“Animal whisperer, communicator, psychic, animal intuitive. I answer to any of those,” said Topanga’s own Dr. Doolittle, Deb Jones. Mostly, Jones communicates with animals visually or kinesthetically, picking up subtle physical sensations, occasionally through an auditory sense of hearing. But she has no doubt that animals can communicate.
“I’ve had dreams with animals coming to me and they are speaking in very clear English,” she said. “For me, it’s more visual, but not necessarily a movie. It’s an impression. Sometimes it’s very clear. Once I’ve honed in on the visuals then I begin to pick up on the physical, kinetic feeling. I ask, ‘Where do you hurt?’ Every now and then I will get a verbal response loud and clear, like they are speaking through a megaphone.”
One time, a client wanted to know what her dog wanted to be called and the dog told Jones, “Bingo.” The client laughed. “Of course he wants to be called Bingo, because that’s my dad’s dog’s name. He loves my dad and would rather be my dad’s dog.”
Jones can communicate with all animals. She started with horses. One of her most unusual cases was a depressed tarantula, Terence, who hadn’t been eating or moving.
“What I got from the tarantula was that he needed sun, activity and something to look at. I suggested his terrarium be moved to a sunnier spot. And that worked,” said Jones.
If the tarantula had said it wanted to be set free, Jones would have told the owner. “The tarantula came from a pet store and the person would take it out and play with it. It didn’t know any other way to live.”
There are times, especially with dogs and horses, when the animals are pushed to do something they are not happy with and Jones will tell the person. “Sometimes horses would much rather be jumping or going up a trail, but have gotten into the service of being a show horse and are terrified,” said Jones.
When she was 25, Jones suffered a near-death experience at a time when she was searching for the meaning of life. She came through the experience with her senses heightened. Jones had always loved animals and worked on her ability to communicate with them. A second near-death experience (when she was the victim of a hit-and-run driver while riding her bicycle) honed her skills even more.
The vast majority of Jones’s work is done over the phone. She just needs to know the animal’s name and the area in which they live.
“I’ll take a few seconds to connect and try to pick up a couple of facts to make sure I am connecting with the right animal,” she said. “Then I’ll ask, ‘Where does it hurt, how does it feel?’ Through that I’ll receive a physical sensation that often lines up with a confirmation from what the person has seen the symptoms to be and then I’ll suggest a therapy, perhaps a homeopathic remedy or a supplement that I’ll suggest the person consider looking into for helping their companion. Many people take my advice.”
Jones says it’s difficult to say how high her success rate is, as people don’t always call back right away but guesses it to be 80 percent. When people do call back with, perhaps a behavioral issue that needs addressing, Jones will ask how the cough is doing and they say, ‘Oh, that cleared up. This is different.’ “And we deal with that new issue.”
Jones has made a living as an animal whisperer for 30 years. “We all have this gift, but not everyone pursues or develops theirs,” she says.
While managing a health food store in the 1970s, a vet came in and said he wanted to open a holistic veterinary clinic. He suggested Jones teach him what she knew about homeopathy and supplements and he’d teach her what she needed to know about surgery and treatments. “So, I became a veterinary surgical nurse for eight years with two different holistic veterinary clinics,” she said. “I went out in the field and did acupuncture and body work—mostly on horses and some dogs.”
Sometimes people know their animals are sick and want to know if they should have a vet put their beloved pet to sleep or what they need to do to make them comfortable.
“All pets are different,” says Jones. “They might be ready and want help out of the body now. Or I’ll ask the animal how deeply they are suffering. Sometimes the pet is clingy and attached and they will find a way to move out of their pain. It’s almost like mind over matter. ‘I love my person so much I will hang on.’ I will tell the person they may want some pain meds, but they want to stay.”
When she was a child, Jones’s family had a major life move and she became introverted and silent. “When you’re silent, you don’t make friends. The insects, birds and dogs in the neighborhood became my friends. Ants were one of my first greatest teachers. I’ve since learned that Native Americans consider ants great teachers.” Rather than kill ants with spray, Jones recommends offering them a little peanut butter outside. And shore up any holes in your house so they can’t get in.
Jones has lived on Old Topanga for 14 years. When she was 25, she imagined herself living where she does now, at the end of a swaying suspension bridge. She says she was lucky mortgages were easy to come by when she found the property that became her home.
You may see Jones hiking in Topanga with her dog, Prophet. Do say hello and remember to be kind to animals—they have feelings, too.
For more information and to contact Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org; (310) 305-1553.