Farm Horizons, February 2009

Talking to the animals

Jennifer Bakken
Staff Writer

There once was a cow who was refusing to eat and didn’t seem herself. Her owners, who were dairy farmers, were worried and not sure what to do.

There was a horse lover who couldn’t understand why her four-legged friend would snap every time a saddle was used.

Whether it is pets, zoo animals, or farm animals, sometimes people are curious about what animals are thinking. If one could talk to animals, what would they say?

For those open to the concept of telepathy, animal communicators can offer an insight into an animal’s world. An animal communicator helped the cow, who was refusing to eat, explaining the cow was depressed about being repeatedly bred and having her calves taken away. Because of an animal communicator, an equine chiropractor helped the horse, who is now comfortably wearing a saddle again.

Though it may be difficult to be open-minded to the idea of people talking to animals, whether one is a believer or a skeptic, these communicators are animal lovers, who are simply doing what they can to build better relationships.

Mary Getten grew up in Wayzata, now lives in Washington, and has been a practicing animal communicator, full-time, since 2000.

It was while she was working in a hospital for seals and sea lions that she met Penelopy Smith, a pioneer in the field of communicating with animals.

“I was fascinated by what she did,” Getten said. “I took a class from her and practiced. In 1988, the idea of talking to animals was still a bit weird. I put it away for years, moved to working with whales, and it was with them that got me back into communicating.”

After more classes, Getten spent a year interviewing whales, working with a friend communicator, and together they published the book, “Communicating with the Orcas: The Whales Perspective.”

She takes people on trips to see whales, gives workshops, and is a flower essence practitioner, using this healing art with humans and animals.

“Flower essences can facilitate profound shifts on an energy level and help animals release emotions such as anxiety, fear, and jealousy,” she said. “They are inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy to use. I often create custom remedies for my clients.”

Though much of her experience has been with sea life, Getten has worked with pets and farm animals as well. Most of her communication is performed over the telephone. An animal owner will call her and offer information about the animal’s name, age, looks, and type.

“As the person is describing, it helps me get a connection,” she said. “Telepathy is like tuning into the right energy channel. We basically have a three-way conversation.”

Without sound, Getten talks to the animal, tuning into his or her mind. Sometimes she hears words, sees pictures, or feels things. If a dog is limping, she will try to feel what he feels and interrupt what the animal is telling or showing her.

Janet Roper of Shorewood is also an animal communicator and admits, while speaking to them, she does hear words.

“I believe it’s because I’m an extravert, and my background as a musician has provided me with listening skills that are way above the ordinary,” she said. “When an animal really wants to get my attention, I get physical feelings too.”

Both of these communicators have dealt with horses and farm animals, including cows, sheep, and chickens. Getten admits difficulty communicating with birds, claiming they think differently, but hedgehogs, rabbits, fish, tortoises, and even snakes have been among her list of clients.

Roper has worked with the Greater West Metro Humane Society and has had a host of clients in surrounding Minnesota counties. While Getten prefers to communicate over the phone, Roper will talk with animals this way as well, in person, or even by e-mail.

Along with their profession come skeptics, but they feel when someone expresses skepticism, it is the first step in a shift towards a new way of thinking, perceiving, and experience.

“I love skeptics!” said Roper. “It is courageous to express skepticism. Not because you are expressing doubt or suspicion about a subject, but because you are taking the first steps away from what you have always perceived to be true.”

Getten doesn’t try to push people to become a believer, and says everyone has to come to it in their own way, in their own time.

“People ask how do I know I’m talking to the right animal,” she said. “It’s not a coincidence when the behavior changes after we talk.”

According to Getten’s web site, telepathy is the universal language and the way that all animals speak to each other. Telepathic communication is an ability we are all born with, yet, unfortunately, we are socialized out of this skill as we develop speech. Getten said one can regain this skill by taking workshops with an animal communicator and practicing.

Getten believes animal telepathy is mind-to-mind communication, a feeling across distance.

“When I talk to a person on the phone,” she explained. “We link up energetic pathways. That person also has a link to their animal, so I get to the animal through the person. To speak to an animal telepathically, you just tune in to the right energy channel.”

Both women agree that communicating with animals gives one a deeper understanding, balances relationships, and results in harmony.

For more information regarding animal communication, visit Getten’s web site at or Roper’s at

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