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The Animal Communicator Blog

Honoring Early Animal Communicators: Betty Lewis

This series highlights the inspiring breakthroughs of early animal communicators, who began their professional careers over thirty years ago. This article is based on the “Featured Animal Communicator” column where I interviewed Betty Lewis for Species Link, The Journal of Interspecies Telepathic Communication, Issue 63, Summer 2006. Her path in animal service careers is a rich one.

Pasted GraphicBetty Lewis has been an animal communicator since 1981. A well-seasoned, down-to-earth practitioner in the field, she brings an exceptionally high level of training and broad background in holistic methods to her work. Betty’s training and experience illustrate what it means to be a well-rounded and grounded animal communicator.

Professional Development
Betty eloquently tells about her professional education:

My animal educational background is in veterinary medicine. I started working in veterinary practices in 1973, graduated with a degree in Veterinary Technology in 1979, and, during my husband's twenty-year Air Force career, worked for 25 veterinarians in 17 different practices in 4 states. During that time, one of the often-repeated comments I heard was "I just wish this animal could
tell us what is wrong!" Guessing where it hurts is sometimes very frustrating, but with animal telepathy, it's possible to know!

With the awareness that talking to another species was real came my introduction to holistic medicine. By 1984, I was increasingly aware of some of the limitations of allopathic (what we in the U.S. think of as conventional) medicine. I kept searching for "another way" to approach many of the issues that were so common every day in the veterinary hospital. Eventually, my solutions were quite different from those I had to advocate in my professional life. That was one of the reasons I left conventional medicine in 1987 and opened my holistic consulting practice called “Paws & Reflect.”

Paws & Reflect began as a service to help people better understand animals, particularly their domestic companions. I quickly learned how important it is to operate within the holistic paradigm. Nothing exists alone; everything interacts. The whole animal, from his nutrition to how he feels about his home life, to his relationships with other animals and people must be considered when trying to solve problems. Each area of concern led me to more study.

I've incorporated a variety of modalities into my approach to health: diet, herbs, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, TTEAM (Tellington Touch), and flower essences. My degree as a Doctor of Naturopathy in 1993 tied together much of my learning.

An important part of my practice lies in referring people to other specialists, including chiropractors, homeopaths, and holistic veterinarians. Most importantly, I've learned to listen to the animals. They can help us to help them and in return, they help us. Together, we can make the world a better place to live.

Dream of Being an Interpreter
When I was in high school, I wanted to be an interpreter. I thought I'd be working at the United Nations. I took Spanish and French languages in high school. In college, I majored in Russian and minored in Spanish and Secondary Education. I discovered during these years that foreign languages were extremely difficult for me. I taught in Junior High School for about three years, but my husband's career in the US Air Force made getting tenure impossible. I abandoned formal teaching when I returned to school to become a Registered Veterinary Technician.

Years later, I notice how my life's work has played out: Now, I'm an interpreter, but instead of speaking Spanish or Russian, I speak the universal language of all species. Also, my role is still very much as an educator.

No Childhood Drama
Betty tells about the path leading her into animal communication practice in the introduction to her book, Animals Speak!

My story isn't dramatic, but perhaps that's the beauty of it! I
wasn't a child prodigy. I was the product of a prosaic, middle-class family. Yet, I'm now a professional animal communicator! If I can do it, anyone can. Maybe my story will help inspire confidence in those who want to remember this skill that accompanies all of us into this world.

In childhood, I had a few dogs, assorted fish, and some turtles. I also remember a parakeet who was with us a few years. I wasn't "remarkable" in any particular way, however. When it came to animals, I enjoyed nature and walks in the woods. I learned how to identify some animal tracks, recognize some birdsongs, and know a few star constellations. Many of our family vacations were camping ones, but animals didn't spring to life under my magic care, nor did parades of animals follow me home.

It wasn't until I was in my 30s, having made a commitment to the Great Dane breed and the Veterinary Technician profession, that I became aware that telepathic communication with other animal species was possible and that I could do it.

My first introduction to the concept was when I read Beatrice Lydecker's book,
What the Animals Tell Me. I was intrigued and saw tremendous possibilities for its uses in my life ranging from it just being plain "fun" to having practical application in the veterinary hospitals where I worked. In the book, Bea describes how she learned to talk with animals and tells the reader how to do it, too. Maybe I did pick up a little from the book, but not enough to feel that I was really doing it. In 1979, Bea was part of a program I attended in Missouri. I went to the seminar, hoping for a breakthrough, but still, the real ability to talk to animals eluded me.

As part of my husband's Air Force career, we had the privilege of living in a variety of places. In 1981, we were living in Fresno, CA. As luck would have it, Bea Lydecker had moved and was living in Los Angeles at the time. Cosmic forces were coming together. It was in her living room that I finally had my "Ah ha" experience.

