It was a yawning Monday morning in Maine. Above me, the sky was filled with Earl Grey–colored clouds. A gentle rain fell from them, drumming the aluminum roof of my car like bony fingers. I flipped on the driver-side butt-warmer then reached over and turned on the passenger’s as well. I was the only human in the car, but I wasn’t alone. My dog Maybe Trouble was riding shotgun, and my other road dog, Huckleberry, sat in the back. Today, the three of us would be visiting a pet psychic.
The very act of spending money on gasoline and a full workday to visit a person who claimed to be a modern-day Dr. Doolittle, with all the vast, wicked, and unjust things going on in the world, struck me as absurd, perhaps useless. But there I was, and it was happening. Something hidden somewhere within me told me that this trip going to be more than a twee voyage to a pet whisperer.
So we drove. The dogs snored and farted while I wondered how this would work. What exactly does one do during a pet-psychic consultation? Was I supposed to come prepared with an objective, a list of specific questions or detailed pet problems in need of a diagnosis and prescription? Whose problems were they supposed to be — the dogs’? Or my issues with them? Also, would she sue us if they bit?
My husband Andrew adopted Maybe, a furry, overweight, cantaloupe-shaped Jack Russell terrier with tremendous eyebrows, right before he and I met. Not long after we began dating, I adopted a mutt from Kentucky — a bluetick coonhound–Shar-Pei mix that looked like he needed a Sherlock Holmes hat and pipe. He was brought to us from a dog-rescue group called “Recycled Treasures.” I named him Huckleberry. The dogs quickly became a part of our little family: we took weekend road trips together, we celebrated the dogs’ birthdays, got them holiday presents. We called our parents their grandparents; the dogs were their “granimals.”
All of this changed when I got pregnant. Now we have two kids. Human ones. I can’t remember what it felt like to give birth, but I still recall the look on Huck and Maybe’s furry faces when I left for the hospital to go deliver my son. It’s like they already knew: that they were being downgraded, that they were about to turn into an item on a checklist (daily chore number three: walk dogs). I felt terribly guilty about this. And lately, the dogs had been acting out — running away in the woods, giving strangers attitude, chewing up the kids’ toys. So I figured I’d bring this up with the pet psychic.
Enlightened Horizons was located in an old railroad station house near the White Mountains of New Hampshire — a crème-brûlée-colored office building that looked like a dollhouse in the center of North Conway. The building smelled like cupcakes. I knocked on the door to the office of Enlightened Horizons and was greeted by Sara Moore, proprietor, intuitive healer, psychic medium for people and pets, Reiki master, hypnotist, and the woman we’d be working with today. The dogs greeted Sara with wagging tails (Huck attempted a mouth-kiss), and she greeted them right back with the unbridled joy of a golden retriever.
“So,” I began, settling in, “they’re both rescues.” I said this almost as an explanation, but really, it sounded like an apology, as Huck was already clamoring and barking loudly at the window at a UPS delivery truck in the parking lot below.
“Oh, Huck doesn’t think he’s a rescue,” Sara quickly retorted. “His attitude is ‘No one would ever abandon me.’ He has absolutely no abandonment issues, which is actually really cool, because this goes directly into you,” she said.