IT WAS AUTUMN of 2001, and Bridget Pilloud awoke suddenly in the middle of the night.
Bridget has a medium build and wears her dyed dark red hair short and a little spiky—her style is a little hippie, a little rocker. I talked to her for a few hours and later calculated that she said "weird" about once every seven minutes.
So, she awoke in the middle of the night back in 2001, and what happened to her actually was pretty weird:
"I sat up in bed, really wide awake, and was like, 'Why am I awake?' And I was filled with this overwhelming sadness. I looked over at the dog bed where Beaulah, my Weimaraner, was and she was sitting up. I heard her say, 'What did I do?'"
Bridget adopted Beaulah from Weimaraner Rescue about six months prior. Beaulah's former owner got engaged to a girl who told him she would only marry him if he got rid of his dog. (I know.) So he got rid of the dog and married the girl.
"When I heard Beaulah's voice I was like, 'What?' 'Cause I was, you know, kinda freaked out."
"What did I do to make him send me here?" Bridget heard Beaulah ask.
"And I was like, 'Oh, I'm so sorry. He's a jerk.' And I just talked to Beaulah and told her we love her and we're sorry this happened. I told her, 'I'm sure your former owner just doesn't realize how wonderful you are.' We just talked it out."
Then Beaulah went to sleep.
"And I sat there and thought, 'Huh. That was really weird.'"
THE RELUCTANT PSYCHIC
Before becoming a full-time intuitive—which is how she describes her profession—Bridget held down a corporate job as a marketing manager. She was kind of into tarot and stuff, she remembers, but just as a hobby.
"I'm kind of a reluctant psychic," she says, "because I'm a pretty normal person."
"I was dragged kicking and screaming into an intuitive mindset. I didn't really see myself as an intuitive person and was skeptical about intuitive things. Everybody I knew who was intuitive was of that sort of flaky, scarf-wearing, crystal ball, and woo-woo kind of person. I'm not that way even though I know I'm wearing a scarf right now."
After that conversation with Beaulah, Bridget realized that she might have the ability—at least a little bit—to communicate with animals. She wasn't a complete stranger to the idea. She'd actually hired a pet psychic a couple years before to help her other dog with a peeing problem: As in, the dog was peeing everywhere.
"She used my living room as her bathroom," Bridget remembers. The psychic helped the dog pee outside instead of inside.
That's the reason most people hire pet psychics—to deal with their animals' behavioral problems; whether they have a dog that pees inside, a cat that knocks things over, or a horse that sometimes grabs his owner violently by the boob and hurls her across an arena. (For real.)
Bridget once talked to a "total OCD cat" that would walk around on top of his owner's desk knocking over cylindrical jars designed for holding pencils, paper clips, and other office supplies.
"What's the deal?" Bridget asked the cat.
The cat said the jars needed to be in an odd-numbered group.
"It needs to be three or five. Right now it's four, and it's really bothering me."
Yep. Sounds weird. But you know what? Bridget told the owner, and after she started keeping five jars on her desk, the cat stopped knocking them over.
THE DOG LIKED CEREAL
In her work with animals, Bridget has become well acquainted with the "other side" and talks to quite a few dead pets. She helps people come to terms with the fact that their animals have crossed to the other side, and lets them know their animals are now happy and safe. She tells of one woman whose eight-year-old dog died suddenly of a heart attack. Bridget says all she was given was a photo of the dog, his name, and how he died.
"So I, you know, dialed him up, and he kept showing me a grocery store. Specifically a New Seasons. Like, I could see the New Seasons signage. I was like, 'Dude, what are you doing?' And he was like, 'You need to tell my mom that I finally got in the grocery store.' And then he started showing me boxes and boxes of cereal, all these boxes of cereal, and he was really excited about them. I've had enough experience with the other side to know that you can create pretty much any reality you want up there. So he had created the reality of New Seasons and cereal. I couldn't figure out why he was eating cereal—because dogs like meat, right? But I told his owner what he said anyway."
"'Omigod,' the owner told me. 'That's where I shop, and he used to sit out in the car. I knew he felt bad he couldn't go in with me.'"
Bridget then asked why the dog was showing her boxes of cereal.
"I knew for about five months before he was going to die that he had severe heart disease," the owner said to Bridget. "So I just decided to treat every day like it was a great day. He loved cereal... so I fed him cereal every day."
Bridget thinks animals show her these specific details because their owners need that kind of closure.
"Animals don't fear death like we do," she says. "They incarnate way more, so they're kinda used to the routine."
As far as talking to dead people, Bridget isn't as comfortable:
"I don't do that. I don't do that. I have done it. I don't like it. It feels really—I don't know. It doesn't feel comfortable to me."
She pauses and thinks.
"The first time I tried it, a friend of mine's dad had died and she asked if I could tune in, since I can tune into animals who have passed away. I wasn't really thinking about where I was when I decided to tune into him, though. I was sitting in my bathtub, and he came through like that." Bridget snaps her fingers.
"So I say, 'Okay, I'm naked. And you're like, some old dude and you need to go.'"
After that experience—being in a bathtub, covering up her naked body while in the presence of her friend's dead father—Bridget has not been comfortable talking with deceased humans. Fair enough.
THE SUICIDAL PET
In general, cats have more existential anxiety than dogs, says Bridget. "'Why am I here?' and all that." She said one of her cats, Stanley, committed suicide. He would have been eight years old this year. He got hit by a car and broke his back, leg, and hip. Bridget took him to the vet and got him fixed, but says he was never the same after the accident.
"He was very depressed. His body wasn't the same."
He was only a year and a half at the time, a very young boy.
"I came home and my sweetheart said, 'You need to sit down.' He said, 'Stanley's dead. He was lying in the neighbor's driveway and she backed over him.' I just knew he wanted out. He wanted out of that body. And I've talked to Stanley a little bit since then... on the other side. He's happy over there."
Stanley died right around the time Bridget was starting to learn how to communicate with animals.
"So I couldn't really... I should have contacted an animal communicator." She trails off.
A BETTER PERSON
These days, Bridget has clients all over the world and nearly 8,700 followers on Twitter (@intuitivebridge). Right now, she's on a yearlong hiatus from animal communication in order to focus more on her intuitive work with people. She assesses the energy of people and their situations, and gives them advice about what they're experiencing.
"I wanted to take some time to figure out other ways to help animals," she says, "and one of the best ways to help animals is to help people to be better people."
Bridget reads people's chakras—vortexes that exist within bodies to receive and transmit energy. She says that when people have problems or experience trauma it can affect their chakras, so she works with those who need help... either with their personal lives or to improve their business relationships. Bridget goes in and removes the trauma, in an attempt to get their chakras balanced. She describes herself as a "chakra mechanic."
The transition has been difficult at times. Bridget says she sometimes misses the lightness of working with animals.
"Animals are so much easier to work with than people. It's much easier to stop a dog from peeing on a rug than to get someone to feel better about themselves."