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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Person

Courtesy Of Nadezhda KhripunovaNadezhda Khripunova
Nadezhda Khripunova, 23, pet psychologist

I love animals -- I don't know why. They're our friends. It's my calling.

"I'm the only pet psychologist in Moscow; it's not taught in Russia. I trained for two years as a specialist in dog education at the Russian Federation of Canine Handling. Later I worked out my own method, and I've worked with my husband at our friends' clinic for two years.

"Our method is founded on the study of animals in nature. Animals living in a home don't realize they're living in the home of a person. They think they're still living in the wild. A ferret thinks you're a rodent. A dog thinks you're a dog. Problems arise because the owner doesn't realize the animal thinks they're in a forest, and not in an apartment.

"If a dog is aggressive with other dogs, for example, or jumps up at people, or urinates in the apartment, there's no treatment -- there's an explanation. We explain to the owner how dogs live in the wild. And we correct the owner's behavior: For example, if the dog is aggressive with other dogs, the owner has to show he's in charge.

"We don't give antidepressants, but there is calming medication. And there are pheromones of dogs and cats -- you plug them in and they give off a smell. The animal feels that the space they're in becomes their space, and they get a feeling of safety.

"Dogs can have anorexia, though not schizophrenia. And they don't have depression, they have fear; depression is reasonless suffering, and with dogs, there's always a reason. There's no homosexuality. If a dog mounts another, it's not about sex; he's saying he's the chief. They don't commit suicide -- only if they see something down below do they jump.

"I work with dogs, cats, rats, mice, ferrets, horses and mini-pigs. The psychology of birds is entirely different, it doesn't interest me.

"A session costs 2,000 rubles an hour if we go to the client, 1,000 rubles if they come to us. I have on average seven or eight clients a day. If I had money, I'd open my own clinic. You'd need $500,000.

"We get calls at 2 a.m, 3 a.m. Sometimes from State Duma members -- they'll get drunk at their dacha, and they call in the morning and apologize.

"Our success rate is 100 percent. There hasn't been an animal we weren't able to help."