Entry 478: Do You Really Want to Know What Your Pet Is Thinking?

A while after getting our Shetland Sheepdog puppy Riley back in February, I did a post smallbedcontaining questions we wanted to ask him. Now I’ve heard of a woman who professes to be able to discover the answers.

She is Laura Stinchfield, Pet Psychic.

For a mere $250 an hour (or $135 for a half hour), Ms. Stinchfield will be happy to converse with Riley and reveal his innermost thoughts which, for $250, better be more profound than “Can you rub my belly?”

She says that she can find out why he doesn’t always come when we call him, what’s going

"Okay, I'm laying on the couch.  Now what did you want to know about my puppyhood?"

“Okay, I’m laying on the couch. Now what did you want to know about my puppyhood?”

on with some health issues he’s been having, and what he really thinks of the black lab down the street.

Ms. Stinchfield, who, it will come as no surprise, is based in California, is by no means a specialist. She doesn’t just communicate with dogs. She’ll talk to any animal you happen to have around, even if you no longer have it around, if you get my drift. And if you don’t have any pets, she’ll talk to people. Even dead people! Even babies! Maybe she’ll even talk to your lamp!

But, wait–that’s not the best part. She can do all this over the phone!

Now, before I go any further, I should say that I am somewhat skeptical by nature. Two I-want-to-believe-1024-768[1]months ago, I would have summarily dismissed Ms. Stinchfield as a flake or a con artist. But it so happens I’ve been binge-watching The X-Files, so now I’ll believe almost anything. If the Pet Psychic conducted in-person consultations, then, sure, I’d believe she could communicate with Riley. But over the phone? That stretches the limits of my credulity. She’d at least have to use SKYPE.

I mean, I can’t even imagine getting Riley to sit still near a phone for an hour, much less have a conversation. He’d be more likely to carry the phone outside and add it to his stash of sticks behind the bushes.

But Ms. Stinchfield says she has never had a problem connecting to the pet she was trying to reach. Unless, perhaps, the animal was using T-Mobile.

And in case you have not been binge-watching The X-Files and think this is a bunch of hokum, for only $20 extra, Laura the Pet Psychic will provide you with an actual recording of the session!

I wondered what such a thing might sound like, given that the pet is supposedly communicating with Laura psychically. Wouldn’t it just be Laura asking questions followed by periods of silence? I was really curious, but not curious enough to actually blow $250 on a session, plus the twenty bucks for the recording. So instead, I thought I’d listen to Laura’s radio show.

Yes, of course she has a radio show. Past episodes are online, so I chose the one with the most reasonable-sounding title, “Dead Grandpa Interrupts the Show & Dog Gives Dating Advice.”

sharpei2DobramilFuChoufront[1]The show begins with an in-studio producer conversing with Laura by phone using actual words, since telepathic discussions don’t play well on the radio. Laura talks about some interesting animals she’s met lately, and I’m pretty sure it will be the only time in my life that I hear somebody say, “I was talking to a shar pei the other day, and…”

After the introduction, the calls begin. Evidently owners had already posted pictures of their pets on the Pet Psychic Facebook page so that Laura could look at their pictures while talking with them, because even psychics need social media these days. First to call in was Winston, a cat who seemed happy with his family but didn’t purr. So Laura, not one to beat around the bush, asked him straight out, in a voice most people reserve for talking to babies and small animals (and which is even more annoying coming out of your computer speakers), why he doesn’t purr. Winston replied that he doesn’t purr because his owner might think it was a growl.

You don’t actually hear him say that, of course. You don’t even hear a meow, and certainly, for obvious reasons, there is no purring. What you hear is Laura telling us what Winston said. And so I imagine that the recording of her session with Riley would be an hour of her asking Riley a question in her baby voice and then telling us what he said, and then asking another question in her baby voice and telling us what he said, and then asking another question in her baby voice and then me hanging myself.

By now you probably can’t wait to book a session with Laura for a living or deceased pet. But before you do, there’s a potential problem to consider.

In the FAQ section of her website, the Pet Psychic herself brings up this issue, because she knows you are concerned about it (although, frankly, it hadn’t even occurred to me, so Laura and I must not share a good connection).

Here is the question: “Will they (the pets) tell my secrets?”

I bet now you’re frantically trying to recall everything you’ve ever done in front of Fido. Will your pet rat you out even if it’s not a rat? What if Winston, the purrless cat, had blurted out on the radio, “I don’t purr because my owner is busy watching porn all the time.”

Well, fortunately, there’s no need to worry. According to Ms. Stinchfield:

“Animals are amazingly loyal. Their grasp on situations that are happening within the family are extremely conscious. They will not tell me anything that they believe may harm or disappoint you.”

On the other hand, when you listen to the recording of your pet’s session with Laura, don’t be surprised if you hear something like, “Unless I get a really big bone, I’m telling what you did when Mr. Peterson brought his poodle over for a play date.”

See you soon.

P.S. The one thing Laura won’t do is locate a lost pet. She helpfully informs potential clients that there are other psychics who do that. I will helpfully inform you that there are also microchips that do that.

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