Whether it's tracking down a herd of goats or listening to the needs of a fluffy Chihuahua, Naomi Brenda McDonald says listening to pets is her calling.
As an animal communicator, or a pet psychic, McDonald says she reads telepathic waves and can literally climb inside the mind of animals.
"I've gotten so much spiritually from them, it's my way of giving back," said McDonald, who lives in Owasso.
Her clients often seek McDonald's help when they have a baffling behavioral problem, a lost pet or they are going through the painful process of transition. McDonald works at many animal and pet events in the Tulsa area, and she takes on individual clients for $50 per 30 minutes and $75 an hour.
She says people seem to be more open-minded about the idea of animal telepathy lately.
"There's a shift happening right now. You see a lot of TV about paranormal events or psychics," she said. "I think the interest in TV and movies is sparking something so people know it's real."
'All are communicating'
McDonald was first introduced to an animal communicator several years ago who helped her identify some problems she was having with her horses.
She was amazed at how accurate the woman was, so she began studying and traveling to hone her own skills.
About four years ago, McDonald began teaching animal communication, and has written a book called "They Sing to Our Hearts," to be released in the coming weeks.
McDonald understands that many people are initially skeptical of telepathy, especially in animals. She explains it as an ability to recognize signals or information.
"Everybody receives some kind of information, but we all receive it differently," she said. "More can see pictures than hear words."
McDonald says she can communicate with a pet in the flesh or through a photograph — and the latter is hard for some people to understand.
"A lot of people ask me, 'Why don't you have to be in the same room?' " she said. "All are communicating. Every single being gives off a harmonic frequency."
So McDonald says she's there to capture it and translate it to the pet owner.
"I get different feelings," she said. "One might feel light, or sometimes I'll feel a sadness."
Many clients are simply curious and want to know what their pets are thinking or how they feel.
Others are in need of help, such as Kimberly Stowell, who lost a herd of goats and a Great Pyrenees dog last week near her Skiatook ranch.
"We spent three weeks scouring the whole ranch looking for them and come to find out they were on someone else's property," said Stowell. "We couldn't seem to track them and was getting worried about the dog not eating. So a friend of mine told me she knew Naomi."
Stowell said McDonald contacted the dog, who eventually led them to the goats.
"She told me which direction the goats had gone and told me there's a stream of water on the property and that they've gone in a clockwise direction," Stowell said. "And that they've moved much farther than you think they are."
When McDonald asked the dog why he wasn't leading the goats back to the ranch, she says the dog told her, "I follow. I follow."
Stowell believed her.
"That's all Great Pyrenees do is they follow," Stowell said. "They're not shepherding dogs. That made me feel a little better, so we kept searching."
Eventually the dog wandered back to Stowell's property, and she soon found the goats three miles away on a property with a stream.
"I asked him where the goats were and he took me to them," Stowell said.
Did she have any initial skepticism about McDonald's communication skills?
"I think there are a lot of things possible that we don't realize," Stowell said. "Of course you always have a little bit of skepticism, but most people do not know that Pyrenees do not herd he's a protector and stays with them."
McDonald said most people receive the signals she translates, but they are simply unaware of them.
"People are receiving information all the time," she said. "Do you ever think about someone and they call you? We're doing that all the time and we're just not recognizing it."
‘I told you I was sick’
Some clients want to know if their pet is sick or ailing in an area they can’t communicate about, and McDonald says she has helped pets overcome various issues.
For example, she says she recently helped a client find out why her cat was having stomach problems.
Lee Anne Wilson of Oklahoma City said her Maine Coon cat, Dylan, was having accidents around the house.
“The vet thought he had some kind of bowel disorder, and we tried traditional medicine for that,” Wilson said. “He’d get a little better, then it would come back. I was really, really worried.
She said a friend suggested McDonald, who often travels to Oklahoma City for workshops, and made an appointment.
“(McDonald) said, ‘I’m seeing boxes. He’s afraid you’re going to put him in a box and he won’t come back,’” Wilson said.
“I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m having an estate sale,’ and for the past few weeks I was putting things into boxes.
There were boxes everywhere.
Wilson said she believes Dylan got better.
“She told Dylan that he’s never going into the box, that he’d never be without me,” she said. “Every once in a while we’ll have a little bout with an upset stomach, but it has never come back like that.
Veterinarians believe you should still take your pet to a vet for regular checkups, like Wilson did.
“I think the danger point is when you start substituting (a pet psychic) for a veterinary option,” said Dr. Paul DeMars, a Community Practice veterinarian at Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Stillwater.
“I hope they’re not proposing they’re going to be a substitute for a trained professional.
Even though DeMars said animal communication is “scientifically a little difficult to confirm,” he understands why there’s a curiosity for it.
“I think dogs and cats in general have an emotional spot in our lives and there’s definitely a human bond.
“And since we don’t have a way that you can directly communicate with them, I think it’s attractive to people when someone says they can communicate.
By KIM BROWN World Scene Writer, Published: 11/14/2009, Tulsa World
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