Head cocked to the side, ears perked and eyes twinkling with an irresistible questioning look — it's a puppy face you can't deny, but also can't understand.
Or can you?
Professional Animal Communicator Stacy Krafczyk said it's through the eyes of an animal that she is able to get a glimpse of its world and understand what it might be thinking. Krafczyk also works as an intuitive advisor, medium and a reiki master teacher through her business All Spirit Healing.
"I always had a connection with animals as a child, my family would rescue chipmunks or birds and we would rehabilitate them and release them," she said. "Most animals are so willing and open to talk because they don't really have any other way to communicate."
Krafczyk cites an unhealthy relationship in her twenties that drove her to seek solace in meditation — and said it was through meditating that she realized her "gifts." Since learning she can communicate with animals, she's used her talents to help humans connect with their pets for a variety of reasons: from behavioral to health issues or just merely wanting to connect better with the creature.
Krafczyk visits Dawgs in Motion in Saukville on a regular basis to offer area residents the opportunity to meet with her for a session; she also teaches classes that can help you learn better communication with the animals you love. She also works with Tailwaggers 911 of Saukville.
Most of her clients, however, are over-the-phone from around the world; all it takes is a picture of the animal for Krafczyk to conduct a session.
A tough decision made easier
Peggy Klemme, a Milwaukee resident who lives in a "multiple-cat" home — as she describes it — first consulted Krafczyk when her cat, Mutzie, was having health issues.
Klemme eventually had to make the decision to put her cat to sleep after cancer was discovered in the animal's abdomen. But, she said, she was more at ease in making this decision because of a recent session with Krafczyk in which she saw something in the cat's abdomen, and Krafczyk learned that the animal didn't want any cancer treatment.
"I kept asking, 'How am I going to know when the time is right? With her gift, it gave me a little more insight in making decisions in (Mutzie's) care," Klemme said. "It doesn't take away the pain of your loss, but it makes me understand that she's OK."
Klemme said the sessions with Krafczyk not only helped her understand her animals better, but also gave her an overall positive sense of being.
"The other thing I found when I'd go to see her, I also left feeling better," she said.
Trauma healed by an angel
Muskego resident Ken Nolet said it was a traumatic experience with a former family dog that lead him to seek Krafczyk's help.
Nolet and his wife were forced to put their dog to sleep after it nipped a jogger on a trail that circles a lake near their home; the euthanization, however, went horribly.
Nolet had to hold the animal by its leash while not one, not two — but three shots were administered to the animal; but it still didn't take affect. Eventually, an IV was inserted to complete the process that took an hour to end the life of the 115-pound dog.
"I felt like we crucified an animal, I never want to ever take part in that again," he said.
Nolet said the situation left him depressed for months; after learning about Krafczyk, he was skeptical but desperate.
"She came in the house and was looking (around) and got some vibes ... (then) she had said some things that probably we would have only known," he said, convinced of Krafczyk's abilities.
Krafczyk said she saw blood in the euthanized dog's future had it not been put to sleep, helping the Nolets to feel their decision and struggle had saved them from a potentially more horrendous situation — a worse attack than a nip to a human.
Krafczyk went on to tell the Nolets that their next dog would find them, to which Nolet said he and his wife were reluctant to accept — not interested in replacing the dog anytime soon.
But, sure enough, a friend of a friend had a dog in need of a home — and the moment the Nolets met the dog, it was a match, and it restored happiness in the household.
"This dog … is an angel," Nolet said. "The dog is like it's been with us since it was a puppy … it was the strangest, weirdest thing — it's got angel wings on its back. This dog mended so many broken hearts."
The skeptics out there
In hearing that a person communicates with animals, many react with skepticism — but Krafczyk said it's the things she learns from the animals that work in her favor to earn the person's trust.
"There's just no way I would know anything about the person … it's just whatever the dog (tells me) … I am actually looking through the (dog's) eyes," she said. Krafczyk said the messages she gets from the animals are images that allow her to identify what the animal is trying to communicate.
"The eyes are the window to the soul," she said.
Klemme said she thinks more people are becoming accepting of animal communicators, but she doesn't expect everyone to bite.
"Some people don’t believe it at all … and I think its becoming a little more common where people are referring to this — my cats are my kids, they are my life," Klemme said.
Beyond believing or not, Krafczyk's work has changed lives.
"Stacy was our angel," Nolet said, "and the second angel that came into our life was GiGi (our dog)."
Krafczyk's next appearance at Dawgs in Motion is scheduled for March 9. Call 262-268-8000 to learn more and reserve a spot.