Gena Wilson flicks her hot-pink-polished nails in the air as if, perhaps, finger-painting. But there is no canvas, and what she is doing is “grabbing energy from the air,” she says.
Wilson, a licensed clinical social worker, self-described psychic medium and animal communicator, is visiting Dogs & Co., a pet supply and animal wellness venue whose new location in Snowden Center on Oakland Mills Road is large enough to host practitioners including chiropractors and acupuncturists, as well as breed rescue events in its Canine Cafe.
At this particular session, Wilson is communing with Goose, a Great Dane/boxer mix whose owner, Jean Thompson, wants to explore her sense that Goose is saying something she just isn’t getting.
While Wilson’s first remarks are reminiscent of horoscopes in their general applicability, she gets more specific with responses at first sensible and then, well, surprising.
“He’s saying ‘I love you so much, and I’m so happy,’” Wilson suggests. “He wants you to acknowledge him.” But then she begins to get some images that she must piece together: “I’m back in the 1930s. There’s an indoor swimming pool with a high board. You are in an old-fashioned bathing suit.”
She moves her hands to her face. “You are a professional swimmer. I think he was your coach. He was in love with you but couldn’t have you ... there’s a barrier.”
Meanwhile, “that’s weird, because he’s far more affectionate with me,” Goose’s co-owner, Kris Helm responds.
The communication returns to the everyday, how Goose (who is indeed crazy about swimming) loves everybody, loves to hug, loves massages. Then, “he’s an older soul. He knows who he is.”
Souls, which carry a “cell soul memory” of past experience, travel together, Wilson says. And they can choose to come back right away or wait.
Goose’s sibling, Kobe, would be a great and calming therapy dog, Wilson says, validating a decision that Helm had already made. Other consulting owners receive similar messages. Ali the Kerry blue terrier, for instance, is telling her owner, Janis Whittier, that she needs something to do — some way to run, like agility training.
But if Whittier, as loving caregiver, hadn’t picked up on this herself, how does Wilson?
“I get images, visions. You know, although you don’t know how you know,” Wilson, of Prince George’s County, says by way of explanation. “Everything is energy in the universe. I’ve found a way to connect.”
As one whose learning style is by listening, Wilson finds it curious that her psychic connection is made visually — not by hearing or receiving messages, not by being able to converse, but by seeing pictures, gestures and signals.
She can also tell what a rescued dog has experienced previously, and connect with animals that have crossed over, she reports. And while these connections can be made over the phone, Wilson prefers having a picture where she can see the subject’s eyes. In “person” is always best.
An exercise in trust
While about half of her practice now is working with pets, it all started quite differently. Only 4 when her mother died, she was at the funeral home when a dead man sat up and began to speak to her, she remembers. The little girl fled in fear and, although she continued to sense the energy, remained too afraid to go in that direction until decades later. In her late 30s, after years of therapy, she felt ready to accept her gift and began to do readings. One day in 1996, a client asked how long her elderly dog would live.
The dog, Wilson remembers, came over, put its head in her lap and told her. Her practice with animals thus began and has included rabbits, rats, birds, lizards, snakes and fish — the latter complaining that they couldn’t breathe in their less-than-clean tank — as well as farm animals. William the horse, an abuse victim living at a beautiful farm with other rescues, remained so angry, nasty and miserable that the owners begged her, “Just tell us what he wants … does he want to live or die?”
“I’ll stay if I can find someone who really loves me,” was his message, and then they were able to do that for him.
Wilson’s furry, feathered, finned and scaled clients are simpler to work with than humans, as are their thoughts and needs, although such cases of abuse can be very upsetting.
She can commune with wild creatures too, Wilson says; when swimming with dolphins off Bimini, in the Caribbean, she found they have more of a universal voice than an individual one, and sensed their concern that we need to live as a community, to care for the earth.
As for other wild beings, she asks, what would the purpose of such communication be? Our pets, on the other hand, may have specific roles or missions in life to identify; Kobe’s as a therapy dog, for instance.
“When I open myself up, I say I want information for their best and highest good, even if we don’t know why,” Wilson says. “I had to learn to trust that God was giving me the right information.”
Gena Wilson’s next session at Dogs & Co. will be Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Scheduled appointments (20 minutes minimum) can be made through the store. Dogs & Co. is located at 6925 Oakland Mills Road, Suite R, in Columbia. The phone number is 410-997-5888, and the website is www.dogsandcompany.com.