimes I’ll be asked what I do and I’ll tell someone and the brick wall will immediately come up or their eyes will glaze over or they’ll be speechless. Others might say, ‘Really? Glass of wine?’ then make a hasty retreat, never to return. There are some nights when I’ve received a handful of these types of reactions and I’ve been tempted to tell people I’m a mortician instead, or a fire fighter, or a pole dancer, or even an astronaut. A lot of people use humour because they don’t know what to say. On the other hand some will immediately believe me and have a million questions, or else pin me in a corner, desperate to resolve the ins and outs of their cat’s inappropriate toileting. Largely, people are intrigued and want to know all about it and how it works. The most popular question is, of course, ‘What did the rabbit say?’ Resolving Morgan’s Sadness I was so intrigued by the thought that I might be able to talk to animals I immediately signed up for a second workshop. During this experience I felt excited and found my communications with animals had a better flow of accuracy. I was able to give the colour of an animal’s bed, where it was positioned and even whom the animal lived with. It was at this second workshop that I discovered my life’s purpose. I know that might sound like a cliché, but it’s true. That is how it happened. It wasn’t a logical decision – I just knew in my heart that I had discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It felt right. So then I felt confident enough to concentrate on the reason why I’d started all this in the first place: Morgan. I wanted to understand why he looked sad and so I spent a long time talking to him. He was lying in his bed in my light, homely living-room and I was sitting on the wooden floor in front of him. I began by asking him whether he liked his food. ‘It’s OK,’ he said. ‘And do you feel you receive enough exercise?’ I asked gently, looking into his watery brown eyes. ‘I suppose. It’s a bit boring. I’d like some bones, something to crunch,’ came a downhearted voice that melted my heart and sparked worry lines across my brow. I wondered whether it was me. Maybe he didn’t like me? ‘Do you like me, Morgan?’ ‘Yes.’ Then he decided to bite on the duvet in his bed, like a child sucks on a ‘diddy’. We’d reached the point where I had to ask him: ‘Why are you sad, sweetheart?’ After much patient cajoling, Morgan slowly revealed the background to his feelings. He showed me an image of an old man with a walking stick and I felt guilt – Morgan felt he was letting the old man down. Then there was an image of an old woman sitting in a high-backed armchair with Morgan lying at her feet. She appeared very smiley and gentle, and I felt she had now passed over and was in spirit. Then I heard the words, ‘Look after my husband when I’m gone.’ She was looking at Morgan when she said it. I was hearing these words in my mind, but the voice wasn’t mine, it was older, softer and slower. I could feel the love Morgan felt for the woman and the love she felt for him. They adored one another. Morgan told me they were his previous owners. As I looked into his eyes, I tried to tune into the old man again and saw an image of him standing in a small galley kitchen. He seemed flustered and unable to cope. He was holding a walking stick, which reminded me of the old men with walking sticks that Morgan would bark at on our walks. As Morgan shared his secret I could sense how confused he was feeling. Tuning back into the image of the man, I got the feeling he’d been taken into care after his wife had died. That must have been why Morgan had been taken to death row. I’d learned on the workshop that one way to resolve emotional upset between people and animals, and even animals and animals, was to invite them into the same space. I began by imagining a bright safe space with a wooden door, and while I looked into Morgan’s eyes, I invited the spirit of the old lady to enter and take a seat in the high-backed chair I’d created for her. Once she’d settled, I invited Morgan to enter the space. He walked in, body tense, refusing to look at the old lady, keeping his eyes permanently fixed to the floor. ‘Physical Morgan’ still lay in bed, but ‘energetic Morgan’ came into the safe space. The feelings of guilt and remorse were palatable. I invited the lady to take over. She turned to face Morgan and told him how much she loved him. This caused him to sink even lower into the floor, as if he wanted the earth to open and swallow him up. ‘He couldn’t take care of himself anymore,’ the lady said to his back. ‘He needed a very special home. He wasn’t able to take you with him, that’s why you were parted.’ Tears started to trickle down my cheeks as I was feeling what Morgan was feeling. He was listening transfixed to what she was saying and had begun to cry. ‘It’s not your fault. You did nothing wrong,’ she said. For the first time, Morgan turned round and looked up at her, a pleading look in his eyes. She continued, ‘No, love. You didn’t let me down. You did your job brilliantly and I am very proud of you.’ I burst into tears as I felt a huge wave of emotional relief sweep over Morgan. I cried and cried as he let go of the burden he’d been carrying with him. But the old lady didn’t stop there. ‘I want you to move on now,’ she said. ‘You kept your promise; you looked after him so well. Now you’re with a new family and I want you to look after them. This is your new job: to be with this family.’ In the safe place I’d created, Morgan began to prance joyously around, his mouth smiling wide open. It was as though a weight of responsibility had been removed from his shoulders. I thanked the lady, then I thanked Morgan for being brave enough to enter in the first place and finally I dissolved the picture and brought my awareness back to the room. Once I was calmer, I looked into the eyes of my beautiful dog lying in his bed in front of me and said to him, ‘I want you to live with my family now. We want you to be with us and I promise you we will love you, maybe not in the same way as your previous family, but we’ll do our best to love you just as much.’ He visibly relaxed and I thought his eyes began to sparkle. What was more remarkable was Texas’ behaviour. The very same day, he stopped running away from Morgan. When I asked him why he didn’t appear to be scared of him anymore, he replied simply, ‘He’s decided he’s staying.’ Texas now viewed him as part of the family rather than an outsider. Even my friends could see a difference in Morgan and the way Texas now accepted him. CHAPTER 2 (#ulink_689c2793-2264-52f8-a9b7-247b64c06978) Practice, Practice, Practice (#ulink_689c2793-2264-52f8-a9b7-247b64c06978) FROM THAT DAY on I spent every waking moment reading up on the subject of animal communication and badgered my friends to let me practise with their animals, or their friends’ animals, or their neighbours’ animals. I also joined animal-related web forums. Soon word got out that I was willing to offer a free communication to anyone who wanted one and all they needed to do in return was verify the details I gave them, so I could see how I was progressing and learn from my successes and failures. I was always honest and upfront, explaining that I was still a student and that I might not always get it right. I asked the recipient to take responsibility for the communication and whether they chose to ignore it or take notice of it was up to them. If there was anything medically wrong with their animal I always asked them to seek the advice of a trusted veterinarian. Street-Cool Sammy On Saturday 4 December 2004, I recorded my first practice case study in a large orange hardback notebook. To begin with, I was