I Didn’t Know. But I Believe it.

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.

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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.








  1. Annie Wetter on October 29, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    So lovely Ann. I believe.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Come sleep over. Covid or no.

      • Janice Ulrich on October 30, 2020 at 12:25 am

        Sounds like a big old squishy hug to me!!

        • Ann Garvin on October 30, 2020 at 1:44 pm

          One hundred percent a big old squishy hug.

        • Christine Olewiler on November 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm

          We took our Pug and Cattle Dog to an Animal Communicator and it was a terrific experience.I believe too

          • Ann Garvin on November 7, 2020 at 6:17 pm

            See I knew I wasn’t crazy. 🙂 Thanks for saying so.

      • Deborah Lavery on November 6, 2020 at 1:49 pm

        Hello My first time here. Im an animal whisperer. I have a cat named Luie and we talk all the time. My husband thinks I’m a little crazy.

        • Ann Garvin on November 6, 2020 at 2:30 pm

          I don’t think you are crazy at all. Not at all. 🙂

      • Gay lee meier on November 6, 2020 at 1:53 pm

        I also would choose to believer. Thank you.

        • Ann Garvin on November 6, 2020 at 2:29 pm

          You are very, very welcome friend. 🙂

      • BevW on November 6, 2020 at 2:10 pm

        I love this story that contains the innocence of a child mixef with adult reality

        • Ann Garvin on November 6, 2020 at 2:33 pm

          Thank you so much 🙂 This is what I was hoping for. 🙂

  2. Darlene on October 29, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Your mind is a precious thing. I love reading your blog. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes, a tug on my heart and/or a smile to my face. My Bella crossed over the rainbow bridge last Wednesday so this blog post really is special for me. Thanks Ann.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Oh Darlene. My heart. I’m so sorry to hear about your Bella. She’s around though. I think we know that. Thank you for writing this morning. You gave me joy.

    • Larisa Liekys on October 30, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      I second that emotion (the tears, heart-tug & smile bit)!! Thanks, Ann!
      Truly sorry for your loss, Darlene

      • Ann Garvin on October 30, 2020 at 5:10 pm

        Lovely, thank you. 🙂

  3. Pam Gardner on October 29, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    I loved reading this first thing in the morning

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      I’m so glad. I wanted to get in there before the news. haha

  4. Kay Bratt on October 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t know if Julie is real or not but I fully believe your mom is hanging around. And I’d like to believe that Julie is real. Either way, I love this post and am sharing it with my peeps!

    And heck yes, you should’ve named it I bee-lieve!

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Kay, from one dog lover to another. I do bee-lieve. 🙂

  5. Kris Verdeck on October 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    I absolutely LOVED this post…we all need a little magical thinking in our lives, especially now. And we also all need a dose of your witty humor! Thank you for the giggles and smiles to start the day.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Kris, I think so too. I’m so glad we found each other. #tribe.

    • Claudia Reed on October 29, 2020 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Ann. I subscribed to your blog from what Kay Bratt said about loving your blog. I absolutely loved what you wrote and look forward to the next one. Your little darling is so cute in her bee costume.

      • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:51 pm

        Oh I’m so glad and it’s so great to meet you. Welcome!!

  6. Gaye mack on October 29, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Of COURSE I loved this! Now if we only had a birth time & date—our cat is a Virgo but what his utopian visions are I have no idea-he is very fastidious in Virgo fashion but then he’s a Siamese so his vision is probably one of being surrounded by serfs-which he is

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      You KNOW how much I LOVE this.

  7. Helene Malmsio on October 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Gorgeous story, loved it!!

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      I’m so glad you love it. You must be mind kind of person.

  8. Cothran Christel on October 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    You made my day! My WIP includes a pet Psychic/chatter and a small dog named Dinky:) Also chatted with a woman to make sure my big red bone coon hound was ready to go over the rainbow.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Awww see. You get me!!

  9. L on October 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤️

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      You’re welcome. You’re welcome. You’re welcome.

