Mentally Communicate with Animals

As I mentioned in a previous article, because animals live in a sensory world, it’s natural to them to send you mental images to visually communicate what they want. Aside from the energy they carry, words don’t mean much to animals, so it makes more sense for them to send you a picture of them playing outside than to send you the words, “hey, I want to go outside”.

Sending images to communicate can work in reverse, too–you can communicate with animals by mentally sending them pictures. When Tika, a love bird in my little flock, refuses to return to her cage periodically, I calmly send her mental images of her flying into her cage and receiving a treat. This method of communication has been much more effective than calling to her or chasing her around the house till she complies. (Trust me.)

Peach-front love bird Tika responds well to communication via mental image.

Peach-front love bird Tika responds well to communication via mental image.

Sending mental images can be very helpful if you’re not near your companion animal or for animals that you aren’t able to calm through touch. When I was to care for a friend’s iguana for two weeks while she was on vacation, I sent the iguana mental pictures of me feeding and gently petting him, which helped him warm up to me more quickly. And when a porpoise at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium was distressed because her calf was temporarily separated from her for a routine checkup, I was able to help calm her by sending mental pictures of her and her calf swimming together happily.

It’s not hard to communicate in pictures with the animals in your life. Try it: a few moments before you intend to spend time with your pet, send him or her a mental image of you two playing together or cuddling. Or, the next time you need to leave for an appointment or trip, send your pet images of you returning home so he or she knows it’s only temporary. This calm way to communicate can bring you and your animals closer together.

Picture That!

Most animal communication that we humans understand comes through an animal’s behavior. When a dog wags his tail, we understand that he’s excited or playful, and when a cat purrs, we know she’s content. We understand that a bird is feeling territorial or stressed if he nips when we get near his cage and that a fish may not be feeling well if she’s not eating. You get the idea. I’m sure you can point to many ways that your pet’s behavior communicates to you.

But there’s a more subtle way that animals communicate with us as well–they send us visual images or pictures to convey what’s on their minds.

Illustration by Stacey Reid

Illustration by Stacey Reid

Think back. Have you had a vision in your mind’s eye of your dog standing at the door to the backyard so you suddenly knew he wanted to go outside? Or seen a small video in your mind of your bird happily devouring a sunflower seed, letting you know he wanted a specific treat? Visions like these often come from animals to communicate what they want or need. It’s easy to dismiss them as your imagination, something I did the first few times that Pippin (a sun conure) sent me pictures of him contentedly perched on my shoulder. It took a few times of him sending that same image for me to realize that he was telling me he’d rather be with me than with in his cage. But it wasn’t my imagination–and images like this may not be yours, either. It may just be messages from an animal.

Animals live in a sensory world, so what they see, smell, hear, taste and feel is truly how they experience things. Sending visuals images is a natural way for animals to communicate, because words don’t really mean anything to animals, except for the energy with which they are said and the behavior they learn to associate with them. So instead of sending you a “hey, I want to go outside” sentence, they send pictures of them darting through an open door and cavorting in the grass.

When I’m doing readings with animals, they send me pictures, rather than words, to communicate. I asked Marley the kitten about his favorite toy, and he sent me a picture of a mouse on a string. And when I asked Ruby the dog about her past owners, she showed me a succession of pictures of her being tied up in the yard for long periods of time, so I knew she had been left alone a lot. A picture really can be worth a thousand words.

It’s not just domesticated animals that send images to communicate, either. As I was leaving a late-night fundraiser at the zoo, I stopped by the rhino enclosure and one mentally sent me a few pictures in a row of him falling asleep and then being awoken by people talking or music playing nearby. I was able to understand from the pictures he sent that all this partying was keeping him from sleep.

Animals definitely communicate in pictures! So the next time you suddenly get a picture in your mind about an animal, don’t dismiss it. Think about what the animal may be trying to communicate in a way other than words.