August 2, 2010 -- Admit it – you've thought to yourself before, "What is my pet really thinking?"
But because our pets don't have the fictional communication abilities possessed by television characters like Scooby Doo and Brian from "Family Guy," we are more often than not completely in the dark when it comes to our beloved animals' inner thoughts and ideas.
However, self-proclaimed animal psychic Dana Miller believes otherwise. "I consider myself a professional listener," she said. "Whatever they want to say is fine."
Miller makes a living out of talking to pets – and she says they talk back.
"I communicate with animals. They can communicate through telepathic communications."
Although pet telepathy may sound a little out there, Miller is not alone. Thousands of so-called "animal psychics" are now popping up across the country, advertising their intuitive services through websites, YouTube videos, and even a reality show on Animal Planet, "Pet Psychic." Miller is based in Los Angeles, and she advertises her services through word-of-mouth and through her website.
Miller said her ability is somewhat unique - she can communicate with animals without being in physical contact with them.
"I do what's called long-distance communication," she said. "They can be in Florida - doesn't matter."
What sets Miller even further apart from other psychics is she doesn't discriminate when it comes to animal communication. Squirrels, raccoons, coyotes, tigers – she says she has even conversed with cows.
"Cows talk really slow," she said. "Really, really slow when they talk."
But how does this actually work? What are Miller's conversations with animals actually like?
During a recent communication, Miller 'spoke' with a cat named Max. Judith, Max's owner, was at the end of her rope with her pet's affinity for using house furniture as a scratching pad.
Judith contacted Miller, and sent her pictures of the cat.
"I will look at the picture and it takes me about 45 minutes of time," Miller said. "I will let the animal talk as long as (they) want to go. Out of respect to them, I won't cut them off."
Conversations with Cats
During her communications, Miller sits in her office wearing headphones. She studies the photo of the animal and writes down their communication as she "speaks" with them.
Their conversation looks something like this:
Max: You comin' to see me?
Miller: Yes. Is now a good time?
Max: Ya. I'll talk anytime. I'm certain she told you 'bout me.
Miller: Yes, she did. Can we ask you some questions?
And a while later...
Miller: Do you know that she's unhappy and concerned because you do this to her furniture?
Max: Well, I sort of know, but I'm still not stopped. She does not insist that I don't.
Miller: Would you be willing to try to direct your energy to the items that are meant for you?
Max: It's not as interesting that way. I don't generate as much fun that way.
Eventually Miller says she is able to convince the cat. "Do you think you could consider trying to use the stuff that's supposed to be for you to scratch on?"
Miller scribbles his response: "Hmm, I can try."
Based on their conversation, Miller advised Judith to purchase a cat tree. The purchase was successful in distracting Max from shredding the couch. This, Judith said, is all thanks to the friendly pet psychic.
The premise of Miller's work with animals is that every animal has a point of view, and each has something to say. She began her work with animals in 2002, but Miller says she's had a special relationship with animals since childhood.
"It wasn't until well into adulthood that someone said to me, they said the word 'animal communicator,' and this lightning bolt went through me," she said.
She didn't know what it was then, she said, but "I knew it was some sort of a doorway to get, to be able to communicate with them."
Today her business is in full swing. There are plenty of believers,and some are willing to plunk down as much as $200 for her psychic skills.
Greg Brandt was distraught after losing his beloved cat, Izzy, and he sought Miller's help in locating his pet. Miller communicated with the cat and reported back that although she couldn't lead Brandt to the missing cat, she was able to offer him the closure he desperately wanted.
Help for Lost Pets
"I did get comfort out of knowing Izzy was alive," he said. "(Izzy) didn't want to leave initially but did end up in a spot where she was comfortable, comforted, and giving comfort."
When Gina Hendrix's cat, Lucy, ran away after their apartment caught fire, she called on the pet psychic. Miller told her to retrace her steps. Miller says the cat told her, "I'm nearby but too afraid to move. I've heard her walk by me, but she keeps moving too fast, and she won't slow down, and I'm too nervous to come out."
"It matched up," Hendrix said. "She was in a cubbyhole and she had been there the whole time because she was so skinny and dirty, and she didn't just come right out to me when I was there with her. All the things Dana said, it just all matched up."
Miller's skills also extend to wild animals or pets who have passed on, basically any creature with something to say. And, according to Miller, they all have something to say.