by Suzan Vaughn
Shirley Scott’s earliest memories include saving the lives of all manner of species starting with a small caterpillar. At the age of four, she was startled by a little insect struggling to exit a pond of raspberry juice that formed at the bottom of her bowl. She immediately took action to get the bug to drier ground and save it from drowning. “Of course, my mom almost got sick to her stomach because a caterpillar had been in my food, but all that mattered to me was that the little caterpillar survived once I put it back out on the raspberry bushes.”
School days often found Shirley accompanied by a sick or injured animal she intended to nurse back to health. “In the spring and summer, Mom would find me in the yard with bumble bees or butterflies walking up and down my arms as I talked to them and imagined flying with them.”
Rats, mice, cats and dogs were her companions throughout her teenage years and she spoke directly to them without hesitation or analysis. It just seemed natural to her. “I thought I was just a normal kid that loved animals and that led to considering becoming a veterinarian. But I realized I could never put an animal to sleep and seeing animals hurt was something I could never do in daily practice.”
“My parents were wonderful people who encouraged their children to follow their hearts. As readers of Edgar Cayce, they were open to many metaphysical concepts,” she remembered.
The Turning Point
Shirley started on a spiritual path in 1999, attending retreats that taught her how to see auras and swimming and communicating with dolphins in Mexico and Hawaii. Her life changed dramatically the next year when she popped a sugar-free mint into her mouth and had a deadly reaction to the aspartame in it.
“I knew that I was going to die and called the paramedics. It took them only minutes to get to my house but by then, my veins were already collapsing and I felt like death was upon me. Then suddenly the pain was gone and I was watching the paramedics work on my body from about three feet away. I realized I was floating in a wonderful cloud of light and there was no pain, no anxiety, no fear, just a knowing that my body was dying. I could hear everything the men were saying and doing to my body. It seemed strange yet very normal. I saw my body had monitors and an oxygen mask on. The paramedics were trying to find a vein so they could start an IV but they weren’t having any luck. I can remember one of them saying, ‘Her blood pressure is 69 over 38 and still dropping fast.’ Never once did I think I was dying, but I thought my body was. Then another paramedic starting getting out the paddles to apply to my chest saying, ‘How long before we code her?’ ‘About 30 seconds’ the other paramedic answered. I didn’t want them using those paddles on my chest because I knew they would leave bruises and as soon as I thought that, I heard a very loving voice from behind me say ‘Then go back and stay conscious.’ I answered with another thought, ‘I can do that,’ and at that moment I slammed so hard back into my body I almost yelled and both paramedics jumped.
“I spent the night in the hospital and my life changed in many ways. I can no longer eat any sweetener except for raw sugar or honey, which is the best thing that ever happened to me. I brought back with me the gift of clairvoyance. It was at this point I really began to ‘know’ things. I was supposed to help people in some way. I went to a psychic school in Portland to learn how to take charge of my energy system and how to use my new gift. I started reading people right away and studied at the school for a year. Then my friend Judy changed my life forever,” she recalled.
Judy asked Shirley to attend a dog show with her, encouraging her to do some readings while she was there. Judy reasoned that if Shirley could read people, there was no reason she couldn’t read animals, too. Shirley felt uncomfortable but that didn’t stop Judy from introducing her as a well-known animal communicator who was there to read the dogs. She even walked around with a sign-up sheet and filled up almost every time slot for the weekend event. “I spent that weekend talking to the dogs and some other animals and having the time of my life. That was the beginning of my animal communication practice,” she said.
Shirley’s sensitivity level heightened, and the clients just came to her. Knowing that animal communication and healing were her life’s work opened up a world of opportunity. Scheduling at least one reading a day keeps her telepathic and clairvoyant skills tuned up as well as conducting workshops to help others hone their talents. “One of my greatest honors is to speak at churches when they are having a pet blessing Sunday. People bring their animal companions and after a short speech, I do quick aura healings and readings on each of them. It’s great fun,” she says.
Shirley often does grief counseling when connecting to animals and loved ones who have crossed over, offering aura and energy healings to each client. “I believe the veil between dimensions is getting thinner all the time and because of my near death experience, I connect much easier with disembodied spirits,” she says. Shirley’s CD, “Telepathy and Animal Communication” explains how telepathy and energy work together. If she’s with an animal physically, she does aura healings, massage and TTouch™, receiving messages through pictures, sounds, and feelings. “When an animal is in pain, I get a pain in that part of my body, which is helpful in identifying the particular area of health concern.”
As a bridge between species, Shirley aims to help humans understand an animal’s perspective and animals to understand the human world. Whether it’s helping a barrel racer in a rodeo understand her horse, assisting with behavior problems in domestic animals, or talking to wild animals, part of her practice is to open up to what animals can teach us about living and enjoying life.
