In addition to more familiar treatments, there are other, less common pet care methods available.
Elaine Garley is a holistic practitioner who communicates telepathically with animals. Clients send her a photo of their pet along with questions they want her to ask (packages start at $39 for three questions). Garley then writes back with a "transcript" of the conversation.
"I get a running conversation in my head just like we're talking on the phone," said Garley, whose Minneapolis company is called Animal Bridges (animalbridges.com).
Recently, a client with a cat who was howling hired Garley. "As soon as I connected with the cat, I had a sinus headache," indicating that was what was ailing the cat, Garley said.
Hesse, the massage therapist, hired Garley to "speak" to her sheepdog before it died, and then again afterward.
"It's a little out there, even for me, but it was still comforting to hear what Lulu said," Hesse said, tearfully. "I think there is something to it."
With Lena Swanson, another local animal communicator, people describe their pets during a phone call and explain their concerns. Swanson then places them on hold while she communicates telepathically with the animal. She charges $2.75 per minute for her services (lenaswanson.com).
Clients come to her to understand why a cat stopped using its litter box, or ask a sick pet if it's time to let go.
"It sounds so outlandish," Swanson said, but she said she believes that animal communication is an important skill many people can learn to tap into. Next month, she is teaching a course for anyone interested in trying it themselves.
"A lot of people don't hear words; they just get a gut sense of knowing what animals say," Swanson said. "It's the hardest thing to trust."