Thursday, June 14, 2001

Stress test

Dog days continue at City Hall

        While my elected officials at Cincinnati City Hall were trying to do the people's business amid the usual discourteous barking from the gallery, I was at a seminar with some very polite dogs.

        The atmosphere at Woodland Mound Park was friendly and orderly, as opposed to the atmosphere in City Council Chambers, where the air conditioning is nearly always overwhelmed by the human hot-air dispensers.

        While poor Mayor Charlie Luken was trying to figure out how to muzzle unruly spectators, I was lounging on a picnic table, listening to Judy Fuson. She is a pet psychic.

Mysterious gift
        Judy is not the first person I have met who does this. In December of 1995, Donetta Zimmerman interviewed the Pulfer livestock, Buster (Devil Cat from Hell) and Misty (The Dog Who Thinks She's Lassie). She saw “quick little pictures of their thoughts.”

        Buster blabbed about the time we quarantined him when he was sick. Misty tattled on my mom's dog, who gets on the furniture.

        Barry Wakeman, who was the Cincinnati Zoo's director of education for 26 years, said, “We've found out that cats can make noises above the level of human hearing, and elephants can communicate with each other below our level of hearing. Donetta definitely has a gift of communication that we don't quite understand yet. She is genuine.”

        Eventually, word got around, until Donetta no longer had time to talk to anybody's animals but her own.

        So when Roncy Roehm, who runs a boarding service for pets called Pets Are Inn, said they were bringing a Tucson pet psychic here, I wondered if things had changed much, psychic-wise in the intervening years.

        Not much, apparently.

        Seated in a high director's chair, Judy Fuson closed her eyes, waiting to receive the “little pictures” Donetta described. Her first customer was a brindle Boston terrier, who prowls the house in the middle of the night. His owners were advised to send Topper some pictures of his chair. With him in it. “There's no picture for a negative word,” she said. “Picture him doing exactly what you want.”

No negative pictures
        Next up was Max, a Scottish Deerhound puppy, who told Judy he wants to know what he's going to do with his life. “He wants a job,” Judy said, “a purpose.”

        We animal lovers exchanged stories with each other in the traditional human manner. I told them of the late Murray Pulfer, an utterly lovable collie who died in his prime last year. And of his successor, Mack, who is running us ragged. I must remember to send him pictures of himself not chewing my shoes.

        All in all, it was a thoroughly pleasant way to spend a day. That afternoon, Mayor Luken ejected four people for unruly behavior and posted three additional uniformed officers in case of trouble at the City Council meeting.

        The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published an article this year reporting that men and women who own dogs are less at risk for high blood pressure or excess cholesterol. A survey of 24,000 Medicare enrollees revealed that dog owners made fewer doctor visits than non-owners.

        Nobody knows exactly why this is, but they are investigating the possibility that being around dogs is less stressful than being around people. Maybe they might want to set up a control group over at City Hall.

       E-mail Laura at or call 768-8393.


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