“I’m honored to be invited to the exotic animal convention each year in Washington. The attendees are people who have rescued these wonderful animals from abuse. Many people want exotic animals but have no idea how to care for them or how their DNA instructs their behavior. A cougar is not just a big house cat. These animals have told me a lot about being captive, why they are here and how we can learn from them. Many understand that they can’t be wild because they have never been there,” she explains.
Animal Encounters: A Conscientious Goat
Helping a ranch owner to better understand her goat’s strange behavior meant that Shirley would go nose to nose with the caprine. In the morning, explained the rancher, the goat put his nose on top of each chicken’s head, one at a time, then went nose to nose with each horse, cat, dog, and pig. Once he finished, he ate breakfast only to repeat this strange behavior again just before nightfall. It was Shirley’s first discussion with a goat.
“I sent him a message and he walked over to me and wanted me to put my nose next to his. I did and I immediately got this question ‘Are you okay?’ in my head. I answered that I was and he backed away. I asked him if this is what he did to the other animals. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I make sure everyone is okay. That’s my job and I do it every day.’ I told the rancher what he had said and she laughed, then validated the message with a story. She told me about a time when the goat came running and making all kinds of noise. She followed him and saw that the cat had fallen into the pool. ‘Come to think about it, whenever anything goes wrong around here he’s the first one to let us know,’ the rancher remembered. I told her that was his job and he loved it.”
What can a group thought of love do? Shirley demonstrated the power of love in one of her first workshops. It was a room filled with about 45 people accompanied by a wide variety of animal companions. Two eight-month-old Labrador puppies stirred up the energy, but some of the fifteen dogs present were not in a playful mood, barking at the pups in warning. Others barked back and soon the room erupted into a barking, growling fiasco. Shirley had just explained to the group that animals feel and understand our thoughts and over the din of sound and chaos she instructed the group on how to decelerate the ruckus.
“On the count of three,” she hollered, “I want everyone to think ‘Love’ toward their pets. One, two, three.” A friend attending the workshop timed what happened next and four seconds later it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop. “All the dogs turned to their guardians and became calm and quiet again, even the puppies,” Shirley recounted. Her workshop participants learned a lot that night, but the lesson with the most impact came from this unintended demonstration of how animals communicate through thought.
A fellow passenger on an airplane opened up a conversation with Shirley about her dog and two cats. The dog loved chasing one of the cats and the woman asked Shirley if she could do anything to get the dog to stop. “We were 39,000 feet in the air but I figured if I could find a lost cat in Australia from Walla Walla, Washington, I might be able to talk to the dog from an airplane,” she said. Shirley told the dog that his behavior was making his person unhappy and that the cat was a part of the family, too. She explained that “with the light and love of the universe,” she placed energy blocks between the dog and the cat. “These energy blocks help animals to understand and see that even if their DNA and breeding tell them they are supposed to chase something, they don’t have to do this; they can live in peace with each other.”
The price Shirley charged her fellow flyer was feedback, requesting that the woman let her know what happened. Two weeks later she received an e-mail saying the chase was off. The dog had not pursued the cat since their sky high conversation. “She was amazed and thrilled and the household was happy and in peace again. I also reminded her that energy blocks will slowly fade and need to be refreshed every so often until the energy becomes permanent.”
Shirley felt honored working with a memorable gentle giant Great Dane as he related his sad story and of subsequently being rescued from a bad situation. He had lived in a drug dealing house where his human companions chose him, thinking his size would protect them from unwanted scrutiny. However, the gentle Dane was poorly suited to the job, trying hard to do what they wanted him to do but failing miserably. The drug dealers also experimented with the dog, putting drugs up his nose to see what he would do. The dog was without food and water for days at a time and his nose and stomach hurt constantly. Sometimes he blacked out, only to be awakened by yelling and chaos, along with pain in his legs and head. He was hit a lot and did not know why.
“These pictures were so sad I could barely stay with his energy. One night when there was an uproar of people at the house, the Dane felt he really had no fight for life left in him. He was slowly dying and he welcomed death. Weak from hunger and drugs, he lay in a corner of the dirty kitchen, closed his eyes to die and soon there was a soft hand on his head. Looking up, he saw a lady. It took two people to carry him out and put him in a carrier and he fell back to sleep. The next thing he showed me was a clean place to sleep with food and water and a new human that was petting him and talking softly to him. His new human was nursing him back to health! It took several months to get him back to a proper weight and to learn to trust people. He still suffers with joint pain, fatigue, and stomach problems.”
Shirley has been practicing professionally for over eight years. She started with readings for people, moved on to animals, and then added people who have crossed over. A job as a chiropractic assistant taught her about how the mind/body connection works. Working with local counselors, she helps people get through grief and loss while teaching them about their animal companion’s perspective.
“I teach people how important our energy system is and how animals can smell it and see it. The workshops are one of my favorite things to do because I really see a turn around in many people after a workshop.”