  10. Cheryl Tessier on October 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    This is so great, Ann. Despite being a skeptic by nature, I Bee-lieve, too. I hired a phychic to help us understand our little, broken my schnauzer years ago. Similarly, the things she described were things no one else could know.

    Love the bee costume and I do hope you change your mind on the tiny piano.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Awww you and I are the same. Part skeptic. Part believer. It’s the best middle ground.

  11. Barbara Elmore on October 29, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    This is so wonderful.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you think so.

  12. christa on October 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Oh, I am so smushy reading this! How special for you and Peanut. Might have to investigate this for Herman to see into his life before us.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Herman is a prime candidate my dear friend. Prime.

  13. Lecia Cornwall on October 29, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    What a charming post! There are many days I would love to know what my pets are thinking. Some days I wonder if they think at all. A pet psychic would be so–o-o helpful!

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      It was the best thing I’ve done this year!! Thank you Lecia 🙂

  14. Lia K Cook on October 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    I love this post. I would also love to know what Gunner and Perry (my Beagle/Jack Russell family members) think of me, and what costumes they would pick for Halloween. But most of all, I love the comfort of knowing our loved ones hang around and love on our fur babies. <3<3<3

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      I know. The whole thing gave me so much joy. I”m glad you liked it too.

  15. Karin G on October 29, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Wonderful essay!

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you Karin. 🙂

  16. Josephine Carr on October 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    This was fantastic, and it came at an opportune moment for me. In addition to being a novelist (5 novels with traditional companies), I’m an intuitive (did 60 FREE readings a number of years ago, which were very well received, when I was considering taking the professional path in it). Hoping to launch a FREE service to writers, called “Meet Your Muse.” Trying to figure out how to announce it and proceed. Let me know if you have any ideas!

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Oh, I”m so happy for you. That should be fantastic.
      I’m pretty sure all you have to do is announce and people will flock to you!!

  17. Diane on October 29, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Our pets help us through so much, and this year especially. If even one piece of her communication with Peanut is true, it’s worth following her advice. Are you going to dress up as queen bee? Or a flower?

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:53 pm

      It’s so true. I don’t know what I would do without him.
      Hmmmm maybe a flower. I like that idea a lot

  18. Bill Gilliland on October 29, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    HA! What a sweet story! Thank you for the smiles.

    A perfect title. And Peanut is right about your eyes. Glasses or no.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you Bill!! So nice of you.

  19. Stacy on October 29, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I NEED this pet psychic’s number! I imagine my standard poodle has a LOT to tell me!

  20. Caroline Clemmons on October 29, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    This is my favorite of all your blog posts. I know you’re a writing guru, but this is just precious and uplifting.

    • Ann Garvin on October 29, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      I’m just glad you and I found each other and you are reading ANYTHING I write. Thank you so much

  21. Michele Vosberg on October 30, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Oh my God, I loved this so much! You made my day. The pet whisperer is a fascinating character. Now I want to know what my cats think!!!!

    • Ann Garvin on October 30, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      I know it. I had to try it out. I HAD to. And it was so much fun. xoxox

  22. Sherrey Meyer on October 30, 2020 at 2:41 am

    Your “beelief” was a comforting thought this evening. I enjoyed this post much like I enjoy an after-dinner drink, something to settle me for the evening.

    • Ann Garvin on October 30, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      A perfect way to describe what I hoped to achieve when writing to my friends. xoxox

  23. denise on October 30, 2020 at 4:34 am

    I’m usually a cynic about these, but this one I beelieve.

    • Ann Garvin on October 30, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      I am too! But, it was so much fun. I beelieve too.

  24. Heide on October 30, 2020 at 11:20 am

    I just love your words. I laugh and have tears at the same time. It has been a VERY hard week, and this was a good way to start a Friday morning. Have a blessed day Ann,

    • Ann Garvin on October 30, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      I’m so glad my words found you. I’m sorry for your hard week. Much love you way.

