Article reprinted with permission from Dog Moe
May 16, 2012 • DOUG MOE | Wisconsin State Journal | firstname.lastname@example.org | 608-252-6446
Earlier this year, Liz Morrison talked to a movie star.
Unlike a lot of stars, who can be moody, even brooding, in conversation, this star was relentlessly upbeat.
“A motor mouth,” Morrison said.
Of course, he has a few issues. What’s an actor without issues? Like many denizens of the silver screen, he worries about his weight. He gets along with his stunt doubles but would prefer to do his own stunts.
He also has four legs and is prone to barking.
The star Liz Morrison chatted with recently is Uggie, the scene-stealing dog in the Academy Award-winning film “The Artist.”
Morrison, of Madison, is an animal communicator, and she was asked to communicate with Uggie as part of the cover story for the May issue of Sky magazine, the in-flight publication of Delta Air Lines.
Uggie is on the cover.
The timing couldn’t be better for Morrison, who began taking classes in animal communication a decade ago but launched her professional website — www.yourpetwantstotalk.com — in January.
She’s acquainted with the article’s author, Twin Cities-based Sky senior writer Steve Marsh, who contacted Morrison in February.
“I’m hoping you will talk to Uggie,” Marsh said.
“The most famous dog in the world.”
“I don’t go to movies,” Morrison said Tuesday, explaining how it was she hadn’t heard of the dog that won the Palm Dog at Cannes in 2011 and stole the hearts of pretty much everyone who does go to movies with his turn in “The Artist.”
Marsh arranged a conference call with Morrison in Madison and Uggie in California with his trainer, Omar Von Muller, and a representative of Nintendo, the game company that recently hired Uggie as its “spokesdog.” (Von Muller retired Uggie from the movies. Uggie is now 70 in dog years, and, anyway, how do you top an Academy Award?) Marsh also was on the call in the Twin Cities.
Von Muller asked Uggie if he wanted to say hello.
Uggie let loose with a few barks.
The conference call was on a Monday. The previous weekend, Morrison, armed with photos of Uggie and having spoken with Marsh (who spoke with and was briefed on Uggie by Von Muller), said she communicated telepathically with Uggie. The Jack Russell terrier offered his thoughts on the movie business and life in general. The Monday phone call actually was for Morrison to share with the others what Uggie communicated.
At this point it seems worth noting that many people have serious doubts about the ability of anyone to communicate telepathically with animals.
I first heard about animal communicators, or pet psychics, as they are sometimes called, a decade ago when I wrote a column about a Madison-area woman named Asia Voight, who was appearing at a Dane County Humane Society fundraiser billed as Madison’s own pet psychic. (A year earlier, Animal Planet debuted a show called “The Pet Psychic,” starring Sonya Fitzpatrick.)
Voight cheerfully conceded there are people who doubt her ability to communicate with animals, but added, “acceptance is really growing.” She said many people have telepathic abilities they just haven’t tapped into. “It’s how we communicate with God,” she said. “Most people pray and think God can hear them.”
It was in classes taught by Voight — who continues her successful animal communicator business here — that Morrison said she first learned to access her own telepathic ability.
Morrison, originally a farm girl from Minnesota, took more classes in California, and began helping friends and acquaintances with their pet problems, asking only that the pet owners make a donation to an animal charity. In January, Morrison began charging $40 a session.
She begins communicating telepathically by meditating, and said she needs to be alone, with a clear mind, to connect. She asks the universe for help, and said generally the animal she’s seeking appears quickly. “Animals want to talk,” she said, “especially dogs.”
Uggie, she said, was especially verbose, young at heart and committed to Von Muller.
Reading the magazine story, and knowing actors, only one thing surprised me. I can’t believe Uggie didn’t say that what he really wants to do is direct.
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