You’ll find three CD’s on Shirley’s website at www.animaltalkhealing.com. Two of them are focused on learning animal communication and facing fears that obstruct one’s path toward a purposeful life. The third is an e-book written by one of her clients. She offers classes in the Pacific Northwest but will also travel. Like many animal communicators, much of her work is done by telephone. “Energy, telepathy, and Spirit have no boundaries so it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can get a message or receive one day or night,” she says.
Communication and Advocacy
An animal communicator’s job doesn’t end with sending and receiving messages. Shirley emphasizes that protecting animals is part of the job.
“I once did a reading on a wonderful beagle whose human was an angry man. He wanted to know why the beagle wouldn’t mind him. The beagle said the man was inconsistent with his commands and the dog was very confused. He was hit or punished when he didn’t understand,” she said.
Shirley told the man that it wasn’t the dog’s fault, blaming him instead and instructing him to stop hitting the beagle and to get some help with acting consistently while training. The man was unhappily surprised that she knew he had been hitting the beagle. “I don’t know what happened to this wonderful beagle but I’ve often sent him thoughts of love and I feel he’s with a new guardian now who really does love him.”
Although no psychic is ever 100 percent right, she says, the more important focus is the messages coming through for the highest good of all souls involved. In fact, information that seems downright wrong has its place in her practice. An experience with a woman and a horse cemented this philosophy for Shirley.
“I gave a reading to a young woman who wanted to find a horse she had to sell when she was sixteen. The people she sold the horse to had said they would keep it until she was older and could afford to buy it back, but they sold the horse and didn’t know where he had gone. She told me she was going to spend every dollar she had and every waking moment trying to find this horse. I got in touch with the horse and was told that he was dead. Before I told her this information, I asked my spirit guide and he confirmed it. The woman was very upset and sad but I assured her the horse was in a wonderful place on the other side. After I left her, I heard my spirit guide say, ‘he really isn’t dead,’ and I almost drove off the road. ‘What do you mean the horse isn’t dead?’ I asked and then I got this message, ‘The horse is in a very nice place where he is supposed to be, and with the people he’s meant to be with. This woman has other lessons to learn and can’t learn them from this horse. She must move on.’”
Clients & Students
A friend and helper to clients, Shirley believes even psychics need a psychic counselor. “Many of my clients are intuitive but when it comes to their own pets, they know their emotions can block the messages, so they call on me.” Clients often call her seeking confirmation about their own hunches. “They know that I will make them responsible for following through with anything their animal companion wants or needs after a reading. I just give them the message; they have to do the work.”
Students say Shirley instills confidence in them. She’s there to answer questions and address concerns and wants her students to excel in their areas of specialty. She encourages them to study with different people and explore new things. “I view both my clients and students as connected souls that are learning and growing and are helping me learn and grow, too.”
Shirley lets clients know she doesn’t know everything about their animal companions and probably won’t; she’s limited to what the animal wants to tell her. “Sometimes I can’t connect to an animal because they don’t want to talk or, with lost animals, they may not want to be found. I try to explain to my clients that animals have different DNA than humans and that makes them think differently. They reason things out differently and they do things differently because if they did things like we do, they’d be human. It’s important to let clients know they have to think like an animal to communicate with an animal. That’s not saying animals are dumb or beneath us, it’s just that they think differently and we need to match their thinking. Sometimes a message or event is withheld from us so we can learn from it as it happens. That doesn’t mean if an animal communicator misses something or doesn’t tell you something that they were wrong; it means you weren’t supposed to know about it in advance.
In her classes, students learn to attend to their very first feeling or message. Avoiding analysis of the message is what she teaches. “If you analyze your message too much, you block the flow of energy and the flow of information,” she says. The second lesson she teaches is that getting good takes practice. “You can’t use these tools and skills just once a year or even once a week and expect to be getting clear messages,” Shirley adds.
“How do I know if I’m really getting a message from my animal or if it’s just my imagination?” That’s the most asked question she gets from students. Shirley believes that you can’t imagine something that isn’t there in some form. Even imagining creating something means it’s already there, she says. “I like to ask my students to imagine their dog sitting in front of them. If they receive the thought of a treat or going outside, whose thought is that? Unless you wanted a goody bone or wanted to go outside, it had to belong to your animal companion. Trust your imagination because it’s attached to your psychic channels,” she tells students.
It came to her during meditation: the vision of a 500-1000 acre rescue resort in Montana or Wyoming called the Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue Ranch. The Rescue Ranch now has a website at www.animalrescueranch.com, moving the vision closer to physical reality. She envisions a place where people come and vacation, learn interspecies communication skills, and help care for abused, sick, abandoned, or unwanted animals. If visitors make a heart connection with an animal friend, adoption would be possible. “It would also help many animals find the humans they were meant to be with while opening up the spiritual world of love and wonder,” she said.
“I’m putting it out to the Universe to have one million people send me five dollars each to get everything the animals will need and to keep it running for a very long time.”