Daily Skimm Weekend·

How an animal communicator connects with pets.

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Ever wonder what your pet’s thinking? Nikki Vasconez may be able to help. That’s because the former lawyer now works as an animal communicator — a practice that’s become more mainstream in recent years. No surprise, given that many pet parents go to great lengths to keep their furry family members happy (see: barkitecture, spa days, over-the-top birthday parties). To learn more about connecting with hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, and even a camel, we spoke to Vasconez. Here’s what she had to say…

Q: What are some of the most common reasons clients come to you?

They’re dealing with a behavioral issue — from separation anxiety to non-stop barking — and they want to know what’s going on and how they can help their animal. Another common reason is they’d like to connect with their deceased animal. Some people want to find out how they’re feeling [in the afterlife] — meaning, are they no longer in pain? Did they regain their eyesight, mobility, or whatever else was failing in their physical body? Did they wait too long to put them down? [Others] want to know [if and] how their [former pet] is currently communicating with them. [And then some] clients reach out simply to figure out how they can enhance their animal’s life.

Q: And how exactly does it work?

All of my sessions are done remotely — meaning, I’m not on Zoom with [the pet] and the owner. I’m by myself, and I’ll look at a picture [of the animal] to connect … The only information I know ahead of time is [their] name, gender, whether they’re living or in spirit, and the names of their humans. The less I know, the better, so I don’t go in with any preconceived notions or biases. [From there], I ask questions … [about their] personality, then [things like their] food, exercise, bedding, and home — and how they’re physically feeling. We cover what they think of their animal siblings and each human family member. And then if there’s anything they need or want more of...

[All of that] is accomplished through telepathy … Sometimes when I'm talking to an animal, I'll receive a mental image of something I’ve personally never seen, but makes sense to their owners. Other times, [it’s] thoughts. I suddenly might hear, ‘We have to fix the air conditioner, it's been broken for months,’ [which isn’t] something I was actively thinking about two seconds prior … [Or] I’ll feel an ache or pain in my own body. If my right ankle starts hurting, that means theirs is in distress … I record [all of this]. I’ll say the question I’m asking the animal, then once I receive their answer, I’ll repeat [it]. And I send the entire audio file to the owners after the session.

Q: Has there ever been an animal you weren’t able to communicate with?

Never ... but what has happened — [and] only a handful of times — is I’ve gone to do the session and the animal was like, ‘Nope, not today. Come back tomorrow,’ [which] I [was] able to do.

Q: What have been some of the most memorable sessions?

When health issues are instantly solved. One [example] is when I communicated with a cat named Finnegan, who was very ill … The vets couldn’t figure out what was going on — and nothing was working. [As soon as] I connected with him, I felt this ache in one specific tooth ... They went to the vet and that tooth had an abscess ... [Also], I’ve definitely had animals spill the tea or tattle on their humans — revealing super personal and embarrassing things. I [once] asked a dog if he had any advice for his human mom. He said, “She needs to have more fun during sexy time.” I thought, I am not saying that out loud. But he was like, “You need to. Something just happened, [which is] why she hasn’t been having fun” … I [did], and after the session, the human emailed me cracking up and [explained what had happened].

Q: Oh wow. Have there been any other instances in which you were nervous about relaying a certain message?

There are definitely times when I need to take a moment to think about the best way to [do so]. An example is [when] I talked to a dog recently, and he said “I don’t like mom” ... I didn’t want to just bluntly say that, so [I told the dad], “There’s tension between your dog and his human mom — they don’t seem to mesh well.” He [immediately responded], “Oh my gosh, 100%. My wife hates the dog and the dog hates her.” 

Q: Even though animal communication has become more mainstream, I imagine you still encounter skeptics. What do you say to them?

I’m not here to convince anyone of anything — I’m just here to share the information that I have with whoever wants it. I won’t do a session to prove somebody wrong. I have a long enough waitlist, and I don’t need to prove myself ... So what I generally [tell] people [who] are skeptical is to have an open mind. The worst that’s going to happen is you might think the animal communicator doesn’t have the ability to connect with your animal. But the best that’s going to happen is you’re going to have a life-changing experience — and it’s going to greatly enhance the relationship you have with your animal.

Psst, this interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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