I didn’t know what to write about this month until I spoke to a Pet Psychic and she said my dog wanted to be a bee for Halloween.

Should we unpack this sentence, take a moment to appreciate the – you can’t make this stuff up –joy of it? How the promise of something mystical can make you believe in a reality bigger than the miserableness of this year 2020?

Hell, yes, let’s get in there.

My friend’s daughter wanted to understand a few peculiarities about her new dog. Things that only the dog could answer. Through a colleague, she discovered the name of a woman in Colorado who can hear what animals have to say and chat with them.

I made an appointment immediately. This year has been filled with hard news, and I wanted to believe in magic, to hear what was going on in Peanut’s noggin, to know for sure he loved me and it wasn’t just all about the food.  

In my short conversation with Julie the pet-chatter (if psychic is just too extra for you), she said these short, delightful sentences, “I was talking to a horse the other day…” and, “Last week, my neighbor’s dog said.” And, my favorite, “Your dog is an over communicator.”

Same. Peanut. Same.

I’m a goner for the mysteries of the universe and couple that with a heartfelt conversation about what’s on my dog’s mind and I’m all ears.  Julie did not disappoint.

She said, “Peanut thinks you have beautiful eyes, but he likes it better when you wear your glasses.”

Which, was excellent style advice from my poodle-mix.

But then she said, “He loves the piano music you listen to while you write.” (I listen to Feel Good Piano almost exclusively on Spotify when I’m writing. This got my attention. How could she know this? Only Peanut knows this. 

Then she followed up with,

“He thinks he could play the piano if you had one.”  Little paws, a piano bench, some Scott Joplin. This is all just too fantastic.

We spoke about his food preferences, “He doesn’t like turkey. Pork is better.” He loves the nervous woman he stays with when you travel (Looking at you, Mary Jo).

Then she asked me if I’d gotten him a Halloween costume yet, and I said, “I bought him a hat!”

There was a longish, awkward silence, and then my psychic said, “He doesn’t like hats, Ann.”

I said, “Got it. Message received. That hat is gone, Julie. Consider it gone, baby gone.”

And it was the moment Julie informed me that Peanut wanted to be a bee, and my heart liquified. Had my dog been telling me for 7 years that he wants to be a bee for Halloween. Not a taco. Not a hot dog. Not a Spanish man running from the bulls in Pamplona. Nope, he wants to be the humble bumble, the honey from honey town, a little guy with a big sweet tooth and a stinger that just won’t quit. OMG, a bee. This was life-changing.

Then, innocently enough, Julie said, “Who is the older woman who plays with Peanut at your house all the time? She has a labradoodle, and she’s really proud of you. She’s super sweet, but people underestimate her strength because of her kindness.”

Before Peanut there was Millie, my curly black labradoodle, who died of cancer. Before everyone, there was my mom, who died in 2018. Millie adored my darling mom. When my mom was at my house, Millie, who was a big dog, would sit next to her and rest her head on the top of my petite mother’s head.

Look, there are lots of explanations for this: Facebook photos, a shot in the dark guess, common descriptions of people, and dogs. Lots of beloved dead parents in the world. But I choose this:

I choose to believe that my mom hangs around my house, plays with Peanut, cuddles with the phantom Millie, and wants me to know she loves me.

I choose to listen to Julie, the pet psychic, and believe. Even if this year had been all roses and smiles, I would choose this. What’s the harm? I’m not going to buy a piano or leave all my money to Peanut when I die. In this tough time of too much reality, I’m going to accept this tiny gift of wonder handed out by Julie in Colorado.

And, in case you’re wondering. We’re going to TJ Maxx to buy a bee costume because, as far as I’m concerned, Julie the Pet Psychic is a secret genius.

xo Ann

PS: Please acknowledge the restraint at not titling this essay as I Bee-lieve.