attempting it without a photo of the animal. All I knew was that the animal was a cat who shared his or her life with a woman called Chloë, who was the casting agent of a friend of mine. I didn’t even have the cat’s name. I decided to gather some impressions, details that Chloë could verify. I sat in my favourite comfy chair and tried to tune into the cat. I imagined I was connecting with him or her by silently asking ‘the cat of Chloë’ to come forward and show him or herself. Then I saw a quick picture in my mind – the image of a deep rich brown cat. I sensed the general character of this cat and wrote down a few words: ‘gentle’, ‘loving’, ‘weary’, ‘tired’, ‘needs rest’. I asked what he or she was called and heard ‘Molly’, ‘Polly’ and ‘Dolly’. A few days later Chloë sent me a photo and I found myself looking into the eyes of a deep rich brown cat. I gave myself a tick in my notebook for getting that right. Chloë still hadn’t included a name, so I persevered without one. ‘Please tell me what you’re called,’ I said, as I held the cat’s photo in my hands. ‘Frank. Frankie,’ came a deep male voice inside my head. ‘Is that right? You’re called Frankie?’ My impression had been that this cat was female. ‘No, but I’d prefer this name, I’d rather be called Frank or Frankie. I need more street-cred. But it’s too late now,’ came the deep booming voice. I’d begun to get a better sense of his character and wrote down a few more words to describe him: ‘bright’, intelligent’, ‘relaxed’, ‘solid’, ‘Other cats leave him alone’, ‘He has quite a presence’, ‘A bit of a gangster, wouldn’t mess with him, but it’s all front’, ‘He has a big heart and adores his mum.’ From his comments it appeared that this puss wasn’t under house arrest and liked to patrol his neighbourhood. ‘How do you leave your garden?’ I asked him. ‘Which direction do you like to head in?’ Suddenly I saw an image of a brick wall on the left of a tiny-looking garden and a ladder – a wooden cat-width ladder, with rungs cat-stride deep, at an easy-to-climb 45-degree angle. ‘She’s made a hole and given me steps,’ said the male voice. ‘I can’t jump that high anymore.’ At the weekend I caught up with Chloë on the phone to check what her cat was called before I continued communicating using her questions. ‘He’s called Sammy,’ she told me. ‘Molly’, ‘Polly’, ‘Dolly’ and ‘Frankie’ had a vaguely similar sound to Sammy, but I knew there was room for improvement, and quite clearly I’d mistaken him as female. ‘Chloë, have you made a hole in the brick wall on the left side of your back garden?’ I asked. ‘Yes, I have … How did you know that?’ she said, astonished. ‘And did you also put a wooden cat-ladder there?’ I continued. There was a gasp and a moment’s silence on the other end of the phone, then Chloë said, ‘That’s remarkable, Pea. Did Sammy tell you that? How could you have known that? I had to give him a ladder, he was finding it harder to make the jump and he loves to explore.’ I was flabbergasted too. As much as I’d hoped it was true, because it seemed way too quirky for me to invent, the negativity inside me had said, No you’re just making it up, you’ve got a fanciful imagination, cats don’t need ladders to exit their gardens. For goodness sake, he’s a cat! A week later I was sitting in Chloë’s living room delivering the rest of Sammy’s communication as he sat next to me on the sofa. ‘He never does that with people he’s not met before,’ she said. ‘It’s as if he knows you.’ During home visits animals often give gentle encouragement by climbing onto my lap or settling close by. Sometimes dogs lean into me or uncharacteristically make a big fuss as though we’ve met before. Birds soon relax and let me close too. Animals seem to do this for a number of reasons, mainly, I feel, to give their guardian a clear sign of their approval of the process, but also as a supportive ‘nod’ to me that I am on the right track. Bluesy Makes Demands Another early practice case was with a cat called Bluesy. She is a tiny caramel and chocolate swirled feline who rules over the home of Lynn and Sandra and a 66lb golden retriever called Saffie. Those who know her well may feel there is a leopard inside this tiny fragile body – her spirit is strong and her green-tea eyes cut into you with a no-nonsense ‘Don’t mess with me’ stare. This formidable character rules supreme from her throne room on the first floor at the rear of the house overlooking the garden. This is ‘Bluesy’s room’ and her throne is an old armchair in the corner. Bluesy is very particular about her space, disliking changes, but is generous enough to allow her large Goldilocks companion to occupy the floor nearby. At the start of this story I was chummier with Saffie, who brought her two human companions along to join Morgan and me on treks around the common. Lynn is in her fifth decade and the fittest woman I know. Under her baggy clothing she disguises muscle tone any woman, or man, would die for and has unquestionable strength. Sandra is a little bit younger, with neat blonde bobbed hair and a caring nature. Both women are successful in their individual careers within the NHS. One day we were all walking together when Lynn and Sandra told me their news: the vet had diagnosed Bluesy with a small growth in one of her kidneys and she had transformed from the bossy boots of the house into a quiet skin and bones waif. The veterinary diagnosis had arrived: ‘If you wish to know what type of tumour it is, we will need to investigate, but we need to consider the worst.’ Lynn and Sandra were devastated, trying to come to terms with the notion of losing their 16-year-old tour de force. They decided not to put Bluesy through any investigations, given her age. I was still only practising animal communication at this point, but when I offered my help, Lynn and Sandra were keen to know whether there was anything Bluesy needed to make her more comfortable. When I connected with Bluesy, distantly, linking in through her photo, I heard a strong, clear voice. She was keen to be heard. Even though her body was weak, her spirit was as strong and as acerbic as ever. She wasn’t interested in talking about the colour of her chair or how she felt about any treatment, she wanted to get her shopping list together. Bluesy had demands. One of the first images I received from her was of a pad on a chair. Then I felt a warm sensation in my own body and she said, just in case the ‘stupid human’ hadn’t got the message: ‘Heat pad.’ I met up with Lynn and Sandra in our favourite pub and, nervously over a pint, began to read back the information from Bluesy in my notepad. I had only discovered animal communication a couple of months earlier, so this was very early on in my experience. I described Bluesy’s character traits and they agreed I had her spot on. I described her room and favourite chair, which I didn’t know anything about, her status in the house and her relationship with Saffie and each of them. Then I went on to share the two pieces of information Bluesy really wanted to get across. ‘She says she wants a heat pad,’ I offered. ‘She pictured a pad on her seat and I felt the sensation of warmth. She’s cold and would like more warmth.’ ‘Yes,’ responded Lynn, in a very matter-of-fact way. ‘We’ve been talking about getting her a heat pad.’ ‘That’s amazing,’ said Sandra. We were talking about it only the other day. She’s so small and fragile now; we’ve been worried she might be cold. Well, we’ll get her a heat pad. If that’s what Bluesy wants then that’s what she will have. ‘She’s asking for one more thing,’ I continued, confident now that they were happy to follow Bluesy’s wishes. ‘She would like fresh food. She pictured chicken and I tasted tuna too. She’s fed up with dry food and wants a change.’ ‘OK, all right. Full of demands, isn’t she?!’ said Sandra. Straight away Bluesy was given her heat pad and from first thing in the morning to last thing in the evening, as well as all through the night, she stayed on it, except for the odd trip downstairs for food and a comfort break in the garden. It was a British winter and the weather was miserable and cold. It was a week or so later that I heard the whole story. It turned out that the heat pad had arrived really quickly, but the food change hadn’t materialized straight away. So Bluesy had taken things into her own four paws and gone on hunger strike. She had refused to eat anything put in front of her. Until the tuna arrived, followed swiftly by the chicken. Since that day Bluesy has eaten with an appetite of which a horse would be proud. She is regularly cooked fresh chicken and every day it disappears into her belly. It has been over five years since her fated prognosis and she has blossomed into a beauty, with lustrous fur you constantly wish to run your hands through. Not that you would dare. Her vet is still able to feel the lump and it is slowly getting bigger, yet, as the vet confirms, ‘It doesn’t seem to bother her.’ Bluesy is full of herself: lording over her servants, screeching commands as she parades around her palace, sometimes during the early hours of the morning. She comes and goes as she pleases and bags the best spot on the sofa every time. She now has two feeding stations and receives room service daily. She is in command and deliriously happy. While life is this good, why would you want to leave? Bluesy is now 21 years old and still in power. The Blowfly Mission I was taking a little time out, warming my skin and enjoying the silence as I sat in my inner-city garden. I’d just finished a communication with a cat. Texas was soaking up the sun’s rays too from his self-made indentation in the uncut grass. Something caught my attention, causing me to glance over to my left. There on my hand stood a metallic green fly with bristly black legs. His six feet stuck to my skin in between my fine blonde hairs. I stared into two overlarge maroon-coloured eyes. ‘Hello,’ I said out loud to him. Even though I thought he’d fly off, he stayed there, as if rooted to my hand, waiting. Then a thought entered my mind: I wonder if this fly can hear me? It was my first attempt at communication with an insect, let alone a fly, and I wondered how I could be sure we were really connected. After a moment’s consideration I came up with an idea. ‘OK, Fly, please show me you can understand me by flying around the parasol at this table then coming back to rest on my hand again,’ I said silently. Without a second’s hesitation the fly vanished into the air. I saw him ascend anti-clockwise around the silver parasol then come to land on my left hand. ‘Pouf!’ I exhaled. ‘That’s pretty impressive.’ I looked into the deep red eyes facing me. ‘Can you do it again?’ My new friend took off, the sunlight gleaming through his fragile translucent wings. Again he flew anti-clockwise around the parasol and came to rest on my left hand. Both times anti-clockwise. Both times the left hand. Was this a coincidence? This time I looked into the big eyes of my little friend in amazement and admiration. Not only did he appear to be receiving my telepathic communication, he was also choosing to act on it. Still not quite believing it, I asked him a third time, ‘Please fly around the parasol one more time for me and I promise you I will never question that animal communication is possible again.’ Quick as a flash, he was off, up into the air and flying anti-clockwise around the parasol then coming in to land on my left hand again. In the silence he looked up at me expectantly, as if he was waiting for my reaction. ‘Incredible! Thank you!’ I said, astonished, full of a new sense of appreciation of flies. A split-second later he was up, off and out of sight. ‘Bye,’ I said as I watched the fly ambassador leave. It felt as if his job was completed and he’d moved straight on to the next mission. It took me a while to really let this experience sink in. Here was a common fly who had rested on my hand and instead of flying off had stayed. This tiny insect with his supposedly tiny brain had done something amazing: he’d listened and decided to do what I’d asked him – he’d flown round the parasol a staggering three times. I started to look at insects, especially flies, in a new light and I wondered what else they were capable of. This experience only happened once. It was a special moment between us. But at this point on my animal communication journey it felt like a blessing to be shown so clearly that even the tiny species are capable of inter-species communication. More significantly for me, the fly ambassador had helped silence my sceptical mind. Now I have a much more respectful view of flies. If they come into my house, rather than thinking of ways to eliminate them, I just open a door or window and ask them to leave. I’ve found this method works nearly every time. Mice Matters It was a cold day in February when I became aware I had squatters. Every time I opened the understairs cupboard to retrieve the vacuum or a recycling bag I was struck with l’eau de mus musculus. That would be mouse poop to you and me. The little darlings had left black droppings all over the brown carpet, under the shelving unit and around the recycling box. I would sweep them up, but before long the whole area would be covered in their little presents again. Straight away it was obvious why they’d decided on this particular hidey-hole: it was where I kept the pet food. And despite the industrial-strength plastic casing, there were tiny mouse-sized holes all along the bottom of the bag. It was freezing outside and probably very difficult to locate enough food. Yet this wasn’t making my life any easier – a family of mice can leave a lot of droppings. One day my suspicion was confirmed by a sighting. I opened the door and heard movement coming from one of the food bags. Maybe the mouse was so hungry he’d forgotten to listen out for the human giant breaking up his buffet, because suddenly his head popped out from one of the holes in the bag. He looked up at me and froze, no doubt surprised by the vision of my gargantuan head, then he made a hasty retreat and in seconds he was gone. In milliseconds he’d run past the washing products, around the shoe cleaner and down the edge of the shelf unit, and I last saw his tail moving at the speed of light towards the back of the cupboard. It was time to act and sort this out once and for all. I didn’t want to be scooping poop day in and day out. I needed to communicate with the mice. I thought it could be confusing to try and communicate with all of the mice at once, so I requested that just one come forward and talk to me, the one in charge, the head mouse. I began by sending a feeling of love. Within moments I received a picture of a mouse in my mind’s eye and I could tell from his body language that he wasn’t happy. I tried to begin a conversation with him, but he wasn’t listening. He was livid. ‘I’d like to talk about the food you’re eating,’ I said to him quietly. He screamed at me, furiously waving his furry arms as he spoke. ‘I’m not going to stop eating! You don’t understand. You humans are all the same – you’re bullies. You don’t care for us. What am I meant to do? It’s cold! I have a family to feed!’ I couldn’t get a word in edgeways. ‘There’s plenty of food. Why not share? Is it asking too much?’ he said, punctuating his words with deep intakes of breath. ‘You have so much food. I don’t have any. I have a family. Why don’t you care about my family?’ ‘But …’ I tried to break in, but he continued straight over me. ‘We’re only eating what we need, and you have so much. So much food! We’re hungry. We need to eat,’ he said, clearly furious. ‘Of course,’ I interrupted finally. ‘I’m happy to share.’ For the first time he stopped screaming at me. He had a confused look on his face and was silent. I didn’t hesitate – I took this opportunity to explain. ‘I understand you need to feed your family to stay alive. I’m not asking you to stop eating the food. I just want to make a deal with you,’ I told him. Head Mouse looked at me with a quizzical look in his eyes. ‘I suggest that during the cold months I leave you and your family some of the dog biscuits in a white dish. The rest of the food is out of bounds. Every day, at the same time as I feed my own animals, I’ll leave food out for you.’ He lowered his fists from their position on his hips and let out a sigh. ‘When it gets warmer,’ I went on, ‘I’d like you to leave and find your own food outside. You see, the smell is overwhelming to my human nose. I’d also like you to understand this is a special arrangement just between us. Please don’t tell your friends.’ I could just imagine word getting out that food was available on tap at the house with the white front door – it would become a free-for-all for every mouse family in the neighbourhood. ‘So, is it a deal? Do you agree to the arrangements?’ I said to Head Mouse. He seemed totally overwhelmed, both moved and relieved. ‘Yes!’ he said enthusiastically, and I felt two strong arms wrapping around me, giving me a big hug and the most immense feeling of joy and love. ‘Promise?’ I said. ‘Promise,’ he replied, smiling, and there it was, cast in stone. I was relieved to know I’d only be scooping the poop for a limited time and there was an end in sight. The next morning I kept to my side of the deal and filled my dog’s bowl, my cat’s bowl and the white dish for the mice. I checked back 30 minutes later and the dish was empty. No sign of a mouse. In the evening, the feeding schedule was repeated. The routine was always the same and it appeared the mice knew the meal times. I’d put down the dish then check back barely ten minutes later and it would be empty, with never a sign of cute hairless ears or a long tail diving for cover. We’d reached a compromise, existing as one large family under the same roof with twice-daily waitress service. Happy the mice were leaving the bags of food untouched, I continued with the arrangement and the weeks ticked past. Then one day something changed. I checked and the biscuits were still there. I wondered whether the mice were a little full after weeks of eating. However, at suppertime the dish was still full of biscuits. This time I wondered whether they were ill. For a couple of days I anxiously opened the door, hoping it would be empty, but it was always full. I felt a loss – my little family under the stairs had gone. It took me a few days to accept the truth. The buds of spring had begun to show their beautiful petals and the daffodils were peeking through the soil. As I’d got stuck into the routine of feeding, I’d forgotten the details of our agreement. Of course, it had grown warmer and the mice had gone. The head mouse had kept to the deal. A promise is a promise. This experience changed my perspective on mice. I’d had no idea how determined they were and how keen to be understood. Ultimately, I’d had no idea they were so loyal, so emotional and so honest. Head Mouse had opened my eyes to a different side of his species and also proven that … mice don’t renege on a promise. Morgan’s Wake-Up Call I continued to invite friends to let me communicate with their animals. I was still working in theatre as a stage manager and fitted the communications around my full-time job. I would work in theatre in the evenings and matinées, and would fit the practice in during my time off during the day or on Sunday. Some weeks I’d have three or four requests and people would have to wait a while and other weeks were quieter and I could help them pretty quickly. The wonderful result of this continued pursuit of accuracy was that my confidence grew. The more communications I practised, the more I learned about my own personal style, pitfalls and obstacles. Whenever I found time, I sat in silence with Morgan or Texas and asked them about their day. Morgan works with me on a subtle level, more subconsciously, which is how many of us may relate to our animals. He hardly ever talks and when he does it is normally with short, succinct, to the point sentences. He’s an earthy kind of dog, with a huge connection to Spirit, or the Source. Not that you’d realize this straight away, because above and beyond these qualities, he’s a dog. That’s his essence and it would be wrong to treat him as any other living being. Morgan’s passion, like that of most dogs, is food. Walking him in the summer is like going on an obstacle course where the aim is to scoot him around as many picnickers as possible. His mission, on the other hand, is to zig-zag, targeting as many picnics as possible before he’s stopped. He often cleverly outmanoeuvres me and doubles back before I’ve noticed. In his advanced years – he’s now about 15 – he’s learned that looking sweet and ‘starving’ has a higher rate of success than being pushy and barging. He trots over to a family having a picnic and sits looking cute. They fall for it and bingo, he’s fed another sausage or sandwich. Occasionally his heart rules his manners. He has been known to lick a small child’s ice cream as she’s strolled by unaware. And any food on the floor is, of course, fair game, including the bread being fed to the ducks – one of his regular treats. When I’m not available to take Morgan out he has a dog walker. He’s hilarious when he comes back from these days out with other dogs. It’s like he’s been out on the town with the boys. He comes in the front door full of doggie testosterone, bounding down the hall, toenails clattering on the tiles, jumping and leaping around. Texas knows to stay clear when he’s like this. It’s as if he’s all pumped up after a trip to the gym. After my initial success, I lost my confidence in being able to talk to Morgan and Texas. It felt so much harder with them rather than an animal I didn’t know, because I presumed I knew what they would answer back. To overcome this technical hitch I’d pretend we were strangers and kept reminding myself to ‘stay in neutral’, which meant I couldn’t have any agenda or expectation. Slowly, I began to trust myself, and the odd snippet of information became a couple of snippets, then a sentence, then a whole movie clip of images until I’d found a nice flow. I’d ask them how they got on with one another when I wasn’t there and whether Morgan liked his dog walker, and pleaded with Texas to stay safe and out of trouble, at which point he’d almost raise his furry eyebrows and sigh. As our communication progressed, I began to play about with it: I’d ask them a question out loud, instead of silently in my mind, and then I’d wait for the response. Texas particularly liked this game at bedtime. I’d find him lying at the end of the bed, paws curled under his chest, eager-eyed, waiting for me to pop the first question. Domestic animals who live closely with us are affected by our decisions. I was planning a three-week holiday to Australia and had already gone ahead and arranged for Morgan to stay with his dog walker, who boards dogs in his home. I hadn’t told him about the holiday, but he’d tuned into me and worked out I was going to be leaving him behind. When I made the mistake of not considering his feelings, he put me right in a startling way. We were on his regular morning walk on the common when he suddenly ran into the middle of a very busy road. Thankfully no cars were coming and I was able to catch up with him and put him back on the lead. He waited a day and then the next morning he did it again. This time cars were travelling at about 40 mph right towards him. I ran out into the road and stood in front of them, frantically waving my arms to get them to stop. They saw me in time and I was able to catch Morgan and walk him to the pavement, my legs shaking with the fear that he could have been knocked down. If he’d wanted to put the frighteners on me, he’d achieved it. When he did the very same thing for a third time, the penny finally dropped. Rather than employing a dog behaviouralist who would have possibly told me to be more of a pack leader, I did what felt right for me. Instead of telling Morgan off with, ‘What were you thinking? You know you shouldn’t run into the road. You could have got yourself killed!’, I did what I should have done the very first time: ‘Why are you running into the road, Morgan?’ ‘To get your attention,’ he replied. ‘Well, now you have it. What’s the matter?’ I said. ‘You didn’t ask me. What’s the point of being able to communicate if you don’t listen to us?’ he said. I fell silent, lost for words. Is this what he had nearly killed himself for? He was right, though. What’s the point of opening a door if you only shut it again? I needed to acknowledge that this new interaction we had was two-way and mutually beneficial. ‘What didn’t I ask you? What do you want to say?’ I replied. ‘You didn’t ask me what I wanted,’ he stated. Then it dawned on me – I was packing him off to the dog walker’s home and I hadn’t even asked him whether he was OK with it. I hadn’t involved him in the decision at all. I apologized to him and told him I understood why he was mad. He reminded me we were equals. He gave me a picture of a square, which he divided into four equal parts. Each part was assigned to a member of the family – me, my partner, Texas and Morgan himself. This was how he viewed us – as equals. Morgan has never got my attention like this again. He hasn’t needed to. I now explain when I’m going away and involve him in every decision that affects him. CHAPTER 3 (#ulink_a8f949ef-d000-583f-b230-c618d9c76b20) The Texas Ranger (#ulink_a8f949ef-d000-583f-b230-c618d9c76b20) THIS IS MY introduction to Texas, the green-eyed red-headed feline in my life, and a glimpse into his free spirit. Texas has made it clear to me that just because it’s possible to communicate with animals, it doesn’t give us the right to control them. It began when I became aware that Texas was disappearing for long periods at a time. This went on for a number of weeks. I’d call him but he wouldn’t appear. This was strange in itself, as he’s the most wonderfully responsive cat who rushes to me when I call his name. As he does so he is normally calling, ‘I’m here, I’m here,’ or sometimes, ‘I’m coming, I’m coming,’ which I’ll hear way off in the distance, and a minute or so later he might appear at the top of my garden fence or on the shed roof. I was becoming more concerned about his long absences, but talking to your own animals isn’t always easy. I thought I could use my new skill to keep tabs on him, but he had other plans. On one of his absent days I reached out to ask him, ‘Where are you?’ He replied, ‘On important cat business.’ ‘What do you mean, “important cat business”? Where are you?’ I said. ‘None of your business,’ he replied, completely self-assured. After that I tried to connect with him on a visual level to look out of his eyes to establish where he was. He blocked the connection. He simply wouldn’t let me in. The extended absences carried on for another week and I continued to try and find out what he was up to, but the answer was always the same: ‘I’m on important cat business.’ When he returned he wasn’t asking for food in his usual demanding way and I became suspicious he was dining elsewhere. The biggest giveaway was the tell-tale scent – he kept coming home smelling of another woman’s perfume! ‘I know you’re moonlighting with another woman,’ I said to him. ‘I can smell her perfume on you.’ Texas just carried on as though we were talking about the weather. He wasn’t fussed. My suspicions were justified one day when I received a call from a soft-voiced woman. ‘Hello, I’ve just got your number from your cat’s tag. He’s ginger?’ she said. ‘Yes, that’s him,’ I confirmed. ‘I’ve been seeing him around here a lot lately and wondered whether you knew he was here.’ ‘No, I didn’t know,’ I said. ‘I knew he was going somewhere and I’ve been trying to find out where it was. Is he with you now?’ ‘He was a minute ago. I’ll just go back outside and have a look.’ She disappeared from the phone and a moment later was back. ‘He’s right outside,’ she said. ‘I’ll come straight over,’ I said, and she told me her street and house number. I raced round to meet her, and wouldn’t you know it, there was Texas looking like the cat that had got the cream. I picked him up and then the lady invited me inside to tell me what she’d noticed. She revealed she’d been seeing Texas going in and out of her neighbour’s large ground-floor window. As a cat lover with a feline companion of her own, she knew the unwritten rule – you don’t feed other people’s cats – and she decided to bring this to the attention of her neighbour, who in return became suspiciously non-committal. I thanked her for kindly giving me the heads up and I carried Texas home. When he went missing the next evening I went straight round to the street and called him. I walked up and down the houses and eventually found him in a garden close to the house with the large window. I carried him home again and fed him. ‘Please come home at night,’ I said. He smiled, purred and ate his tuna supper. The next evening it happened again and I went calling for him as loudly as is possible at 11 o’clock at night without waking up the whole street. He wasn’t homeless, he wasn’t a stray, I wasn’t on holiday. In fact, he was the most loved cat on the planet – in my opinion – albeit an unashamedly passionate food hunter, preferring the easy to catch version that came in a dish. My cries must have been heard, as the window remained shut for the following few days and Texas fell back into his normal routine and was now home at night. This led me to understand that we’re only in the position of guardians to animals. We don’t own them and it’s certainly not a good idea to expect them to do things against their will. We can only communicate with them as far as they will let us. They will always have their own agenda and their own free will. This wasn’t the first time Texas had gone on an adventure. In fact, moonlighting was in his blood. Ever since he’d run out of his cage at Battersea Dogs’ Home and pressed his stunning golden fur against my legs, I’d been charmed. But I wasn’t the only one. He’s continued to charm women ever since, and now he’s nine, so that’s quite a bit of charming. The first to join his harem were two young career women who lived in the ground-floor flat two doors down. Texas soon worked out they had fallen for him and he came up with an idea that would make his life easier. He would sit on the window ledge at the front of their flat and call out to them. Within moments the front door would open and he’d jump down and walk inside, bold and fearless. He’d walk down their hallway until he reached their back door. Standing still, he’d give another command to open the back door, and when it was open he’d walk straight out. All he had to do now was shimmy through to the next garden and climb up the rear fire escape and he’d be in