Animal Communicator and Author of
How To Be a Dog Psychic: Learn to Communicate with Your Pet
Communicating with animals has been an integral part of my life and spiritual path. My affinity for animals began with my childhood stuffed animals who, my mother assured me, had feelings and listened when I talked to them. In fact, my mother believed that all things had feelings and were alive in some respect—whether a car, a rock, a bug, or a tree.
I was lucky to have two parents who were open-minded, curious, and accepting of different perspectives. And I was fortunate to grow up in a family were “ESP” was not considered outlandish, but normal. Over the years, I've shared my home with an assortment of animals: turtles, goldfish, cats, and dogs. Currently, I share my home in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with three cats and two dogs: Raj (an orange tabby), Felix (a white-eared tuxedo cat), Sofia (a Sheltie/shepherd mix), Mysti, a terrier mix, and the newest addition, Garfield (another orange tabby). (Photos below.) All of my animal friends have been rescues or shelter adoptees.
In my teens, I was drawn to learn about the Lakota way of life. This opened the door of my spiritual quest and led me outside the confines of traditional Western religion. It also introduced me to the idea that animals are indeed brothers and sisters of different nations, not underlings to be viewed as “resources,” and that if we allow them, they can be great teachers.
When I reached my thirties, I deepened my experience of the Lakota path by studying briefly with a medicine man, and also investigated the Eastern and Celtic traditions by personal study and participation in various seminars and classes. Here again, I found that animal spirits and guides are a big part of indigenous faiths.
During this time, Penelope Smith’s Animal Talk, a book about telepathic animal communication, literally jumped off a shelf in front of me, and I was led to pursue formal instruction in this technique. I began conversing with a multitude of creatures, such as dragonflies, ants, butterflies, turtles, birds, and even a camel. I was amazed by what I learned from them, and how my respect for them affected their behavior toward me. As an example, one ant colony accepted my deal to eat only from a near-empty honey jar, while leaving the rest of my kitchen alone!
I went on to study with Penelope Smith and then Anita Curtis, who taught me even more about animal communication and how to help other people communicate with their pets. (Check out Anita's book, Animal Wisdom: How to Hear the Animals.)
I began to do phone and in-person consultations, and found that I have an ability to discern physical issues. To my great joy, I have been able to save a number of lives because of it. Animal communication gave me a way to use my natural affinity for animals to help others.
Another life-changing book came into my life around the same time: Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King. This guide to using the Hawaiian Way of the Adventurer taught me to communicate with “inanimate” objects, and to use journeying to find guidance for life and health issues. During my inner journeys, I have received help from numerous animal and spirit guides, and I know that my willingness to accept such help stems directly from all the steps I’ve taken so far on my path.
In 2005, I had the privilege of having Fair Winds Press publish my first book, How to Be a Dog Psychic: Learn to Communicate with Your Pet, which is designed to help dog lovers and their dogs have a better life together (email me to purchase a signed copy). I have also developed low-cost introductory and advanced workshops in an attempt to teach as many people as possible how to communicate with animals, since I believe anyone can do it.
Augie, a dog I took in who had been abandoned at a local park, suffered much abuse in his young life. Sadly, his trauma required euthanization after only 6 months with us--and he was only two years old. His short life, and the plight of other abused and abandoned animals in this area spurred me to start East Tennessee Spay & Neuter. (See more about ETSN below.)
Here is Augie on one of his happy days with us:
Over the past almost twenty years, animal communication has become a tool to further my spiritual goal of creating better and stronger connections among all beings. It continues to be my fervent belief that regardless of religion, culture, or species, in the end, we truly are part of one big family.
Danika Nadzan and the current gang.....
Felix, 7, short-tail & white ears!
Raj, 7, loves cuddling and finding new spots to claim!
And Garfield, aka "Crack Cat", 18 months, and a bit of a terror...but he's cute!
My beautiful Sofie passed away in April, 2013. She was almost 16 years old, and had the sweetest personality of any dog I've ever known. She has left a big hole in my heart, and I still miss her every day.
I adopted her when she was 8 years old, and it was the best decision I've ever made...if you ever have the chance to adopt a senior dog,
If you are an animal lover, please consider helping me with my non-profit group that helps low-income pet owners in Appalachia care for their pets and reduce euthanasia rates at local shelters. I live in Carter County, Tennessee, where approximately 1/3 of the residents are living on $25,000/yr. or less.
East Tennessee Spay & Neuter is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides vouchers and transport for low-cost spay-neuter surgeries, education to prevent pet surrenders, a pet food pantry, and assistance for veterinary care. So far, we've helped over 2,100 pets get surgery and shots! Our Pet Food Pantry also helps feed about 300 pets of very low-income families each month. These families love their pets dearly, but have fallen on hard times; it's so much better for the pets and people, as well as the whole community, to do what we can to keep them together!
In 2013, we helped to open Paws of Hope Animal Wellness Center, a full-service veterinary hospital to help area pet owners, including low-income families, get basic veterinary care for their pets. And we joined forces with Appalachian Feral Cat Allies to reduce the overpopulation of feral cats by providing spay-neuter, vaccinations, and assistance for community cat colonies and their caregivers. (So far, AFCA has helped over 1,500 cats!)
This year, we're adding a major education campaign and a
staffed Help Line to provide pet owners with workable solutions to
problems that would otherwise lead to surrender of the pet.
The goal of East Tennessee Spay and Neuter is to end euthanasia at the local shelters by stopping the flow of animals into them. This can only be done through low and no-cost spay/neuters, education to change attitudes, and low-cost alternatives to pet surrender. We strive to do everything in a peaceful, harmonizing way.
I'm looking for help in time, talent, materials, and money. If you would like to participate, please contact me!
Here are three no-cost ways to help from ANYWHERE:
1. Save e-waste such as cell phones, game controllers, iPod/iPads, GPSs, inkjet cartridges and more. Then send them (prepaid) to Planet Green, an American company that refurbishes and resells the items. ETSN makes cash for the items donated through our Planet Green site. Go to this website for a list of accepted items and a prepaid mailing label. www.planetgreenrecycle.com/etnspayneuter
2. Shop at online merchants such as Amazon through our website's Help Us page. Costs you nothing, but we make a commission on what you buy. www.etnspay-neuter.org
3. Use your credit card reward points to purchase a Visa-type gift card and donate it to ETSN (email: email@example.com. Mailing: P.O. Box 2171, Elizabethton, TN 37644)