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"No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." --H. L. Mencken
An animal quacker is someone who applies quackery to animals, such as holistic massage therapy for dogs and horses; reiki and therapeutic touch for pets; and acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy for animals of all sorts, and either the ability to communicate psychically with pets or to do scientific tests that prove the psychic ability of dogs. The queen of all animal quackers has to be pet psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick, who wisely disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of the content on her web site or television show, The Pet Psychic. Fitzpatrick charges $300 an hour for a phone consultation. Monica Collins, the Dog Lady columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, got a complimentary phone reading for her dog.
Fitzpatrick mentioned "a black dog" my dog wants to see. This could have been any number of black dogs. I chose to believe it was a Lab who recently died and was friendly with my dog. She also mentioned my pet's culinary needs: "He's asking if he can have some more chicken." Okey-doke. What dog doesn't want chicken?
Fitzpatrick further divined my darling is worried about my back. Actually, the concern did make some sense because, on an icy morning, I almost took a tumble when walking with sweetheart and strained my back. [Actually, we're not really engineered to walk upright, so bad backs are extremely common.] The psychic summed up: "He's very happy. He's like your baby in a fur coat, and he has a great dog's life." Duh.
Never underestimate (or was it overestimate?) the gullibility of the American public, as someone once probably said.
One of the crown princesses is Polly Klein, the owner of Tonglen™ Healing Arts for Animals. She's certified as an Animal CranioSacral Therapist and offers reiki for pets. The king of animal quackers might be Rupert Sheldrake, who thinks he has scientifically proved that some pets are psychic.
books and articles
Imrie, Robert DVM. "Confronting Veterinary Medical Nonsense," Skeptical Inquirer, Jul/Aug 2001.
Dietary Supplements and Animals by Linda Grassie
Betty Solbjor - reiki for pets
Vitamin Resource has a long line of herbal products for one's animal companion, including tranquilizers
The Cancer Cure Foundation offers alternative cancer treatment recommendations for your pet