his cat flap. That short cut saved him at least 10 minutes of ‘pointless’ effort going all the way down the street, avoiding dogs, feet and cars, cutting through the busy alley and finally making his way carefully across other cats’ gardens until he eventually reached mine. Soon he got wise that it could work the other way too. He’d call out at their back door, walk down the hall and then wait for them to open the front door. He had them twisted round his ivory-white whiskers. It was quite a long time before one of the girls admitted what Texas was up to. He’d kept his little secret for at least six months. I was told he’d occasionally divert from his usual plan and go into one of their bedrooms to lie on their bed, where, of course, he’d receive much love and admiration. This was the first time he came home smelling of another woman’s perfume; he was only 12 months old. I liked and trusted these women and thought Texas’s short cut was a stroke of genius, so I laughed along with them and Texas continued to use their home as his short cut and rest stop for the next three years until we moved from the area. At a different time I saw another example of Texas’ free will. I was standing in the kitchen of my first-floor flat, hands in the washing-up bowl, looking out of the window to the first-floor flat opposite, when I had to look twice. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was Texas curled up asleep on the bed. It was summer and their back door was open, so he’d just wandered up their fire escape and found himself somewhere soft to sleep. I banged on the window, calling his name. He looked up from his pillow and chose to ignore me. It appeared he felt he owned all the flats around us, because another time I saw him on the sofa of the downstairs flat. They’d left one of their windows open. There now numbered four flats in his portfolio. So what I’ve learned over the years is that Texas is a free spirit. Animals are masters in their own right and you can’t keep tabs on them just because you can talk to them. It’s not possible to control them or tell them what to do. Texas is his own cat and he makes no apology for that. It’s one of the qualities I absolutely love about him. I have also come to terms with the necessity to swallow my pride and admit I’m not the only woman in his life, although I console myself knowing our hearts are as one. He also now adores Jennie, who comes and looks after him when I’m away. He’s always waiting for her on the doorstep as her car pulls up, whatever time of day it is, and he curls up on her lap while she watches TV. He liked the little old lady down the road when she was buying in cat food especially for him, even though it had been a long time since she’d lived with a cat. He loved the two career women in the ground-floor flat who understood their hallway was also his right of way and they were his gatekeepers. And he loved having more than one soft place to rest his weary ginger head. What I’ve also realized is that cats are clever and able to manipulate things to their own advantage. For example, instead of using animal communication to do something I wanted, Texas soon used it to get me to do something he wanted. It was the middle of the night when it happened and I was sound asleep. Then I woke, bolt upright. I had heard Texas call out to me in my dream. I have hearing that’s finely tuned to his tone of meow, just as a mother can distinguish between the cries of her child and other children. Then I received an image in my mind and I knew he was at the front door. Like a zombie, still half asleep, I immediately knew what he wanted and stumbled down the stairs. I unlocked the door and pulled it open. In trotted Texas, a little late for his mutually agreed curfew. ‘Purrutt,’ he said in thanks, as he pushed himself into my legs. When I communicate with cats I know I have to be extra careful, because they often only say what they want you to hear. They sometimes withhold the truth altogether, whereas I find dogs are much more honest and generally say it how it is. They are much more reliable that way. Texas hasn’t stopped courting women, of any age. The three-year-old Spanish girl next door is absolutely crazy about him. She always stops, points to him through the eye-level gap in my front gate and tells her mother, ‘Meow meow, meow meow,’ as her face lights up and she grins from ear to ear. Texas sits soaking up the admiration – he adores his fans. CHAPTER 4 (#ulink_8a019ad1-1b08-55f6-9640-a892fbf563a9) Finding Conviction (#ulink_8a019ad1-1b08-55f6-9640-a892fbf563a9) WHAT IF YOU begin to receive information directly from an animal? Maybe you suddenly start to hear your own animals at home. Or you receive a wave of emotional joy when you casually ask your friend’s cat what kind of day she’s having. What do you do? In the books I’d gathered round me like a comforting blanket, I kept reading the word ‘psychic’, and while this had never been mentioned as the method of animal communication in the workshops I’d attended, it was obviously very relevant. I needed to know what ‘being psychic’ and ‘psychic communication’ involved, and in my search I came across the College of Psychic Studies, so I signed up for the Foundation Programme. The College of Psychic Studies is located in the trendy and expensive borough of Chelsea and Kensington. It is hidden within a cleverly disguised four-storey Georgian building set within a long terrace of private homes, only a couple of gigantic Tyrannosaurus strides away from the Natural History Museum. It was originally founded in 1884 by a small group of people, including some notable scientists and dignitaries of the clergy, who were there primarily to investigate psychic and mediumistic phenomena, a popular subject even back in the Victorian era. One of the early founders was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a physician who became renowned for his Sherlock Holmes series. In the late 1800s, Sir Arthur joined the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) and carried out experiments with a woman called Mrs Ball. Evidence from these experiments convinced him that telepathy was genuine and he dedicated the next 30 years to further studies and investigations and wrote 14 books on psychic matters, including his most substantial one, The History of Spiritualism. When I looked at the college brochure, I was drawn to one particular class called ‘Psychic Unfoldment’, led by Avril Price. I’d never heard of her before, but I liked her down-to-earth humour when we spoke over the phone and her class sounded interesting because it covered a huge range of psychic skills, including psychometry, reading auras and mediumship. I was feeling apprehensive as I walked from the crisp spring air through the dark blue main door and into the building. I tried to look relaxed as I waited for the receptionist to point me in the right direction. Behind me on the walls were large gold-framed oil paintings with the names of respected psychic scholars, scientists and clergy dating back over the last century. I liked the fact that I was walking amongst history – it somehow felt more authentic. Up until this point I had thought all psychics were like Mystic Meg – gypsy types with a crystal ball – and I felt distrustful of this age-worn image. Even now when I receive small flyers through my letterbox from psychics advertising they can resolve my emotional life or eliminate past-life karma, I throw them straight into the recycling bin. So when I met Avril, my psychic teacher, I was gobsmacked. Gone was the kooky, mystical fortune-teller with long curling fingernails, gold hoop earrings and crystal ball in tow, and in stepped the Jo Brand