SHE may not be Dr Doolittle but she understands her pets more than most.
And now animal behaviour expert Sarah Heath is about to help other owners read their best friends' minds with a new book.
The Upton-based vet has made a major contribution towards the new APBC Book of Companion Animal Behaviour.
'Many problems with pets are as a result of misunderstanding and a lack of communication,' said Sarah, of the Behaviour Referrals Veterinary Clinic on Cotebrook Drive.
'Hopefully, this book will improve relationships between owners and their pets.'
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, of which Sarah is a member, invited Sarah to write two chapters.
She wrote one on feline behaviour problems and another on behaviour and old age in the dog - areas Sarah is particularly interested in.
Other contributors have covered subjects such as situations between pets and children, including the arrival of a new baby; scent communication in dog rehabilitation; concerns over ageing pets and pet welfare.
Due to be published at the end of April, the book is said to provide perspective on how owners can enhance their relationship with their pets.
Sarah, a former Queen's School pupil, said: 'This book will be of value not only to the veterinary and behaviour professions but also the interested pet owner.'
Born and raised in Upton, Sarah studied at Bristol University before moving to Oxford to complete her veterinary qualifications. She moved back to Chester and opened her practice in 1992.
'When I first opened, there were a lot of sceptics about the medicine,' said Sarah. 'Mine is still only one of two practices in the country which does full-time pet behaviour medicine.'
Sarah said: 'It is important to remember that animals are not humans, which a lot of people forget. They have different social needs.
'If you have an aggressive dog, it could be aggressive for any number of reasons. It may be frightened or trying to defend its territory.
'And is a dog really happy when it wags its tail? When a dog wags its tail, it doesn't really mean anything. It just means that it is alert and is about to do something. But it could do anything.'