Our date with the pet psychic

You guys might not know this but apparently Fargo, North Dakota is a hot bed of psychic activity. How do I know this?

Because I now know everything my dog really thinks of me. And it’s terrifying.

But let me explain.

My boyfriend’s mom, Karen, recently consulted a local pet psychic when struggling to decide the fate of her older, diabetic cat, Bella. The cat seemed to be physically declining and Karen wondered if the more humane thing to do was to grant Bella-the-Cat a one-way ticket to the Death Star. The whole thing was very Million Dollar Baby, except in this case (spoiler alert) the cat boldly declared via psychic medium that she wanted to live. In fact, I’m happy to report that Bella has now lost 15 lbs. (the feline equivalent of 300) and as of this week no longer needs insulin injections.

With such a happy backstory, it is easy to see why over the holidays when Karen offered to pay for a one hour session for Matt and I’s own dog, Littlefoot, we jumped at the chance.  Despite being skeptical about meeting a real life Dr. Doolittle, Matt and I were curious enough to give the whole thing a chance. Besides, (not to insult the pet psychic profession) but the whole idea was just kind of hilarious to us.

Littlefoot, looking adorable while plotting his revenge

When Tara, the Fargo pet psychic, first arrived, she seemed so disappointingly…normal. Naturally, I had been hoping that she would show up wearing a wacky headdress, and have a voice like the lady from Teen Witch and those Scariest Places on Earth shows. Instead, Tara looked much like any other North Dakotan mom. I truly do believe that she believes she is communicating with animals. I do not think she is a scam artist, or insane. She seemed to be a caring person, and at the very least, incredibly intuitive.

At Karen’s recommendation, Matt and had I compiled a list in advance of questions to have Tara ask Littlefoot on our behalf. Our list ranged from the deeply serious (“Why do you sometimes growl at children?”) to the silly (“What are your thoughts on the current economic climate?”). We ended up only getting to a few questions, though, because like all good children, Littlefoot seemed intent on embarrassing his mother in public.

Oh, I don’t mean physically.

Littlefoot sat like a perfect little gentleman on the couch throughout the hour, eerily staring away at Tara. He didn’t bark or pee or do anything outwardly untoward.

No, my embarrassment stemmed from the fact that my dog seemed to be auditioning for Bill Cosby’s Kids Say the Darndest ThingsAnimal Edition. And in this episode, the chatty kid only wanted to air all the family’s dirty laundry.

That’s right. Littlefoot has got mother issues.

I guess I really shouldn’t be that surprised. I do make him wear an awful lot of argyle.

Author’s Note: For the sake of this story, I’m going to suspend all disbelief and report what Littlefoot said as if he said it.

So, the first question we asked seemed innocuous enough. We wanted to know how we could better help with Littlefoot’s separation anxiety. Matt and I previously (and egotistically) assumed Littlefoot whines when we leave the house because he misses us. And in a way, he confirmed that he does. He told Tara that he believes it is his job to protect us, and to keep the household order. He cries when we leave because he’s worried he won’t be able to protect us from far away.

That’s nice, right?

But then it got weird.

I asked Tara to let Littlefoot know that we don’t need protection–that we are okay when we leave.

And then Littlefoot basically called bullshit.

Tara seemed truly concerned as she described out loud a few scenes from our lives throughout the last year that Littlefoot was apparently mentally “showing” her. The most embarrassing being that lame Gmail commercial I sobbed over. (On this, Littlefoot and I agree…crying over a Google marketing campaign is perhaps a moment to be held in shame.).

Littlefoot then dropped a bombshell. He’s not crazy because he’s the quirky dog Matt and I have come to love. He’s crazy because I’m emotional and a writer. (Yes, Tara actually said, “From what he’s showing me, I would think you are a writer.” Unless she’s secretly a fan of this blog—hey, it’s possible!–it was really an impressive moment for her abilities.).

I’m sure that it says something arrogant about humanity, or maybe just me as a person, but I hated that the “real Littlefoot” altered the image I previously had had of him. Like he’s some hot, young celebrity I used to love until I met him in real life at a bar and he was a total jerk to me.

The “personality” Matt and I had imagined for Littlefoot was completely off. We always thought he was a rather simple little guy, who enjoys snoozing, runs, and chomping things he shouldn’t. Natalie even does an awesome voice depicting Littlefoot’s supposed thoughts every time she comes over. None of the thoughts are ever more complex than, “Give me some Chipotle, you weasel.”

But the dog Tara spoke for was nothing like the Littlefoot we had collectively imagined. The “real” Littlefoot is neurotic…a control freak, even. I’m not sure I would be friends with the Littlefoot she described if he was, indeed, capable of human speech.

But not to worry, Tara informed us that everyone has the ability to speak to animals.

Tara instructed us to mentally picture sending a heart to Littlefoot, as a way of saying “I love you.” This, of course, immediately made me think of Captain Planet and the little South American boy who would every few episodes save the day (when Earth, Wind, Fire and Water somehow couldn’t) by loving the planet’s enemies to death. I’m pretty sure every child of the ‘90s can agree that “Heart” is the worst super power, ever. Anyone with any respect at least wanted to be “Wind.”

But I bring this up, because, after thinking about it—the Heart-guy was always rolling around with a monkey on his shoulder for companionship. Coincidence?

Maybe there’s something to pet psychics, after all. Just don’t try to tell me “Heart” is a real superpower. Logic like that is probably why my dog has mommy issues in the first place.

– A throwing out all my wire hangers, immediately, Lindsay

About Lindsay Golder

Freelance writer, book-fiend, lover of shamefully bad films regularly featured on TBS or TNT.

2 Responses to “Our date with the pet psychic”

  1. I really enjoyed the reference to “Mommie Dearest.” That’s how I address my mother when she says no to me.

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