I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from this post and the fallout from it. Most of it has been positive.
I’ve got to say that it’s been amazing to get this kind of response from a post on a relatively unknown blog. I rather expected that some people would read, a couple would comment and we would all move about our day. As the information below indicates, this got a lot more publicity than I thought it would.
This was largely thanks to Stone, who eschewed just telling Tierce to trip me down a set of stairs (he would totally have done that for free), and disseminated the link to this post to all and sundry. Also The Friendly Atheist, who has more followers than I could ever hope to gain, made it go viral – just a teeny bit. Thank you.
So far, most of this has gone in my favour. I might lose some things, but I’m willing to do that to keep promoting free speech on the Internet. I don’t believe I ‘won’ and I don’t believe Stone ‘lost’. I believe that I posted my opinion, albeit in true Misanthropic Shiba style, and the subsequent choices that were made by all parties involved conspired to bring this to the conclusion it has reached. I would have been content with just having my opinion out there, floating on the Internet.
And Tierce? Well, he’ll just have to accept that I’m not going to feed him a steady diet of Paillot de Chèvre, no matter how many times he whines on Facebook. You see, I have ways of figuring out what he’s thinking, too.
UPDATE, THE NEWEST
Stone did, indeed, contact my employers via email to call their attention to the blog post.
The Friendly Atheist picked up this story.
If anybody’s interested in genuine animal communication, your friendly neighbourhood Wiki has an article.
Bosley’s has cancelled the event. Here is a link to a comment on the Bosley’s Facebook page and their reply.
You know, I could do without the implication that the people against this event are just out to spoil everyone else’s good time, but hey, whatever works for you, Bosley’s. I’m just happy that you’ve decided not to officially endorse this person with an event. As I commented on the link above, there are many reputable trainers/behaviourists in the Lower Mainland who you could ask to attend an event for charity. And if anyone has a problem with them, I trust that they won’t necessarily run off to that person’s employer to complain that So-And-So was mean to them. But, you might want to ask for references. Just in case.
As of this morning (July 11) Ms. Stone has threatened to contact my employers (in the comments on this post) and has done so, via email and Facebook. She has posted comments on Tierce’s Facebook and has posted my (misspelled) name and workplace and location on her Facebook business page (the Print Screen button is a wonderful tool, BTW). She’s thrown around ‘racist’ like it’s a marker word. (Don’t doubt the Ukrainian powers of the mind, y’all)
Bullying tactics like this make me think: does this sound like someone who believes that their claims are true or does it sound like a charlatan afraid that someone will expose their charade?
I mean, if she really wants to, she can just get one of the many dogs I’m in contact with in a daily basis to bite me. Although, I would believe more in her powers if Tierce started coming when called off-leash – without stopping to pee, scratch his ear, sniff some grass, go in the opposite direction…
Ever since Pet Valu bought the BC-based Bosley’s chain of pet supply stores, things have been… a little weird. First came the split from the SPCA, because select Bosley’s stores will now be selling small animals. Now, Bosley’s announced on their Facebook page that Reisa Stone will be at Bosley’s North Delta on July 20th.
Who is Reisa Stone? An ‘animal communicator’ who claims that she can telepathically talk to animals using as little as a photograph. This ability, she alleges, comes from her Ukrainian heritage.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. My husband is half-Ukrainian and he can’t get Tierce to come when called more than 13.5% of the time. What has he been hiding from me? I mean, I thought their special bond came from him feeding the damn dog at the table.
Anyway, why am I all up in arms over this? I mean, it’s just nonsensical fun, right? Light-hearted fun.
Wrong. At $150 an hour, Ms. Stone is charging people for her ‘telepathy’ services – desperate people who are hoping for a miracle to help them help their pet. And people are paying this. Even if they’re stupid/ignorant/ill-informed, it’s up to the rest of us to stop reliance on the ‘woo’ and keep encouraging pet owners to seek out competent professionals who have made animal behaviour a study.
Additionally, supporting someone who makes money off of people’s grief over the loss of a pet is beyond me. Yes, Stone claims that she can speak to dead animals. I’m almost tempted to get her to try to bring Shassi on the line.
Stone: Shassi, I’m feeling for you. Where are you?
Shassi: Fuck off.
Stone: There are people here who love you.
Shassi: You’re presupposing that I care. How much is she paying you?
Stone: Uh, $150 an hour?
Shassi: *hysterical laughter* Oh, that’s rich. Okay, I’ll stretch this out. I’m, um, feeling very decomposed.
Stone: Decomposed? You mean ‘discomposed’? It’s quite common when being contacted beyond the grave…
Shassi: I was never in a grave, actually. They cremated me.
Stone: Well. Uh, let’s go on. Do you have any messages for your loved ones?
Shassi: I have loved ones?
Stone: Um, people who love you?
Shassi: Oh. Right. Yeah, ask her if that little twerp is still around.
Stone: You mean Tierce?
Shassi: Yeah, that’s the one.
Stone: Yes, he’s enjoying life. He misses you.
Shassi: Sure. He misses tormenting me with his endless ‘Wanna play?’ ‘I can bug you! See how I’m bugging you?’ bullshit. Little creep was lucky I was blind at the end or he’d be missing a tail.
Stone: Yes, well, let’s move on. Do you have any messages for Julie, Pat, Anne or Mischa?
Shassi: You’re all idiots. This is a scam and you’re stupid for forking over that much money. Get a life and accept that I’m not really talking to you because I’m DEAD. There, is that enough or do you need more?
Stone: Uh, that’s fine. It was, um, nice talking to you.
Shassi: Sometime when you’re on the astral plane again, you can tell me what it’s like to live in your own head. You don’t seriously think you’re actually talking to a dog, do you?
By endorsing Stone through a public function, Bosley’s is supporting this nonsensical idea that someone can reach into the mind of a dog/cat/jerboa and know magically what it’s thinking. Which, apparently, is the unholy love child of copious drinking, the Forer effect, commonly known animal behaviour patterns and wishful thinking:
Which brings us to Helix.
I send Stone a photo and a couple days later, we speak.
“Helix is very queenly,” Stone begtells me. “She’s far more than a princess.”
True? Well, the cat does have an attitude. But, then, what cat doesn’t? We proceed.
“She said, ‘I like roaring,’ and showed me how she pretends she’s roaring like a lion. And she feels she’s in charge of morning wake-up calls and feeding times.”
Stone had not previously seen the photo on the front of this newspaper. A skeptic would say she’s yawning, a believer would chalk up a point for Stone. And Helix is a firm believer in punctuality when it comes to her twice-daily meals.
Stone tells me my cat would like to scratch more, would prefer a less-orderly house with fewer chemical cleaning agents. She also apparently wants a more exciting life.
Stone tells me that Helix considers me her husband. I tell her that’s kind of creepy.
Yes. Yes, it is.
I can tell you right now that Tierce wants more walks, less baths, thinks he should be able to live on cheese and wants me to get off my ass and take him out. Here’s my PayPal Donation button; I can tell you what your Shiba is thinking, too. I suggest a donation of something like $100/hr; I’ll compete with Stone by offering lower prices.
Oh, come on. For free, I’ll throw in a free piece of advice to consult an animal behaviourist/obedience trainer/your dog’s breeder/a mentor/someone who has a clue and to start treating your dog like a dog and not like a furry conduit to a magical reality where herbs cure everything and you can stop your dog from biting you just by thinking positively.
Bosley’s, you’re starting to lose my money.