By Dr. Becker
Today I'm talking with a beautiful and fascinating woman, Jen Ortman, who is an animal communicator.
Jen received an undergraduate degree in agriculture and animal science and a master's in metaphysics. She has been around animals her whole life, and has worked in the veterinary industry for over 30 years. Her experience and education ultimately led her to her current work as an animal communicator.
I asked Jen how she blended her agriculture background and work in the veterinary field with her interest in metaphysics. "From the time that I could talk," she explained, "I understood that animals had their own language and I was hearing them."
"I could also see energy traveling in and out of their body. Through a scientific degree, a bachelor in science in my undergrad, that part of my brain needed to understand why, which is why I followed with a master's degree in metaphysics.
I've always been fascinated with animal medicine, and that was a natural fit for me.
I did want to go to vet school at one point, then I realized that I was more interested in the energy part of things. I followed through with studying through the different levels of reiki. I also do that with my animal clients."
Yellow Lab Pup Communicates a Problem With Right Front Leg
Jen says her career in animal communication evolved secondarily to her career in veterinary practice management and as a client educator. While pursuing additional studies, she was able to hone her skills working with patients at the veterinary practice.
One patient was a 5-month-old yellow Labrador Retriever who couldn't bear weight on his right front leg.
The practice veterinarians couldn't diagnose the problem by viewing the dog's x-rays, however, "In working with this dog," says Jen, "I saw a very clear image, which the dog provided. I drew out what the dog showed me and didn't really understand what it meant. But then as a communicator, it's not my job to worry about diagnosing."
"The wonderful part was I took it to the vets and I said, 'I want to show you this.' One vet who was very supportive of my skills said, 'That is the sesamoid bone. We've got to go look.' Five vets went and looked at the X-ray. Here the dog had a hairline fracture in this little bone."
"It blew me away that this dog could show me where it hurt, what was wrong," says Jen. "We were able to expedite care and the dog is perfectly fine today."
Many Pet Parents Are Skeptical, but Open-Minded About Animal Communication
Since most people aren't familiar with animal communication, I asked Jen how she responds to questions about how it works, and whether it works at all. She said she never tries to change a person's opinion, but only asks that clients approach the idea with an open mind.
She says she's certainly not out to waste anyone's money. Her goal is to help pets reach their full potential of good health and to help them make changes along the way.
She knows she's asking her clients to believe in something they can't actually see. "As long as we reach a point of agreement," she says, "we move forward from there."
I was curious as to how Jen gets patients referred to her. She explained that some of the veterinarians in the practice she manages let pet owners know that animal communication is a holistic option they offer.
She also has several clients who travel hours to see her for either animal communication or holistic health information.
I also wanted to know if being able to see and touch an animal is preferable to talking to the owner on the phone or through email. "In many cases, the physical presence of an animal can be very helpful or it can also be very negative," said Jen.
"I found that in my work, a photo is equally as helpful as being in person. The difference being that when we're in person, there's a chance for me to see that animal's health as it is in that very moment in time.
There are pluses and minuses to both approaches. But certainly about 75 percent of my clients, I've never met."
Jen emphasizes that pet parents should realize that animal communication is a service profession, and it's important to find a communicator they're comfortable with. She encourages people to ask lots of questions, because any credible animal communicator will be happy to answer them.
Jen explained that most of her business comes from word of mouth. The best way to find an animal communicator is to talk to other pet owners for referrals.
"I think the most helpful thing for clients looking for an animal communicator is don't try to test them," says Jen. "Definitely, we need neutral energy with an open mind so that there's an equal exchange of energy and information."
Animal Communication Can Be a Source of Great Comfort as a Pet Enters Hospice or End-of-Life Care
I asked Jen what kinds of circumstances or events in the life of a pet might benefit from interspecies communication.
"One of the most important times is during hospice or end-of-life care," says Jen, "because you as a pet owner should be really enjoying those last days with your pet as opposed to facing a dreaded decision. 'Is it time?' 'Is it not time?'
In partnering with an animal communicator who understands not only the medical perspective, but is proficient at communicating, they can offer tremendous comfort of mind in saying, 'Your pet's not ready. The biofield or the auric field, energetic field is regressing so we're nearing that end time.' Quality of life questions are huge.
Then also after a pet has passed, offering the comfort and the peace of mind to help someone understand that their pet has crossed over, how they're doing [and] who met them on the other side. It crosses into this huge opportunity for pet owners to have access to a connection with their animal at the end of its life or the afterlife."
In a Nutshell: An Animal Communicator Simply Relays Messages Between Pets and Their Humans
I asked Jen to explain how she answers people who ask her how her communication with animals happens. "Animal communication," says Jen, "is nothing more than me translating Spanish or French. I'm hearing what the animal is saying, and I'm repeating back what I hear, and I'm relaying your message to them. It's a two-way exchange of interspecies information."
