There's something about Raphaela Pope that makes you want to believe that her ability to communicate telepathically with animals is unquestionably real.
Maybe it's the fact that she is so comfortable and confident in her own abilities.
"Telepathic communication is an inherent talent that everyone has when they are very young," she said in a recent interview. "But this ability shuts down when we discover speech and we are very highly rewarded for learning to speak.
"In fact, we aren't believed if we say that cats can talk. We are conditioned to a certain world view at a very young age," Pope added.
Pope was a critical care nurse in Berkeley and San Francisco for many years before she moved to Davis a little more than three years ago. Now she lives in a house with a two humans, three dogs, three cats, four parrots and iguana and lots of fish. Three horses are boarded nearby. She makes her living as an animal communicator.
"I've kept a low profile in Davis," she said. She thinks folks over at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine probably are divided about her abilities. She says many veterinarians approve of her methods. But she doesn't want to waste time interacting with people who don't believe in her abilities. To her, it's not worth arguing about.
She describes her road from nurse to telepathic animal communicator in her book ,"Wisdom of Animals: Communication Between Animals and the People Who Love Them" (Adams, 2001, $12.95), which she co-wrote with Elizabeth Morrison.
She doesn't have to travel to meet her clients, of course, since she talks to animals not on the phone or even in person necessarily but through her mind. People contact her through her Web site (www.raphaelapope.com) or locally through word of mouth. She charges $50 for a 30-minute consult.
People call or write to her with pleas for help in locating lost pets, solving behavior problems or diagnosing illnesses. Sometimes people contact her just because they want to know what their pets are thinking. Are they happy, sad, anxious?
Most people who own and love animals are readily able to conceive that their animals are sentient.
"They know there's a person in there, and people ask me questions about it," she said. "Why doesn't the dog have any interest in obedience classes? Where was the cat last night? Why won't the cat stop peeing in the house?"
The answers Pope gets are usually pretty straightforward. Cats and dogs do not like changes in their owner/guardian's schedule. If someone new has entered the household, they may not like that person.
"Lose the new boyfriend," is the bad news Pope has frequently had to deliver to an otherwise doting cat owner.
One dog owner in Tacoma asked Pope to talk to her dog, who faced eye surgery. The owner wanted Pope just to reassure the animal that everything would be OK, that it wasn't going to suffer and that there was no other choice.
Pope said she recently visited the owner of a very sick dog. The owner thought he should put the dog to sleep because it was so very ill. Pope talked to the dog telepathically and learned that although the dog knew he was going to die, he did not want to be put down. He wanted to live out the time he had left. The owner was relieved to know his pet's final wishes.
Another recent client was a woman in North Korea who sought Pope's help in locating a lost dog. The woman learned about Pope from the Internet and then phoned Davis for a consultation.
Pope's face clouded over as she described the circumstances of this case. The dog was found through Pope's directions but it was too late. The animal was dead, and its owner believed the death came at the hands of people who wanted to sell it for human consumption.
When Pope is trying to contact an animal located far away, she said she likes to see a photo or get a description of the animal.
"You can improve telepathic sending and receiving by visualizing," she said.
If this sounds intriguing to you, give it a try. You and your animals might be surprised at the results.
You can reach Pope via her Web site.
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