Earlier this spring, Animal Writes radio host Tim Link interviewed me about my book Soldier Dogs. But on the breaks, I found out that he was pretty story-worthy himself. So I recently turned the tables and interviewed Link about his animal communication business.
Until 2004, Link says he had no idea he had any “Doctor Dolittle” tendencies. But that year, his wife asked him to attend an animal communication workshop with her. After a few hours of learning the techniques, they began practicing receiving information using pictures of the participants’ animals, as well as with a few animals from the host family where the workshop was held.
They asked the animals a few simple questions, which their owners knew the answers to. Link says he initially received one or two words or an image from the animal and wrote down the information. Once he shared that with their human companions, he was stunned by the result: 100 percent accuracy.
Link says, “Of course my first reaction was of doubt. Am I really ‘hearing’ what the animal is saying? Or is this something else?” But trial after trial seemed to show that he did, indeed, have the gift of interspecies gab. He began to volunteer to help people who needed to get in touch with their animals on a deeper basis. In three years, he was convinced he had enough of a gift to hang up a shingle as a professional animal communicator, and he opened his business, Wagging Tales.
When Link explains what he does, he understands why some people look at him askance. After all, there are plenty of snake-oil salesmen out there.
“I think healthy skepticism is a good thing. Because everyone, including me, wants what’s best for their animals,” he says. He advises following your instincts when looking for someone to communicate with your pet. “If you don’t feel comfortable with one animal communicator, keep looking until you find one that you do feel comfortable with.”
Many wonder how animal telepathics works. Do the critters talk in words? Do they “talk” in feelings? How on earth can some nagging worry of a dog be discovered by a human he’s never met before?
“Animals communicate with me in the ways that they are most comfortable expressing themselves,” Link says. “This can be in the form of words, images, sentences, emotions, tastes, smells, or a combination of these.”
“When I form a connection with an animal, I connect with their unique energy,” he says. “The conversation is much like I would have with a person, except that it is done telepathically rather than verbally. I am also empathic and a Reiki energy master. Both of these allow me to experience what the animal is feeling at the time that we are communicating.”
What about turning off the flow, though? Doesn’t he get constantly bombarded with thoughts from every passing cat, rat, and lizard?
“The day the door opened to my gift, I didn’t think to ask the workshop facilitator how to turn it off. After a restless night and not much sleep, I called her the next morning to ask her how to do this,” he says.
“To turn it on, I consciously open myself up to communicate with the animals. I allow them to convey information back to me in whatever manner they wish. When I am done with the conversation, I turn my gift off by disconnecting the connection.”
Link has worked with thousands of clients around the globe to deal with every pet problem imaginable. He doesn’t just work with the cute and furry set — he’s communicated with birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. But generally his interspecies chats tend to be with cats and dogs. After all, not many people care about the in-depth thoughts of their guppies or geckos. (Sorry, Geico.)
Common calls from clients involve issues like why their cats have stopped using the litter box or why their dogs have separation anxiety. They also include relationship worries in general.
But a large part of Wagging Tales involves lost pets. Link says he doesn’t keep track of how many pets he has reunited with their people, but a few of his many successes have even been covered by media.
There was Madison, the cat who jumped from her fourth-story apartment window and, after three weeks of being on her own, was reunited with her person. Then there’s Sam, the cat who was missing for 14 months before Link helped reunite him with his family. And BB, a 2-pound, 18-year old blind Yorkie (!), whose owners were able to find him in a barn Link pinpointed from afar.
He’s scored loads of successes, but results are by no means guaranteed.
“The most heartbreaking stories are those where a missing animal is not reunited with their family,” Link says. “In addition to the obvious reasons why lost animals may not return home immediately — or ever (for example, their life’s mission is taking them in a new direction, they have transitioned, they are injured and have entered into a protective state while they recover from their injuries, etc.) — there are a few more reasons that also need to be considered.
The pets may have been stolen and cannot return home on their own. Or they may be staying away out of choice: “I have had animals tell me that they believe there are too many animals in the house and, therefore, they left,” he says. “One lost animal in particular told me that she would not return home because she believed that the predator (coyote) that scared her away in the first place will come back after her.”
Link says he has found his true calling. His whole career involves animals these days, either communicating with them, doing Reiki healing on them, hosting his radio show about them, or writing about them — his book, Wagging Tales: Every Animal Has a Tale, was published in 2009.
“I believe that we are all put here for a particular purpose. I consider being able to communicate with animals to be a special gift. … I believe that we are all able to communicate with animals to a certain degree, if we open our hearts and minds to the possibility of it and allow it to flow naturally.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go try to have a little mind-chat with Jake, who’s waiting patiently in his bed as I finish writing this article. Who knows what I’ll find out? “I would like some of that chicken you placed in the cold white box, please,” may be the first thought I “hear.” Profound? No. But would that be Jake talking? For sure.
Do you have any experience talking with your dog? Let us know in the comments!