"But I'm doing that with quantum physics. I'm actually hearing what the animal has to say. I have also been blessed with the ability to smell. Certain diseases have a very definite smell, which isn't always pleasant. And then also to see things as well. Every communicator has a different toolbox that they come to the table with."
Both Jen and I believe we're all born with these abilities, but at around the age of 9, society tells us not to talk about such things. "But in my world," says Jen, "I'm hearing animals constantly and hearing the unsaid constantly."
There's a Growing Demand for Animal Communicators
I asked Jen if more and more people are seeking out animal communicators these days, and she says they most definitely are. "The demand is far exceeding my capacity at this point," she explains. "I've had to limit certain parts of my practice, lost pets for example, because of the time constraints. The demand is overwhelming."
"At one time," Jen continues, "I was very concerned about what people would say, how they would receive this. But at this point, my common response is, 'I couldn't make this up.' It fascinates me endlessly, the things that I hear from animals. I'm going to tell you what they have to say. I've seen the results and the potential is phenomenal."
I asked Jen how often she sees cases of pets either mirroring or absorbing the physical ailments of their owners.
"Almost every day," she responded. "There is some connection between the human and the pet. It could be something along the lines of urinary issues with male cats. Unfortunately, that is something that I do see."
"More often than not, it's anxiety. Humans with severe anxiety, their pet is mirroring that and then the pet has severe anxiety. That's a very, very common thing. Getting to the core level of how communication can work really does involve the human as well."
Jen has inspired some pet parents to try to hone their own skills as animal communicators, but it can be challenging in today's fast-paced world full of electronics and left-brain thinking. Animal communication requires right-brain involvement as well as a heart connection.
If people are looking for more information on animal communication, Jen suggests simply searching the Internet. There's not much available in the way of scientific studies, and there's also no accreditation for animal communicators. If you have a holistic veterinarian, you can ask him or her, or visit the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association website at AHVMA to find a holistic vet that might be able to refer you to an animal communicator.
Science Doesn't Always Provide All the Answers We Seek — Interspecies Communication Can Fill That Void
As a veterinarian, I've had both positive and negative feedback from clients who've used animal communicators. But I'll never forget one communicator I knew of, because she was never wrong.
I had a dog patient with chronic intermittent diarrhea that we were able to resolve. But then a few years later, the dog started losing his hair around his ears. These two things — diarrhea (GI issues) and hair loss — are not typically related, even from a holistic perspective.
My client, the owner of the dog, contacted the never-wrong animal communicator who told her we needed to do an ELISA test for giardia. If the ELISA test comes back positive, you can rest assured the dog has giardia. So we did the test and it came back negative, but the animal communicator insisted the dog had giardia.
She said, "Just treat the dog," to which I replied, "I really don't want to just treat the dog with drugs. I really need a positive ELISA test." So the dog's guardian paid for a second test, which also came back negative. I told the animal communicator that for the first time ever, she was wrong, to which she responded, "No. The dog has giardia."
To my amazement, the dog's owner wanted to pay for a third ELISA test for giardia. I felt so bad that I paid for the test myself. And wouldn't you know it, it came back positive! Now, I'm not saying it's ever a good idea to substitute intuition for scientific testing. However, it's not always the case that what we "know" to be true is actually true.
Sometimes, what science tells us is not necessarily what's happening in the body from an energy perspective. My experience with the animal communicator and the dog with giardia certainly taught me that lesson!
As clinicians, we tend to really trust our diagnostics, and we should. But we also need to be open-minded. The real proof is whether the patient is recovering and becoming healthier. If that is happening, your patient is probably on the right path. If it isn't happening, regardless of what the diagnostics say or how much money we've spent, we need to keep looking.
As my homeopathy teacher said to me when I graduated from veterinary school, "We are 10 percent matter and 90 percent energy. So congratulations on your veterinary degree because it means you've mastered the 10 percent matter. Now you have to master the 90 percent energy."
Jen shared a story from her own experience. One evening as she was driving home she got a call from a veterinarian at the practice she managed, asking if she could come in. It was 9:30 p.m., but Jen happened to be driving by the practice.
The owner of a multi-dog household was in a panic because possibly four of her seven dogs had finished off an entire bottle of Clomicalm pills she found empty on the counter. Clomicalm is a drug used to treat separation anxiety in dogs. The owner had no idea which of the four dogs had eaten the pills.
Jen explains, "This was a huge test. Listening to the dogs, the one dog said, 'I pulled it off of the counter.' The second dog said, 'I ate the foil.' The third dog said, 'I ate the pills.' The fourth dog said, 'I went and hid.'"
As it turns out, the dogs were absolutely right, and testing proved that Jen had heard them correctly. It's a good thing, too, because dog number three could have died while everyone waited around for test results to determine which of the four ate the Clomicalm pills.
I so appreciate Jen for sharing her time and passion with us today. Interspecies communication provides an alternative option for pet parents looking for a broader range of choices in caring for their animals.