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Talking with the animals in Applegate

Someone once said that magic is science we don't understand yet. A lot of people think the concept of telepathically communicating with animals is too far "out there," yet according to some studies, the U.S. military has spent millions to learn how to communicate with dolphins and teach them to speak.

Animal communicator Kathleen Jones grew up on a large farm and always felt a special affinity for the animals. She thought reading the thoughts of animals was "normal" but never did anything with her skill. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and went on to several careers such as running a successful Mendocino restaurant and then becoming a real estate agent.

Then in 1997, she learned about renowned animal communicator, Penelope Smith. Kathleen called Penelope and "it was like we had always known each other," she says. Soon Penelope visited Kathleen's Hawaii home and Kathleen traveled all over the U.S. taking Penelope's courses.

In 1999, Kathleen retired from her real estate career and bought a farm in the Applegate Valley to establish an interspecies communication center. She teaches animal communication and animal massage and works with "animal companions," as she calls them, and with veterinarians to help identify and resolve problems.

Veterinarian Ann Swartz of Phoenix has referred clients to Kathleen when nothing else seemed to be working, and has only had positive feedback about her.

"I don't deign to know how it works or understand it," Swartz says, "but I feel that any tool we can use that can be helpful we should use. And I have definitely seen it be helpful in resolving problems in some cases. When you are at an impasse and can't figure out what to do, I can't see why you wouldn't try it."

Swartz says the most dramatic cases seem to involve horses. "The horse says [to Kathleen] get rid of a particular blanket and the next thing the problem clears up," she says.

People consult Kathleen for a variety of reasons.

"They bring health problems and behavioral problems: Why has my cat suddenly started urinating on the rug? Why does the dog run when the microwave buzzer sounds? Then there are problems with animals that have become aggressive. And with dying animals we study how to make their last weeks or months worthwhile. And there's grief counseling."

Kris Baker knew Kathleen as a customer at Valley View Nursery, where Kris is manager. When Kris' dog disappeared and was missing for four days she desperately emailed Kathleen for help. Kathleen sent back an email describing an area where she felt the dog was. It sounded like an area Kris had already searched several times, but she went again and her dog came bounding up to the car.

"There are people who don't believe in it," Kris says, "but I sure do."

"You have to listen to the animal," Kathleen says. "You have to have the mindset that the animal wants to talk to you. Some people call me and want me to tell the animal what to do - that isn't what I do. People need to understand that animals are individuals and have reasons for why they do things. You have to be willing to respect and listen to them."

"Animals open our hearts because they connect on a total heart level," Kathleen says. "They enrich our lives by showing us the priority of unconditional love. The more unconditional love you have for them, the more you can communicate with them. Unconditional love is their message - and humans need to know more about that."

And what is love, after all, but magic?

Kathleen Jones believes we were all born with the ability to communicate with other species, but that we lose touch with the skill through disuse and the stress of modern life.

If you want to try communicating with your animal companion, she suggests you first create a space for meditation where you can be calm and de-stress. Sit with your animal, petting it until you are both calm. Kathleen says you should try to look the animal in the eye, although some animals are not comfortable with this.

"Connect with the animal's being, essence, whatever you want to call it," Kathleen says. "Have the mindset that the animal DOES want to talk to you and you can hear what it wants to say."

The communication can come in the form of language, or transmission of feelings, intentions, emotions, sensations, mental images or a "pure knowing."

Talking with the animals in Applegate