Finding out what your pet is thinking helps shelter

by Jennifer Patterson, Daily Herald Staff Writer

Nellie considers herself very refined. She’d pick opera over baseball anytime. Her sister, Maggie, thinks she’s a bit overbearing and takes up too much of mom Cindy’s time.

So goes a typical Saturday morning session with Denise Zak.

Zak isn’t in the business of family therapy, however. She’s a professional animal “intuitive” who helps people communicate with their pets.

Nellie, a sheltie, Maggie, a beagle mix, and their “mom,” Cindy Green, were just one of the pet-human groups taking part in the daylong fund-raiser Saturday at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin.

In fact, a steady stream of people – with a list of questions and $25 in hand – flowed through the doors ready to learn more about what their furry friends are thinking.

Sue Ihssen wanted to know more of about her relationship with her shepherd mix, Cheyenne.

After a moment of focus, with her eyes closed and hand on Cheyenne’s head, Zak knew just what the canine was up to. “No matter what she does to you, she knows you’ll still love her,” Zak told Ihssen. “She just so has your number.”

The prescription? Be more of a teacher than a plaything, Zak says.

She isn’t a psychic, she’ll tell you outright. Zak says she just uses a combination of energy, empathy and intuition to “read” her clients. “Everybody does it all the time,” she said. “It’s just a matter of doing it and not ignoring it.”

The proceeds from Saturday’s session, expected to be around $400, will help pay for the care of the animals at the shelter as well as staffing and other operating costs, said Gingy Cody, Anderson’s director of programs.

Zak, who cut her usual $50 fee in half for the special event, operates in a private practice from her West Dundee home and has clients from around the country. “There are so few surprises in a reading,” she said. “I’m just showing you what’s in your heart.”

To reach her, call (847) 426-8134.

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© 2002 Denise Zak. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any text or photograph is unlawful and will be prosecuted.