BOOKS: Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Pet Psychic

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2003:

Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Pet Psychic:
What the animals tell me by Sonya Fitzpatrick
Berkley Pub Group (c/o Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson St.,
New York, NY 10014), 2003. 272 pages, hardcover. $21.95.

The Pet Psychic is just too dumb to finish.
In childhood, Sonya Fitzpatrick claims, she had a hearing
impairment that made her relate better to animals and made her more
aware of her psychic/telepathic powers. Then one holiday her father
cooked her pet geese. Fitzpatrick became so traumatized that she
turned off her communication with animals, and didn’t start again
until she was an adult.

Then, however, St. Francis came to her office and told her
that she was to work to help animals, with the help of angel guides.
Fitzpatrick moved to Texas from England to open a school of
etiquette, but her husband told her how her pets back home were
having a rough time. She started communicating with them
telepathically and got them through their separation anxiety.
Now people employ her to heal sick pets, uncover the roots
of depressive and aggressive pet behavior, and find lost pets.
For example, Fitzpatrick claims to have found a lost dog
named Sugar. Sugar described the road she was walking on and how a
lady in a cream-colored car picked her up and took her home.
Fitzpatrick said Sugar did not feel hunger, so she knew that the dog
was well taken care of.
Sugar told Fitzpatrick that when the lady picked her up,
they passed a church on the right and a school on the left and…
Flashing Fitzgerald a picture of the room she was in, Sugar
explained that the husband was telling the wife that they know her
name and address from her collar and should return her. But the wife
wanted to keep her because she and the kids liked her. Sugar
communicated that she was afraid she would never see her mommy again.
Eventually the people returned Sugar, in a cream colored car.
Regardless of the strength of Sonya Fitzpatrick’s alleged
psychic powers, Sugar seems to have a remarkable ability to
identify human landmarks and understand human speech. If
Fitzpatrick’s description of Sugar’s skills is taken at face value,
Sugar may not have been lost at all, and even if she was, might
only have needed a quick look at a roadmap to find her own way home.
Fitzpatrick purports to have known other animals with even
stronger evident command of human language. As a child, for
instance, she had a horse who told her all the community gossip.
Later, after she moved to Texas, one of her dogs back in England
told her the gossip from home. This dog mentioned that a neighbor
had to go into the hospital, and that her housekeeper was doing a
poor job of housecleaning. Does a dog know what a hospital is? And
when many human families do not even know if a house is clean, is it
plausible that a dog does?
Fitzpatrick loves animals. She encourages pet sterilization,
discourages cruel and painful practices such as tail docking and
dewclawing, and urges people to become pro-active and help animals
in everyday life. For that I give her kudos. In many situations she
relieves petkeepers’ stress.
But is she telling them the truth? Reading the minds of
animals and not people means that usually no one can say for certain.
–Lucy David

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