equivalent. She was normal and she had that dry, satirical sense of humour on which the English comedienne has made her reputation. I thought she was fabulous! Over the next eight weeks she led me through the unfolding of my own psychic ability. Crikey! In the beginning I didn’t even know what being ‘grounded’ meant. Though it was a term I’d often heard used at the animal communication workshops, I still thought it was something that would happen to me if I were discovered doing something naughty, just like at school. I felt lucky to have been drawn to Avril from the many teachers at the college. I could connect with her down-to-earth non-threatening approach and the way she made psychic development both fun and accessible. In a world that could be considered scary or fairy-like, I had found someone who was neither. After this first class Avril let me move straight up to the next level, Psychic Development at Intermediate/Advanced Level. During this second term I wanted to push myself, to go beyond my comfort zone. It was a place of learning after all, so there was no better place to try something new. I signed up for the Platform in Mediumship, where I’d be expected to bring concrete evidence and comfort through from those in the spirit world. One evening, in front of 150 students and friends of the college packed to the walls, I stood on the platform at the front and prayed the spirit of someone would come through to give me a message to pass on to someone in the audience. I was quietly hoping an animal would come through, but in fact it was a man who contacted me from the Other Side with a message for his grandson. All through the delivery of the message, my legs were quaking. I was certain everyone could see how nervous and scared I felt. Despite this, the message was clear and the grandson understood it and was grateful to hear from his grandfather. I can now admit this was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, but it did help me enormously. I feel the only way we can gain confidence is by pushing ourselves further than is comfortable. In this way we can grow. At about the same time I also trained in Reiki, the energy system created by Mikao Usui for self-healing, self-development and spiritual development. I began with Reiki level 1. I was hungry for what Reiki was giving me: deep relaxation and a sense of bliss. About three months later, I trained to practitioner level 2. I found making this connection with energy was a good foundation for subtler energy work with animals. It also made me more receptive as a conduit for energy and I developed more sensitivity in my hands. Reiki attunements restore connections to higher energies, the Source, God – call it whichever is most comfortable for you. Personally, I find the word ‘God’ tricky, as I had a completely non-religious upbringing and still consider myself non-religious, but I do now believe in a higher source or divine energy which we can all draw on for answers and support. I definitely feel Reiki has enhanced my work and it has also taught me the importance of breath and of intention. Breath can help increase healing and, as the saying goes, ‘Where intention goes, energy flows.’ As an animal communicator I now work with the breath and my intention – using my breath to calm my nervous system and relax my body, and my intention to remain neutral and work for the highest good of the animal. After several months of spiritual development, in the summer I felt drawn to attend another animal communication workshop. The Animals’ Ambassador The first time I saw Amelia Kinkade she was gliding past me in a long, sparkling, deep purple cloak and high heels. She was as American as a lady from Los Angeles could be; she had that look: slim, toned, tanned and highly polished, with cascading curly blonde hair. She was beautiful. At that time Amelia was a professional animal communicator with over a decade’s experience. She was teaching all over the world and had her first book in the shops, Straight from the Horse’s Mouth. It was the best book on animal communication I’d ever read – and I’d read a few. The stories were incredible, hilarious and deeply moving. After I’d read it and discovered Amelia was coming to teach in England, I had another intuitive feeling – I knew I wanted to meet her. That is how in the summer of 2005 I came to be sitting in the dining room of ‘Brightlife’, a beautiful Georgian mansion dedicated to enlightenment and rejuvenation, on the TT motorcycle-racing Isle of Man. On a Friday evening, two dozen or so people were sitting inside a function room with a wall of windows overlooking a field full of munching sheep. Amelia introduced the theory behind animal communication and its connection with science and quantum physics. She began by telling us that everything is energy. Human beings are energy, plants are energy and animals are energy. All this energy is connected on the most gargantuan spider’s web, a 3D picture which spreads out in every direction throughout the universe. Amelia called this ‘the Zero Point Energy Field’. She went on to elaborate that quantum physicists now tell us that every living being and physical object has a resonant holographic image logged on to the spider’s web (Zero Point Energy Field). This image is called a quantum hologram. This theory means you have a hologram, I have a hologram and so do our animals. All of us are connected, because our holograms are attached on the web, despite the fact that you are sitting there and I am sitting here. As Amelia spoke about the harmony of science and psychic connection, it dawned on me that she was in a completely different league from the other teachers I’d met. Her understanding of animal communication was immense. When I witnessed her own ability to talk to animals and her deep heartfelt love of them, it gave me cause to feel inspired. I could see just how far you could take this ability and I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. Amelia was setting the standard for animal communicators everywhere. She was then, and would remain, a huge source of inspiration to me, as well as hundreds of other devoted animal lovers across the globe, a role model for professional animal communicators and an ambassador for animals. After the in-depth and brain-expanding explanation of animal communication, we were invited to try our first communication with a little white and tan terrier. His guardian had brought him in for us to communicate with and he stayed for the next 40 minutes. This was the first workshop I’d attended where a ‘real live animal’ came to help us practice – an animal guest-teacher. The first question Amelia wanted us to ask him was: ‘What’s his favourite food?’ She told us to imagine sending an empty food bowl to him using a picture in our mind’s eye and asking him to fill it with his favourite food then return it to us. By this time I had already attended four animal communication workshops, I knew how to make a connection with an animal and how to ask questions. This should have been puppy-play for me. However, all I felt was blank. It was as if an empty void had washed over me. I couldn’t connect. I couldn’t receive the answers. But the most disastrous feeling of all was the nothingness. I desperately tried to feel an emotional connection with the cute little dog who had taken a liking to my trousers and had begun licking them in earnest. Despite his joyful distraction, I felt numb. My heart felt closed. After a couple of minutes’ silence, Amelia asked, ‘What did you get?’ ‘Nothing,’ I replied. She continued around the room hearing what everyone else had either seen or heard. The second question was: ‘What about his favourite activity?’ ‘What have you got?’ she cajoled. ‘Nothing,’ I said despondently. ‘Nothing at all?’ ‘No, nothing.’ I found myself shrinking into my chair as everyone’s eyes fell upon me. ‘Can you see what his bed is like?’ Amelia encouraged. ‘No,’ I replied uncomfortably. I felt worse and worse. With each question I felt another nail being driven into my complete lack of ability. I had lost it. The special connection had gone. Amelia looked at me, confused, ‘Did you receive anything?’ It was as though she could tell something wasn’t quite right and that this was new for me. ‘Nothing, nothing at all.’ I wanted to run – run away from the knowledge that I couldn’t communicate with animals anymore. The wonderful ability I had discovered just six months earlier had vanished for good. Back at my guesthouse, I fell into a deep dark despair. I went to bed feeling as though I couldn’t speak about this to any of the other students and ended up tossing and turning all night. The next day I tried to start afresh and entered the workshop room with positive thoughts. But when we began to practice our communication skills again, I struggled whilst most of the people around me seemed to find it effortless. They appeared to communicate with dogs and cats as if they’d been doing it all their life. But for me, it was another disappointing day. Over supper that evening I had the good fortune to sit next to a talented animal communicator called Yvette Knight. She had been having amazingly accurate communications all day. ‘How are you doing?’ she asked me. ‘Not good,’ I admitted. ‘Oh, really? Why’s that?’ she asked, genuinely interested. ‘I just can’t feel anything – anything at all.’ I went on to tell her of an animal communication workshop earlier in the year, where I’d chosen to believe someone else rather than trust my own inner voice. Understandably, this had the result of completely undermining my confidence in my ability as an effective animal communicator. ‘I feel as though my heart has shut down,’ I told her. Now Yvette is a belly dancer of gladiator proportions, with long blonde hair and the wit to disarm even the smartest of opponents. Shy and retiring, she is not. So she was very empathetic and for a while simply listened, which was just what I needed – then she came out with a few hand-picked expletives and I felt a bit better for sharing my feelings. Jupiter’s Magic Sunday morning arrived, along with the last two sessions before my flight back to London. Yvette was having breakfast at a private table with Amelia, so I joined some women on the grand dining table and earwigged an interesting conversation about shamanism. It seemed that the basic principle of shamanism was the belief that everything is alive and has a spirit, and shamans try to live in harmony with the Earth and animals. An hour later, the students and I were sitting in an oval-shaped pattern around the edge of the lecture room anticipating Amelia’s arrival. She walked in as though she meant business and launched into the importance of staying centred and grounded within your own power. She wasn’t talking about a masculine, dominating, controlling power, but that internal power all of us have as part of our individual birthright, the power that keeps us strong and protected. As she spoke, it felt as though everyone else disappeared and the room descended into silence until all I heard were her words. Although she didn’t look my way, I felt she had crafted her speech just for me. She spoke at length and then ended with a short summary. ‘Don’t ever give your power away,’ she said. ‘You must keep it close, because there are those who will try to take it from you. Don’t let them.’ Easier said than done, I thought, but it immediately struck a chord, and I remembered my feelings of emptiness when someone had implied I should not trust my own intuition, my own gut feelings. The air was cool, but the sun was shining upon us as we walked outside with our notepads and pens to meet our first animal guest teacher of the morning. In the centre of the courtyard stood a tall dark horse called Jupiter. He appeared very calm and very proud. After a disastrous day and a half, I didn’t have high hopes, but I tried to communicate with him anyway. Within seconds of looking into Jupiter’s deep chocolate eyes, my chest started to rise and fall as my breathing became deeper and more demanding. I began to feel an overwhelming rush of love from him that seemed to cloak my entire body. My legs were shaking, overcome by this sudden surge of emotion. Worried that I was about to make a right fool of myself in front of everyone, I made a hasty retreat from the group to the side of the building behind us. Tears were pouring down my face as I tried to compose myself, struggling to control my breathing and desperately trying not to sob out loud in front of this group of relative strangers. Whenever I looked at Jupiter to ask him one of the questions from Amelia, I felt another wave of love washing over me, soaking into every pore of my skin and reaching deep inside my heart. His love was so strong it might be compared to the love that pours out of your heart when welcoming your first newborn into the world or to the power of Niagara Falls. His love was instinctual, all-encompassing and utterly powerful. Jupiter was blasting my heart wide open and enabling me to connect with my emotions. At that moment, I vowed never to give my power away again. I will always be hugely grateful to this magnificent horse who managed to see straight through to the core of me. He tuned into me, even when I was unable to tune into him, and he helped me in the exact way I needed, by opening my heart connection. Later I’d learn that this could also be called heart chakra healing. Horses seem to have an extraordinary talent in this arena. After this immensely healing experience with Jupiter, my communications with animals went from strength to strength. I could sense an emotional connection with them, whether they were sad, happy, grieving, joyful or confused. With my heart reawakened, I could understand any emotion they were feeling and this enabled me to connect with them on a deeper level. It helped me on a personal level, too, because now I was able to ascertain whether I was truly connected to an animal or just making it up. As I left the island I felt more experienced, inspired and whole again. In just one weekend, Amelia and Jupiter had managed to put me right back on track. It wasn’t until I was flying through the clouds over the Irish Sea that I remembered that my zodiac sign’s ruling planet happens to be Jupiter, and I wondered whether this was merely coincidence or a strange twist of fate. As someone born under the sign of Sagittarius, my zodiac symbol is a hybrid of half human above and half horse below – maybe this was a sign of synchronicity. CHAPTER 5 (#ulink_16dc30e3-8977-59a3-b08d-358772e47608) Opening the Door of Opportunity (#ulink_16dc30e3-8977-59a3-b08d-358772e47608) VERY EARLY ON in my animal communication experience I was drawn to two dogs, Mono and Riki. I discovered both of these animals in January 2006, when there were pleas on their behalf on separate web forums where I had membership. Each time an impulse made me want to contact their guardians to volunteer my services as an animal communicator. It turned out eventually that I wasn’t solely helping the dogs, they were also helping me, as if fate, or the universe, had brought us together for a reason. They taught me a lot about ill-health and positive attitude and were instrumental in building my confidence as an effective animal communicator. More on Riki later, but first let me tell you about Mono. 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