It had been a long day. Twenty-five tired people and dogs were bringing the workshop to a close when Bea asked us to ask Charlie, a Samoyed who his favorite friend was. An instant picture of a turtle flashed into my mind, but it seemed pretty far-fetched. I remained quiet. No one else said anything either, though, so Bea prompted us:

Somebody must have gotten something!"
I took a deep breath and said, "Well, I saw a turtle…"
it!” Charlie’s person said, "He plays with this large turtle!”

From that moment on, I knew how it felt to receive information from outside of myself. Once you know what it feels like, you can do it again, or at least, recognize the same feeling when it comes again. After that, it's a matter of practice.

Consultation Methods
In the beginning, I worked face to face with people and their animals. Gradually, I consulted more and more long-distance until now my practice is about 99% over the telephone. I have people write down the issues or questions they want to discuss as part of the format for the conversations. I like to have our consultations live, on the phone with the people. This allows the conversation to go in whatever direction it needs to go, based on the people and animals involved.

I use several energy techniques as well as "just talking" and these are done long-distance as well. In addition, we talk about the general toxic nature of our world today, how it impacts our animals and ourselves and what steps can be taken to minimize the bad effects that take their toll on our quality of life. Species-appropriate nutrition and other topics are covered here.

I don't go into a conversation with an agenda. I let the client and the animals direct the content of my consultations. However, I find that a lot of issues are direct results of the way humans have chosen to live on Mother Earth. Therefore, discussions of raw diets, pure water, minimal vaccinations, adequate exercise, mental activities, and other practical topics find their way into our conversations.

I like to think I am a versatile educator. I go where the conversations lead, but I have a lot of tools in my holistic toolbox.

All in a Day’s Work
Enjoy some of Betty’s favorite experiences in animal communication:

The first time Rumpelstiltskin came to see me, he was a big, bold, macho cat. He walked into my office exuding self-reliance, strutting about, investigating things, rubbing on me and the furniture, and generally making the place his own. His person, Chris, complained that Rumpelstiltskin had started to spray in the house, but the cat was unconcerned. He brushed off our attempts to discuss the situation with casual excuses.

"Oh, there's an animal in season outside," Rumpelstiltskin said. "I guess I can't help it; I'm just a cat!" Another comment was, "Maybe I'm not the one doing it." His remarks were unconvincing to me, but he didn't take the matter seriously enough for us to enlist his cooperation in stopping.

My suggestion to Chris was to place the responsibility for stopping this behavior squarely on Rumpelstiltskin’s shoulders. She was to get a crate, which was large enough to be a comfortable residence, large enough for a litter box as well as sleeping quarters. Rumpelstiltskin was to be confined to it when not being directly supervised. The plan was not to punish the cat by locking him up but to provide an alternative lifestyle, which was acceptable to all sides. Rumpelstiltskin was to earn "free time" privileges by ceasing to spray when he was loose in the house. After two days of the new arrangement, he decided to quit the spraying entirely and the household returned to normal.

This isn't the end of the story, however. I was writing an article and wanted to use his story as an example, so I called to find out how he was doing. I was told that all had been well for about nine months, but recently Rumpelstiltskin had started to spray again.

When Rumpelstiltskin arrived at my office this time, I didn't recognize him as the same cat. Gone were the highly confident attitude and the "devil may care" approach. Instead, he found the "hiding shelf" where insecure cats often hang out and we had our chat with him hidden from my view.

"I don't think she loves me anymore," he confessed. She's gone long hours and sometimes has someone else come and take care of me.

Upon questioning Chris, it came out that Chris was being laid off from her job. The company had offered her the option of another position within the company. It required that she spend extra hours doing computer searches for job openings and then follow up in person by traveling to check out the possibilities in person.

Confinement to a crate would certainly have been the wrong approach to take under these circumstances. It likely would have made the situation worse, possibly leading to enough stress to cause him to block his urinary tract, a life-threatening situation for a cat.

Instead, we explained the situation and made it very clear that Chris wasn't ignoring him, but had some lifestyle changes to consider and was trying to find the best situation for them both. In addition, when she
was home, she was to make a special effort to spend quality time with Rumpelstiltskin.

Further, there were the “bathroom conversations.” This is a technique I devised for people who must spend time away from their animals. It starts at home. Put pictures of your animals, or even just sticky notes with their names on them, in your bathroom. Condition yourself that every time you go into that room, you think about your animals. When this becomes an automatic habit, you can take the behavior with you when you travel. Since no one questions what you're doing when you're using a bathroom, you can afford a few extra private minutes to think about and talk to the animals at home. Just concentrate on them, tell them you love them, and that you'll be home in however many days are remaining. Once the animals realize you're checking in at intervals during the day, they're often waiting for your “call."

This approach was just what Rumpelstiltskin needed. He literally bounded out of the hiding shelf and jumped into Chris' lap. Subsequently, they both moved to Chicago where they were both much happier.

Carole came to me in genuine distress. She was afraid that her dog Tidy, a Bouvier de Flandres, might want to live with someone else.

Shortly after acquiring Tidy, Carole became very ill. It was all she could do to take care of Tidy's physical needs, let alone give him the emotional support she felt he must need. She felt guilty about rescuing Tidy from a poor situation at the age of two years, only to fall down on the job of providing something much better.

