After a near-death experience, South Whidbey resident Maureen Belle decided to shift her focus in life to what she loves best: communicating with animals.
She currently offers sessions for people to understand what their pets are saying, which can be as nuanced as each animal is unique.
Fifteen years ago, Belle was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was told she had only a few months to live. At what she believed was the end of her life, a miracle occurred.
Her cancer disappeared.
“There’s no explanation for what happened,” Belle said.
With her perspective on life changed, she chose to spend the rest of her time doing something she truly loved – talking with animals. From a young age, Belle found comfort in communing with the animals around her.
“Everyone has this ability to communicate, and anyone who knows the emotion of their pets, knows,” she said.
Later in life, while living on a ranch she spoke with farm animals and as a diver she interacted with sea turtles, dolphins and whales. After her near-death experience, she found that the intuitive gifts that she had developed over her lifetime were heightened.
In her work as a pet communicator, she serves as the mediator between the animal and its person, interpreting the signs.
“They are every bit as intelligent and sentient as we are,” she said. “They have a much more sophisticated language than we do.”
Often, clients approach her when they suspect their pet might have an injury or if it is behaving oddly. It is also not uncommon for her to communicate with animals who are nearing the ends of their lives.
“They’re not afraid of death,” she said. “They’re afraid of leaving us. They’re afraid of what will happen to us, and that grief, rather than the passing of themselves.”
She explained that by meeting the animal or seeing a photo, she connects with the pet and scans their body to figure out what’s going on. She said the pets share images and emotions and will tell her where they are hurting.
Belle’s clients have been able to verify her interpretations by taking their pets for testing at the vet. In one case, she sensed a dog had low thyroid issues. It turned out to be true.
Roy Ayala is a long-distance client of Belle’s who has sought her help over the years with his various cats and dogs. He said her work is about asking the right questions and investigating, rather than being a mysterious thing that people don’t understand.
Belle has helped him address his cat peeing in strange places, his dog chasing his cat when home alone and end-of-life care for his pets that were dying.
“Over time she gets to know their personalities, and they’re more free to offer what they’re feeling,” he said.
Llynya Carey, another client of Belle’s, said she believes her to be one of the best animal communicators she’s ever met.
Belle has had some unusual communication with Carey’s late dog, Maya, from before she was born to after she passed away. One day, Carey and Belle were riding the ferry together. Carey had been thinking about getting a puppy and she said that Belle sensed a dog with strong, feminine energy would be coming into her life soon.
“She started getting information from this little being that wasn’t even born yet,” Carey said.
After adopting Maya, Carey kept in touch with Belle over the years.
“It was always a relief to me to be able to call Maureen and have her check in at a spiritual level,” she said.
Even though Maya died in 2019, Carey said Belle has still been able to remain in contact with her from time to time. Maya’s latest message for Carey, according to Belle, is that a new animal might be coming into her life.
Belle’s abilities as an animal communicator may have won her at least one new believer recently.
Judy Dewing, who manages the Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation Cat Cottage in Freeland, was amazed to see normally shy kitties come out to greet Belle during a recent visit. In one instance, Dewing said seeing a scaredy cat coming out and being at ease around Belle nearly brought her to tears.
“I think the cats are totally comfortable with her, especially Beerus in the back,” Dewing said. “He usually goes into that little cubbie, and he was out the whole time she was here.”
It’s not all cats and dogs, though. Belle has also interacted with wolves, cattle, goats, chickens, horses, birds and a turtle. She has even spoken with a Southern Resident orca from J pod, Granny, who explained to her why they only eat salmon.
“Granny said, ‘We lived in a small community in the Salish Sea, we used to hunt seals, dolphins but it caused so much distress in the community that we made a pact with the humans and our fellow mammals not to attack them,’” Belle said.
“That decision was really monumental, and they’re sticking to it to the death,” she said. “Her ability to communicate was extraordinary.”
The septuagenarian said she would eventually like to teach her skill of animal communication to others during some in-person workshops.
For her pet communication sessions, she visits clients on-island and can call or video chat those that live farther away.