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The Doctor Dolittles of BoCo


Lucy has no idea what she’s in for. How do you tell an Australian Shepherd it’s being taken to an office in the next town over to be telepathically communicated with, by a human being, of all things? You can’t, of course, which is the whole reason why pet psychics are sought after in the first place—we desperately wish to commune with our pets, but most of us lack the wherewithal to even scratch the surface.

When we get to the office on Niwot Road, Julie Mack is just arriving, leaving her own pooches in the car and introducing herself to me, my roommate and, naturally, Lucy. Mack has a PhD in psychology, and has incorporated animal communication into her practice seamlessly over the last decade.

Lucy paces in the small, cozy office as Mack asks a bit about her background, much as a therapist or doctor reviews a patient’s psychiatric and medical history.
“Typically, when someone calls me there’s some area of focus they want,” she explains. Today’s session will be a general mental intrusion, more to satisfy our curiosity than isolate major behavioral or medical problems. “I’m going to call feeling into her, and see what I notice.”

With that, Mack closes her eyes and begins. Twelve seconds later, she breaks the silence, translating for us snapshots gleaned from Lucy’s mind. “So, three quick Kodak moments. She showed me she has excellent balance, and that she was perched up on something. She showed me moments when she likes to be quiet. She’s near a couch like that”—she pointed at us—“and she’s off to the right, she’s just, lying there. And she showed me moments when she is wiggly looking at you.” Lucy pounces up on the couch and smothers my roommate with kisses, as if prompted by such recollection to do so.

More mental dispatches follow. It turns out Lucy is nervous that her toys will be taken away. She’s also, in fact, been bullied a bit by a larger male dog, and sensitive to the light, and her favorite treat is a chicken jerky strip, which is right on the money.

As the hour rolls on it becomes harder and harder to deny certain revelations, and in my mind, belief begins to vie for space where skepticism had previously reigned supreme.

Mack is good, but she’s not the only practitioner around. So far I’ve found twenty-four in Colorado alone, most going by “pet psychic,” “animal communicator” or “pet intuitive.” Beyond humoring curious dog owners, they provide a vast array of services: identifying medical issues, solving erratic behavior and, especially, making decisions about euthanasia. Parents, now you can explain why you had to send Sparky off to the farm, all the while jumping onto one of the oddest bandwagons in the history of pet wellness.

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