Now she was well and she was serious about wanting to know if her dog blamed her for a bad life.

When Tidy heard this, he was horrified and very indignant!

"Do you mean to tell me that after all these months of waiting and watching by her bedside and taking care of her, she is thinking of
dumping me?" he said to us.

Carole was so relieved when she heard this. She
loved Tidy and the last thing she wanted was to give him up. In fact, she loved him so much that she was willing to do what was right for him, and if that meant giving him up, she was resigned to it.

This was a real-life Gift of the Magi story—the one where the husband sells his watch to buy his wife a comb for her long hair and the wife sells her hair to buy a watch fob for her husband. Like that story, this one, too, has a fairy tale ending. Tidy and Carole are living together happily ever after.

"Thank you for coming back to nest here, Phoebe," I said. She replied,

"You think I'm my mother, but I'm not. I was born here and remember it with safety.”

I was excited. A second generation of phoebes at the same nest site. Thus began my five-week relationship with a most enjoyable bird and her four babies.

We had been impressed when the original phoebe built her nest here two years ago. She chose an excellent location, protected under the eaves of our garage. She built the nest high on top of a light, which came on at night. Not only did the warmth from the light take the chill off the night air, but also it attracted insects to her so she didn't even have to move to have a feast! The only disadvantage was that she was next to the main door to our house. It didn't discourage her, though, and we did our best to minimize traffic by diverting everyone through the garage.

For three weeks, I occasionally kept her company as she sat on the nest. Sometimes we talked and other times just sat in companionable silence. Sometimes she left me in charge to "egg sit" while she was away for long periods hunting.

While Phoebe sat on the eggs, I asked her questions. I learned that she went "where the trees stay moist" in cold weather and that sitting on the nest was not boring, but a combination of vigilant awareness and a kind of trance-like meditative state. The trance helped her conserve energy in case she needed it, especially when she started feeding the babies.

I was surprised to find that a considerable amount of her activity was, indeed, instinctive. I've talked to so many animals and found that much of their behavior is well thought out. Therefore, it surprised me to verify that much of what the nature books say has some validity!

For example, in answer to my query, "How do you know how to build your nest?" her answer was, "I just do.”

After three weeks, I asked her when the eggs would hatch and she told me to "look tomorrow." Sure enough, the next day the nest was filled with downy feathers attached to four hungry mouths! After that, there wasn't much time for conversation. Mother and father birds spent all the daylight hours bringing bugs for their voracious offspring. The parents were very cautious and spent long moments perched nearby, making sure it was safe, before flying up to the nest. The chicks were extremely quiet and I only heard little peeps at the moment of food delivery.

I was astonished at how quickly they grew. They grew from hatchlings to fledglings in fewer than two weeks! Soon the chicks were so big that they had to sit on each other to fit into the tiny nest.

There was quite a bit of preparation prior to fledging. New feathers replaced the down they were born with and the stiff casing surrounding the feathers had to be removed. Lots of preening took place as they helped each other by preening in those hard-to-reach places. The final step was wing exercise. Two at a time they started flapping their wings while balancing on the edge of the nest. As they got stronger they began to lift and it looked as though they were levitating! All through the fledging day, the parents fed them and then put on flying displays to encourage the chicks to follow them.

One brave soul took the plunge and launched himself to a nearby bush. After resting and more preening (and posing for some pictures!) he managed to fly to a tree and then to the roof. Soon, he was zipping around like a pro! The others took longer, preening, resting, and levitating, but suddenly, after hours of delay, they too were gone.

"Thanks for sharing your lives with us, phoebes," I called to them mentally. "Come again.”

After those five intense weeks, the nest quickly became covered with cobwebs like the abandoned house that it was. I went inside to call the driveway man to do the work we'd had to delay for my wild bird lesson.

Through the Years
When I began my career as an animal communicator, I was probably one of a dozen or so. Now, there are hundreds of us. When I started, people didn't understand what telepathy meant, and even I used the phrase "non-verbal communication" to describe what I did. Now, when I say I talk to animals telepathically, people don't bat an eye. I'm thrilled that the skill has become so accepted among animal people. My goal for the world is for it not only to be accepted by everyone as a skill everyone has, but for most people to use it for the good of the Earth.

Toward that end, I've done my share of giving workshops to train people. The second half of my book is my workshop, as well. My students are all my clients. I have concentrated much more on one-on-one since I wrote the book. Since I can send people to the book to get what I used to teach in a group; the groups are no longer quite as necessary. I have good feedback that the book is instrumental in helping a lot of people talk with their animals.

Animals Speak! is available from the publisher.

For those who want to learn to speak to animals, I encourage you to read a book, take a workshop, and practice, practice, practice. Practice is something that everyone can do and it's free! What could be better?

Betty was on the animal communicator directory in Species Link from the year after it began in 1990 and on the Animal Talk Animal Communicator Directory since it began in 1997.

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