Psychic for the Famous, or Rather, for Their Pets

In Brooklyn, a Psychic for the Famous, or Rather, for Their Pets

Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Christine Agro describes herself as an advocate for her clients’ pets.

Note to Readers: Big City will not be published for the rest of July, while the author is on assignment. It will return in August.

Christine Agro’s career as a pet psychic to the stars started, as so many auspicious events do, with a particularly open chakra. The chakra in question did not belong to her, but to a young woman who happened to pop into one of Ms. Agro’s yoga classes in upstate New York five years ago, and thanked her at the end of class for freeing up that center of spiritual energy.

When Ms. Agro moved to New York to join a boyfriend in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, a few weeks later, she had barely unloaded her Jeep when she noticed a familiar face coming down the street: It was that same yoga student, who, it turned out, worked most of the time as a dog walker for the famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber.

Some New Yorkers would call it a coincidence; others would call it standard-issue happenstance for Cobble Hill, where yoga instructors and photographers’ assistants probably cross paths 14 times daily. Because Ms. Agro is also a trained clairvoyant natural healer — and yes, that’s what she puts down as her profession on her son’s preschool applications — she calls it kismet.

Before moving to New York City, Ms. Agro had just started, at her clients’ requests, doing readings for their most mysterious loved ones, their pets. Upon arriving, she started focusing specifically on that niche for Mr. Weber, working regularly with him and his wife to help them understand their passel of dogs.

“Animals don’t really have the ability to tell their people what’s going on,” said Ms. Agro, a young-looking 42 (which she attributes to diligent managing of her energy, just as others attribute that good fortune to smart managing of their diets). “This is a way for them to have someone advocate for them.”

Part medium, part mediator, she began doing readings that gave voice to the needs of the Weber family’s dogs. Kindly don’t throw us in the car without telling us where we’re going, an irritated golden retriever named Palomino requested through Ms. Agro. Skye is such a big baby, vented a pup named True about a rival.

Ms. Agro doesn’t need to see the pets to talk to them, just a land line — she communes with the pets while simultaneously relaying the conversation to their owners by phone. She reasoned with the Weber family’s dogs as she might her own 3-year-old son, explaining the basics of compromise, occasionally using her training, she says, to remove some negative energy along the way.

“She does see everything,” said Nan Bush, Mr. Weber’s wife, who works with Ms. Agro weekly, and relied heavily on her when two beloved dogs were dying. “I’ve recommended her to so many friends.”

There are famous people, and then there are people famous to famous people and almost no one else. They are the specialized service providers unknown to the masses, but beatified by the bold-faced names who trade the coveted cellphone numbers among themselves. Into that category (of snowboarding instructors and antique repairers) has Ms. Agro softly landed.

The Weber family introduced Ms. Agro to Grace Coddington, the fashion icon and creative director at Vogue, who referred her to Buffy Birrittella, an executive vice president at Ralph Lauren; both cat lovers are now regular clients. Ingrid Sischy, the editor in chief of Interview, Joan Allen, the actress, and Julian Schnabel, the director and artist — they all got results after seeking Ms. Agro’s help to divine the whereabouts of missing pets. Although she sees the occasional civil engineer or journalist, overall her clientele skews toward the glamorous.

Some might theorize that Ms. Agro’s fashion-heavy followers represent a world already devoted to the power of the convincing fantasy (often a pricey one — in this case, $100 per half hour).

Others might wonder if Ms. Agro simply brings her outer-ether clients the compassion and common sense of a smart Brooklyn mom who shops mostly at Old Navy. And then there are those who would follow her instructions for their Samoyeds or Bengal cats all but off a bridge, either because they were true believers in a gift, or true believers in her impeccable In Style credentials.

Recently, says Ms. Agro, some of her clients have started asking if she’d consider working on behalf of those other creatures who can’t articulate their needs: babies and toddlers. Ms. Agro is now working on developing that business, under the name the Psychic Mom. Since the only caretakers more obsessive than New York pet owners are New York parents, it seems likely that Psychic Mom will find some eager clients. Marketers would call it an untapped niche, but if her business explodes, Ms. Agro would probably just call it kismet.

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One Response

  1. […] and magazines to acknowledge and fulfill their pet’s needs.If you liked this post then you may like this one […]

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