Leigh Peterson is a writer for Cuyahoga Falls Patch. She contacted me several weeks ago for an interview.
Local Pet Whisperers Help Us Understand Our Pets
Whether you believe that some humans can talk to animals or not, sometimes an objective voice can help you better understand your pets and the relationship you share.
As someone who is intrigued by, but not reliant upon, the spiritual realm of psychics, astrology, and mediums, I recently went out in search of local animal communicators.
Today's column is the first in a series of three features profiling local animal lovers who claim they can talk with your pets and understand what they are feeling. I've learned a lot in speaking with these women, and I even feel I've become a better pet parent from the experience.
My first interview was with Barb Borkowski. Barb is an empathetic woman with a background in nursing, massage therapy and reiki who first felt the ability to communicate with animals at the age of two.
When laying near her own family's dogs, she felt their pain and discomfort in her own body. She was somehow aware that this discomfort was being "transmitted" by the dogs, but she didn't fully understand the concept of energy fields until she began training to be a massage therapist. Then, while nursing, Barb was often able to correctly identify the physical ailments of patients just by looking at them.
When she isn't communicating with pets, she offers human energy therapy sessions.
Barb also felt early on in life that she could sense the well-being of her family pets after they passed on. Today, she offers animal communication services for pets living and passed, in person at the home of the pet or via email by looking at a picture of the animal.
During in-person communication, she offers the animal calming energy therapy and relays any messages she receives back to the pet's owner.
I asked Barb what her most rewarding experience was while communicating with an animal. That experience involved dog depression and was actually captured by Fox 8 News. You can see the video above:
I was asked to help a dog who had behavioral changes. He was less active, appeared sad and had a loss of appetite. When I saw him, he wanted to know where the cat went. The cat had died several weeks before and the dog was concerned that the cat did something wrong. He was afraid that if he did something wrong, the owner would get rid of him. Once reassured that he was loved and would be staying in the home, he quickly returned to his normal disposition.
I also asked Barb if she ever has to give sad news. "Yes," she said. "There have been animals that were sick and desired to be euthanized."
Barb was gracious enough to provide me with a sample reading for my column. For those who are skeptical, I can assure you that Barb does not just tell you what you want to hear. In fact, the information I got from Barb was difficult to swallow.
Barb instructed me to send me a picture of the pet I wanted her to communicate with and to give her no other information. After I got the reading, she said, I could then ask questions.
I don't know if Barb read my previous column on Aura, in which I admitted to not always feeling a bond with her, but this is what Barb's message focused on. She also reminded me that her readings also involve the pet owners, not just the pet, and that pets are a reflection of us.
The message from my cat involved her sensing my tension when I work long hours at the computer (making "clicking noises with my fingers"). She also said that part of me desires to be with family and part of me is very independent. I had never looked at it that way, but in that sense, Aura is actually similar to me. She is mostly independent and on her own, but sometimes joins us, just like me because I spend most of the day in my home office on the computer.
According to Barb, she didn't feel a strong connection between my cat and I because Aura did not feel completely accepted by me. She thought she was a gift and didn't know why I kept her. She also felt that perhaps I loved the dog more than her. This was difficult to hear.
In the end, I had to swallow my pride and accept an objective, outside voice as an opportunity to evaluate how I treat my pets and my home life.
I asked Barb if Aura would ever go back to eating the healthier food that she used to eat. Barb answered the question with a poignant question for me: "Are you eating healthy? She is a reflection of you."
Gulp. No, I do not.
"With reassurance that you want and love her," Barb told me, "I feel Aura will become the cat that you desire to have. Also, when we work on ourselves, the pets change as we change."
I sat down with Aura and, much like human parents tell their children the story of how they were born, I told Aura the story of how I got her. I told her how I searched and searched for a little girl like her, and when I found her I drove a long way and paid for her with my own money, and how I very much wanted her to enjoy her life here with us.
She started to purr.
I also explained to her that I love her the way she is, and that she is very different from the dog, who isn't independent like she is. I assured her that I love everyone in our house the same, but that the dog always chooses to be by the humans.
With Barb's help, I learned to be more accepting of Aura as she is. She isn't the cat I thought she'd be, and that's a good thing. She is her own girl, just like I'm my own woman and wish to be accepted as I am, quirks and flaws and all.
I appreciate the times she longs to be with me, and her little precious voice when she wants to see what I'm doing or wants me to pet her. But I don't ask her to be anything she isn't.
Perhaps now that I understand her more is the reason why she has again started eating the healthier food I wanted her to eat before. We've compromised.
For my part, I went out and bought all my favorite fruits and veggies, something I often neglect to do. For her part, she can still have the tasty Fancy Feast that I get her from Petsmart, but she'll eat the healthier food a few times a week, too. Thank you Aura, I love you!
You can get help with questions you may have about your pet, living or passed, by contacting Barb.