  25. Kate on October 30, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Joy! Pure joy. Thank you! I’m still giggling. Loved it. And, as if the bee news wasn’t enough, what an amazing way to connect with your mom. Oh, Ann, we all need a reset these days to get back to what’s really important. Say thanks to Peanut too!

  26. deborah coonts on November 3, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    This is simply magic. Thank you! And I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to share the link to MY newsletter list–all, well, lots of them. This will lighten people’s loads I think! Letter will go out next week. As many folks as possible need to read this….thank you for your wit and wisdom…and bits of absolutely necessary magic.

    • Ann Garvin on November 6, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      Oh my gosh, that is such an honor. Thank you so very much. I love that you love this. It was a bright spot for me and I’ve never laughed harder or felt closer to everyone after writing it 🙂

      • deborah coonts on November 7, 2020 at 3:25 pm

        Hope you saw some action yesterday. I’ve received a good number of very positive comments on your blog from my newsletter subscribers. Yes, it was magic:)

        • Ann Garvin on November 7, 2020 at 6:16 pm

          YES!! thank you so much I really did. I’m so happy. I so appreciate you sharing my blog. It’s an honor.

  27. Nancy on November 5, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Love your stories Ann. I bee-lieve! Sometimes I think my last collie channels through my daughter’s golden doodle just to say “hi” ❤️

    • Ann Garvin on November 6, 2020 at 2:30 pm

      I totally get that. Why can’t that be the case?? xoxox

  28. Kit on November 6, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Wow. Election week 2020, and the universe sent me this blog post to make me smile (with a little dampness, no no not tears, must be allergies). Deborah Coonts sent out an email blast w/this link, and I can’t thank her, and you, enough. What amazing timing.

    • Ann Garvin on November 7, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      I’m so thrilled to have you here. Thank you for your kind note and thank Deborah for sending you to me.
      More to come for us!!

  29. Kate on November 7, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    I was just lucky enough to attend two sessions you facilitated at the Writers’ Digest Conference. I immediately sought out your website and blog and am so glad I did! Your writing resonates so strongly with me, and now I just want to be best friends 🙂


    • Ann Garvin on November 30, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      I somehow missed this. I’m glad you found me here. Also, glad we’ve found a friendship in words. Maybe we will meet at a conference or coffee after this locked down town
      So happy you are here!

  30. Katie on November 13, 2020 at 6:10 am

    Love this story, Ann! Now I kinda want to know what my pups Darcy and Emma are thinking. Lol Love you and love sweet Peanut! You’ll always be my favorite mentor. 🙂

    • Ann Garvin on November 30, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      Right? I had to know. And he just wanted to be a bee. I love it so much.
      I’m so glad that we are still in touch 🙂

  31. Brenda Peterson on December 11, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Hmmmm…wonder what my dogs would say. My daughter has dressed up our little girl dog for YEARS in dresses (not always happy about that, either). I love this! I believe there is something greater than us and we can’t always see or touch things to have faith. I hope Peanut buzzed around in her little outfit. Is she still wearing it periodically, even though it’s not Halloween? Have a wonderful day – reading your blog today has made the day start off right. Off to work now!

    • Ann Garvin on December 24, 2020 at 9:32 pm

      We find the bee costume works like a thunder coat. It’s so HOT. it makes him sleep. Which I love.
      Thank you for reading as always. xoxoxo

  32. Billie McCoy on February 23, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    EESH. I have to stop reading these at work, all the crying is upsetting my co-workers lol.
    I too have a wonderful phantom pet who sleeps at the foot of my bed most nights. I think Julie is a rockstar and so is Peanut.

  33. mlaiuppa on November 2, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    I would love it if my Caesar or Ramses would come back to “haunt” me, but they don’t.

    I have a friend in Minnesota who is sensitive to that sort of thing. She said her Stewie has come back a few times, also an earlier cat who was her forever cat.

    No one visits me. Not even the dead.

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