Have you ever dreamt of sacking off your corporate job to follow an unconventional path?
That’s exactly what Nikki Vasconez has done – after giving up an enviable salary to become a pet psychic, which she says is her dream job.
The top lawyer jacked in her $75,000-a-year (£60,000) job and says that she has taught herself to speak to animals. The best thing is that she is now earning more money than she was before.
Nikki, 33, started researching how to ‘speak’ to animals in September 2020 while working as a full-time property lawyer. After discovering her passion, she quit her job to become a full-time animal communicator a year later.
In September 2021, Nikki launched her pet psychic business on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – and was instantly booked out for the next four months as her unique service proved incredibly popular.
Nikki, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, says: ‘I was so miserable in my previous job, I was working huge hours and was just unhappy but was too scared to change. Until this came along.
‘I started out practicing on family and friend’s pets, and some stranger’s animals for free but as soon as I created social media accounts, I began to gain a steady following and it wasn’t long before requests started pouring in.
‘When I set up my TikTok account, I gained 175,000 followers within months and by January 2022, I had to stop taking bookings because I was so inundated.’
Nikki lives with her partner Michael, 34, and their two teacup poodles Donald, seven, and Merlin, eight.
She says she taught herself to communicate with animals by doing her own research and reading a series of books on the practice.
So, how does it work? During a reading, Nikki sits in a quiet room and studies a photo of the animal and ‘telepathically’ asks them a series of questions.
The psychic records her questions and the animal’s ‘responses’ on her phone so owners can listen back to the full exchange.
Nikki says it’s important to see the animal’s eyes in the photo, and she also needs the pet’s name, gender and the names of people in the home.
But she adds that she prefers to know no more details about the animal to prevent her ‘human brain’ from interfering with the messages.
‘When I’m communicating with the animals, sometimes I see images flash across my eyes or I’ll hear particular phrases,’ she says.
‘I don’t hear their accents or tone of voice, but I can always sense their personality.’
Nikki charges $350 (£280) for a one-hour session and restricts her communications to two per day to ensure the best quality readings.
The pet psychic also offers services to speak with animals who have passed away – which makes up around half of her requests.
‘Of the animals I’ve spoken to that have passed, they are never upset, angry or hold a grudge,’ she adds.
‘In my experience, they’ve only ever been happy and free and talk about how parts of their body have been restored and ailments that have gone away.
‘I spoke to a cat who talked about being able to see after not having sight while living.
‘I speak with animals who have passed who comment on the lives of humans who are still living. I’m convinced they go where we go.
‘It’s changed my entire perspective of death because it’s a shift, a transition because I’ve never had a single animal that is sad.’
The majority of the animals Nikki works with are household pets such as dogs and cats, but she has also worked with geckos, bearded dragons, horses, cows, pigs, several different birds and donkeys.
‘I was speaking with one dog, Peter, who told me about a door in his family’s kitchen which kept sticking and was driving the mother mad,’ says Nikki.
‘When they later played the recording back, her husband’s jaw dropped to the floor because it was completely accurate. It’s so fun when that happens!’
During another reading, Nikki says she continually heard one pet dog, Odie, repeat the phrase, “you’re the best thing in the world”.
‘It was so funny, when I told the owner this, she laughed and said “that’s what I tell him every morning!”‘
On another occasion, Nikki spoke with a horse, Cruse, who she says told her she did not like his owner’s boyfriend.
‘Cruse told me not to worry though, because the boyfriend doesn’t like him either! I told the owner this and she laughed saying that was all true,’ she says.
In addition to her readings, Nikki also offers workshops to train others to speak with their pets. She feels passionately that anyone can learn to develop the skill.
‘Animal communication is not a gift, it’s a skill and a muscle that needs to be developed,’ she says. ‘We are all innately psychic beings so it just requires practice.’
Nikki says she also receives criticism online from TikTok users who are suspicious about her claims.
‘There are a lot of people who are very skeptical and say that I’m a fraud,’ she says.
‘I understand it can be confusing as we are raised to believe that interspecies communication isn’t the norm. The criticism initially bothered me but I no longer care.’
Due to the success of her business, Nikki now advocates for people to pursue their passions.
‘I was so miserable as an attorney. My days were long because I was commuting 90 minutes each way,’ she says.
‘I would leave my house at 6am in the morning and not get home until 6.30pm at night. I was even getting into car accidents because I was so physically and mentally drained.
‘I had a lot of student loans so I was initially reluctant to leave the law firm, but I decided to take a leap of faith and I’m so glad I did.
‘I couldn’t be happier now doing what I love most.’
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