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Thursday, August 12, 2010

What Would a Pet Psychic Do?

Some of you know that I've tried my hand at a Pet Psychic mystery. Why, you ask? (Other than the popularity of pets and the paranormal in mysteries.)

About two years ago, I rescued a beautiful dog we call Buster. He is a giant hunk of intimidating-looking love. Every doggie daycare I've taken him to adores him. He is gentle with the small dogs (except when he tries to tip them over for his own amusement), and even a teacup Chihuahua pushed him around.

On the leash, he's not great with other dogs. When you rescue a dog, often you have no idea what he's been through--what quirks and fears have been instilled in him by previous owners, whether intentionally or through neglect and ignorance.  Buster has some possession aggression issues which means that greeting strange dogs takes some effort and care.

And I work diligently with him to get over these issues because...some people are dull-witted coat hangers. Yesterday, he was super excited to be in class because he worships the trainer. While we stood on the wooden floor of the training center, Buster's feet did that Scooby-doo running in place thing because he really wanted to say hello. He was out of his mind with joy.

A woman, one of the people I have to protect him from, dropped her dog's leash so he could run over and say "howdy". This is rude, for a start. As I struggled to hold onto Buster with both hands (I was trying him out on a flat collar instead of his trusty pinch) our eyes met--mine wide with "you've got to be kidding" and hers emitting a dull, vacuous stare.

She picked up the leash and continued to walk her dog over. "He just wants to say hello."

Pop Quiz. If you saw an 80 pound pit bull-looking dog doing a pretty good imitation of a Viking Berzerker, would you throw your dog into the mix?

Through gritted teeth, I said in my best "happy voice for the impaired", "He's not in the right frame of mind for greeting."

Then there was the man with the penile prosthetic--in his case, two aggressive Malinois (Belgian Shepherds sometimes used as police dogs because of high prey drives and an unwillingness to let go once they've got a grip.) He got off on trying to rile Buster.

So all Buster's training is for his protection, the kind of training Lenny in "Of Mice and Men" could have used.

Last year, two people recommended I ask a pet psychic to talk to Buster and see what was going on in his furry head. Unable to resist the unusual, I booked appointments with two separate psychics. (Full article in Fido Friendly Magazine, April 2010 issue.)

The first medium read him over the phone. She concluded that forest green was his favorite color, and that I should buy him a kerchief in said color to wear around. It would instill confidence. I thought that dogs were color blind.

Then I watched an animal communicator perform at a doggie event. While I wasn't able to read her mind, it was evident to me that she used cold reading skills to say what the audience wanted to hear and lead the conversation to a suitable conclusion--like a mind reader at a magic show.

It made me wonder, what if there was a medium who actually could see into animal's minds? And what if those animals were witnesses to crimes, or parts of crimes? They wouldn't communicate with words. "Mr. X just killed Ms. Y in the bathroom with a mega-watt hair dryer."

The detective would have to pick through the bits of information communicated by the animal and follow the clues to the murderer. Since animals don't interpret things in the same broad spectrum that people do, the meaning of the clues wouldn't always be clear.

And just for fun, why not make her a charlatan who's only just discovering that she actually possesses these powers? She's succeeded in her business so far with a combination of animal behavior knowledge and cold reading skills she learned from an aunt who reads Taro Cards for a living. The first witness, a desperate dog, breaks through to the genuine psychic within because his message is urgent.

I gave her a rescue dog named Chauncey who's based on my sweet giant Buster. She'll have her hands full figuring him out.

Sound good?

Now if only my character could learn to project images to wake up sleepwalking owners, life would be so much simpler.

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