While the Palkovics were on vacation in Florida, their dog Patch escaped from a relative’s yard.
When Susan and Joe Palkovic found out, they immediately sent out a mass email, posted the news on Facebook, called area kennels, and notified police.
“I felt helpless,” says Susan, a Glenview mother of three boys. “I was hoping we’d find him before the kids found out.”
After three days went by and the dog still hadn’t been found, Susan did something she says was out of desperation: she contacted an animal communicator.
“I told him, ‘I really don’t believe in this’ and he said, ‘I’ll do it for free,’” Susan says of Charles Peden, a California-based animal communicator. “He asked me for the name of the dog and no other information.”
“What happened was, I was talking to Susan and all of a sudden her dog is talking in my other ear,” says Peden, who says he found out he had the ability to talk to live animals in 2007. “Patch said he was trying to come home but was having trouble getting across the river.”
“He asked Patch out loud, ‘Are you eating? Are you okay?’” says Susan, “When he named the neighborhood where Patch was staying, I started to believe he was for real.”
Susan says Peden told her Patch would be found on the 11th day.
“On the 11th day, he was found by a woman at the edge of a forest preserve, right by a river,” says Susan.
“Pets don’t have a voice, and I have the ability to give them one,” Peden says. He was previously in the sea glass supply business but says he realized his gift and had to pursue his life calling.
“I did it for free because I knew I could help them,” he says.
What authorities say
Gina Manski, an animal control officer for the Northbrook Police Department says she’s only heard of one case where an animal was found using a psychic, but in her opinion, she says that the option is worth a try. Manski say she gets one to two calls per day regarding lost cats and dogs, especially in the warmer months.
“If you don’t find your dog in the first few hours, it’s important to get a photo and get flyers out quickly,” says Manski. She estimates that 80 to 90 percent of lost dogs are found, and that most are found within the first day.
Of Peden, Joe Palkovic says, “It’s hard for me to be a believer, but he got too many things right for it to be a coincidence.”
John Palkovic, 9, says of his dog, “I missed how he lets me rub his stomach. He only does that to people he loves.”
Manski also suggested these tips for pet owners:
1. Make sure your dog has current tags.
2. Get a microchip implant for your dog.
3. When searching for your dog, take treats and dog toys
4. Register a lost dog on these sites: www.petamberalert.com, www.lostfoundpets.com, and www.lostmydoggie.com