Animals can’t talk. They can’t tell their owners what hurts, or what they’re feeling, or where they are if they are lost.

Betsy Groller of Amity Township can help.

She is an animal communicator through 4 Paw Reiki LLC.

Groller stumbled into realizing she had these less-than-traditional skills after trying yoga a few years ago. Yoga led to her discovering Reiki, which is integral to her work with animals.

"Reiki is a Japanese method of healing that relaxes the body; it elicits a healing response," Groller explained of the energy work she performs both in person and remotely on the pets of her clients.

She said that Reiki can help with pain management, the immune system, anxiety and depression, and can promote relaxation.

When Groller does Reiki in person, she uses her hands to either lightly touch or stay close to the body of an animal.

"Bodies are made up of energy, and in doing Reiki, I’m a conduit for the energy," she said.

Knowing animals can’t vocalize what physical pain might be bothering them, especially when a veterinarian can’t give a clear answer on the problem, those who come to Groller for help know that she can at least bring some level of healing to their pets.

Soon after beginning to practice Reiki on animals, she started recognizing that she continually experienced flashes and images of words that seemed like they must be associated with the pets.

Mentioning these details to the owners, she learned that they indeed matched the particulars of their animals’ lives. One early instance involved her detecting the image of ice cream. When she asked the owners about it, they confirmed that they’d just taken the whole family out for ice cream.

Lori Swenk of Exeter Township reached out to Groller in September when she knew her 15-year-old cat Bogey would soon die. Groller communicated to Bogey about the upcoming vet visit to put him to sleep, but she quickly received the fierce response of "no cold tables" from the cat.

Not long after that, Groller texted Swenk, letting her know that Bogey wanted her to pick him up. Worried before that it would hurt him to hold him, Swenk finally decided to pick him up.

Bogey died in her arms.

Anita Smith of Northampton Township, Bucks County, found Groller through a web search after her 12-year-old Jack Russell terriers, Daphne and Rudy, had become suddenly aggressive and vicious with each other after 11 years of a happy life together.

"Daphne seemed to be the more aggressive of the two," Smith said. "Groller identified Daphne’s personality to a T in her animal communication work, and after she began sending Reiki to her, she was much less rigid and more relaxed."

Groller let Smith know that she sensed a problem with Daphne’s left eye. Once addressed at the vet again, they discovered that she had macular degeneration. This made sense of why she acted defensive when Rudy approached her.


"We had gone the traditional route but were told it was just behavioral, and that sometimes at that age, they grow tired of being with each other," Smith said.

But Groller’s findings showed that the diagnosis wasn’t very accurate, and the eye problem was not pinpointed until Groller’s efforts explained the sudden fighting.

Daphne and Rudy must be separated in their home, but understanding the actual issue has brought a lot of comfort to Smith.

Once Groller learned that she could communicate with animals, she opened up her talents even more by assisting in finding lost pets. Most of her work has been in Dauphin County.

Groller asks the owner to send her a picture of the animal and the home address.

"But this must be used in conjunction with the owners actively searching for the pet; that is very important," she said.

Groller has absorbed visions of maps, a guard rail with paw prints near it and other indicators of place in relationship to where an animal is.

She keeps in touch regularly with the lost pet’s owners and rescue search teams, giving them the clues she has, and in most cases, success has been the great relief. The animals are almost always found, with much gratitude expressed from the owners.

Groller most recently helped to locate a lost dog on Jan. 16. A 2-year-old pit bull mix named Keely in West Virginia became lost the day before.

"The owner’s friend, who I worked with on a previous lost dog case and also animal communication work, hired me because the owner was skeptical," Groller said. "Keely guided me to a different location than where the owner had searched, and she was found in the area I showed the owner on the map."

Groller often visualizes a map of an area when she is working on communicating with a lost pet. And while she admitted that her maps are not always completely accurate in the end, she usually takes in some important details that do help those searching for the lost pets.

"I was shown that Keely might be injured, and that there was something to do with a tree," Groller explained. "Also, her throat seemed to need a lot of Reiki energy; she was found with her foot caught in a steel trap, and it was tied to a tree."

Groller later learned that Keely’s throat had become hoarse from barking.

"Our pets are so unconditional in their love for us when there is so much bad in news, situations and the economy," Groller said, "and yet animals never really ask us for much. They are guided into our lives for a reason."

Contact Jennifer Hetrick: life@readingeagle.com.