Patricia Schaller approaches a corralled mule with two dogs on her heels. She chuckles as if she's just heard a whispered joke.
"The mule thinks the dogs are a lower species," she says.
How does she know? Schaller says she talks to animals. She sees herself as a bridge between the animal and human worlds. She says she understands them and they, in turn, seem to understand her.
But the mule wasn't the reason Schaller was at the ranch in Holladay recently. Anne Quigley had called for a psychic reading on Tzar, a 6-year-old horse that is half-Russian Arabian and half-quarter horse. The problem? Quigley said she was afraid to ride the horse.
As Schaller nears the paddock, she talks aloud to Tzar. She rubs his nose with a gloved hand. The 16-hand horse nuzzles against her shirt.
The horse knows why she is there, Schaller says.
"He's very smart," she says. "And he loves to be talked to."
She bows her head and for a split second, the horse's lips move up and down, like he's trying to talk, but there is no noise. She raises her head and turns toward Schaller.
"He wants to know what he can do for you to want to ride him," she says.
Schaller shakes her head and is speechless. Quigley admits she is afraid to get attached to this horse because her last horse died of colic. She wants Schaller to tell Tzar to be gentle and go easy and to tell him they will go out this afternoon
for a ride, just the two of them.
Schaller relays the message. The horse's ears perk up. His tail swishes.
"He's asking for a chance," Schaller says softly, with her chin to her chest. "He doesn't need trainers, just a friend."
Quigley is one of hundreds of clients Schaller has seen all over the United States during her more than 30 years as a pet psychic. She moved to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles a few months ago.
Schaller said she started talking to animals at a very early age.
"I thought everyone could hear them," she says. "But it turns out that if you tell someone they think you're crazy."
Today, she said she helps humans understand animals including dogs, cats, and birds at an average of $40 every half hour. Schaller says she can also do readings by phone.
Tzar and Quigley have been riding together since Schaller met with them.
This pet psychic news story was taken from an article 'Pet psychic says she serves as a bridge between worlds', written by Ashley Franscell , from The Salt Lake Tribune (http://www.sltrib.com/search/ci_3540327/), 23rd February 2006.