Creature comforters Telepathy: Animal communicators say they understand what terrifies a terrier, humiliates your horse.

May 14, 1998|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF

This is weird. Diana Beuchert knows it. I know it. The question is, does Louie know it?

Beuchert and I are game. Louie isn't talking. Louie can't talk. He is an 8-year-old terrier/Schnauzer/who-knows dog with whom Beuchert is attempting to "communicate."

Beuchert is an "animal communicator." And "reaching" animals is something that will be talked about by everyone who sees Robert Redford's much-anticipated movie "The Horse Whisperer."

Technically, says Beuchert, "The Horse Whisperer" is about an "animal behaviorist," not an "animal communicator." But if the movie is anything like the best-seller it was adapted from, there was definitely communicating going on between animal and man. Horse whisperers are said to train horses with a special sensitivity, by reading their body language and whispering to them.

What makes this thing with Louie even stranger is that Beuchert is attempting to communicate with Louie from afar. She and I are in her Mount Airy home. Louie is in his (and my) Owings Mills home.

"It's all telepathic, which really strikes people as strange," Beuchert says. Yep. Louie is at home because Beuchert prefers not to have the dog in front of her. "A dog's body language can be distracting," she says.

So I brought along a photo of Louie sitting alone in his (and my) favorite chair, an overstuffed blue recliner in the family room, which means he's not too far from the kitchen and his treasured stash of pig ears.

Do I have any questions I want to ask about Louie?

OK. Feeling ever so, well, silly, I ask how Louie feels about the impending move he and I are making. Our house is up for sale.

Beuchert looks at Louie's picture. She leans back in her own big comfy recliner, closes her eyes and lets her mind roam. Her two mixed-breed dogs, Thelma and Louise, snuggle at her feet. A couple of very large emu eggs are in a basket not too far away, but more about that later.

Making contact

"Do you refer to yourself as 'Mom' to Louie?" she asks.

Uh, yeah. She pauses. I am perched on the end of her sofa, waiting, I don't know what for.

Beuchert says she has an immediate connection with Louie.

She explains that it feels as if she is spinning while sitting perfectly still. Some animals, she says, don't wish to be bothered. Maybe they are eating or simply don't want to take the time to "talk" telepathically.

Beuchert is quiet for a few minutes, then says, "He knows something is going on."

I say a few pieces of furniture have already been moved out of the house.

Beuchert nods. "He is worried about what is going to happen to him." I nod.

"Is he going to stay with you?" she asks. Absolutely.

"That's what he is worried about. He is an insecure little thing. Maybe he was abandoned when he was very young."

Louie came to me by way of the Baltimore County Animal Shelter. And if pressed to describe Louie's personality, I would say he is adorable, loving, but somewhat on the nervous side.

But, wait. "There is someone else in the house he is terribly worried about," Beuchert says.

Uh-oh. For the last few years, my mother has been living with me but will move in with other relatives once the house is sold.

Louie is attached to her. When she is not home, he positions himself at the living room window and waits patiently until her car pulls into the driveway. Then he practically does back flips.

"He sees you as the one who takes care of him, but he sees himself as taking care of the other person. He is insecure, but he is also a generous little soul because he is very concerned about this person."

I explain that my mother will be well taken care of, as will Louie. Beuchert is quiet, communicating this important information to Louie.

How did he take it, I want to know.

"He's OK, now. Happy to know this," she says. Beuchert is quiet but the connection with Louie is apparently broken. "He's through with me now. He has completely blown me off," she says.

That's my Louie. Able to roll with the punches as long as he is going with the supplier of the pig ears.

She tells me to talk more with Louie, explain things to him. Dogs, she says, understand more than what we might think.

Beuchert says she isn't really hearing "words" from Louie or any animal. "I get the emotion," she says. "If he is scared or tense, I'm scared or tense."

Beuchert's day job is training and breeding Andalusian horses. Some time ago, she was into another venture: raising emus for human consumption.

"The emu thing never quite took off," she says.

Beuchert says that if the emu eggs in her home hatch, the chicks won't be raised for their meat. "I'm no longer into that," she says. "I'm more into the spiritual side of things now."

It was at an awards banquet by her horse dressage club where she first heard a woman speaking about her life as an "animal communicator." Then about six months ago, she went to an animal communication workshop in Pennsylvania and decided this is what she wanted to do.

Developing the ability

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