A Bark from Beyond

When you live in Los Angeles, you become accustomed to certain services not available just anywhere. The stretch limo made out of a sports utility vehicle. Silicone implants for your calves (the ones on your legs, not the ones in your barn). Acupuncture for the cat. We’re a little spoiled here. But the latest craze is available to the rest of you, too–pet psychic consultation by phone.

Lydia Hiby does not consider herself a psychic. She prefers the term “animal communicator”. Whatever. You send her a check, then call her at a specified time the following week. She spends 15 minutes communicating with the animal. The animal doesn’t need to come to the phone. It can even be asleep (good news for Basset owners!). Well, we just couldn’t resist.

Lydia asks only what breed/species of animal she’s communicating with. When I told her Hennessy is a Basset Hound, she immediately asked whether she was small for a Basset (she is). She said when she asked whether indeed she was Hennessy, Ness became quite indignant that she wasn’t recognized. It turned out she had a lot to say.

First of all, she wanted me to get her heart checked out. Otherwise she’s quite healthy, though. Her favorite color is turquoise, and she would like a turquoise collar and leash. Direct quote: “It’s RUDE to have to eat dog food!” Before she came to live with me, she lived with a woman who had mental problems. She is very glad that I’m so grounded and stable. Hennessy was so talkative that Lydia invited us to come to her next class. (Yes, she gives classes in animal communication. In Southern California. Are you surprised?)

The Golden Retriever, Bailey, on the other hand, was glad I have no children. She said she used to be with a family that had a little girl who died. Her back legs are a little weak, but “don’t worry about me! I keep up on our walks just fine!” She told Lydia about her back problem (she does have a fused disk right where Lydia described it). She claims her fear of cameras is just a dislike of the flashing lights. I’m still guessing it was a traumatic paparazzi incident of some sort. She told Lydia, “Look at my beautiful teeth!” (They’d just been cleaned, apparently for the first time.)

So now I had to go to the vet and tell him the psychic said to check Hennessy’s heart. Mind you, in LA this is not considered an unusual request. Tony checked her very thoroughly but couldn’t find anything wrong. He offered to refer her to a doggy cardiologist (yes, we have them here), but we decided to wait and see if she has any symptoms first. He wrote on her chart, “Wait and see, or seek second opinion from another psychic.”

Well, as it happened, I hadn’t been to see my usual psychic, Tom Sexton, for a few years. He’s the one who told my friend “Oh, you’re getting married on Halloween! You’ll be pregnant!” She did and she was–that’s pretty darn specific.

The first thing Tom said was, “What’s this cardio condition? It’s not yours! Oh well, let’s talk about your animal, then.” (He said it’s a scar on the heart and a valve problem.) As for me, I’ll be in a relationship with someone named Tim or Tom by September, and I’ll be pregnant. Imagine the rest of MY year. Every time I meet someone named Tim or Tom, I’ll run screaming from the room.

Hennessy got her turquoise leash & collar for Christmas. We’ll be making that appointment with the doggy cardiologist very soon now. I have to go call my therapist and tell him the Basset told the psychic I’m normal (in case he needs a second opinion). I’m sure Timortom will be very glad to hear it.

Copyright 1999 by Janine Smith. Not to be reproduced or distributed without permission