Have you ever had times in your life where you’ve know deep in your gut that a specific situation was a turning point? Or, seen in hindsight, how all the pieces of a situation dropped into place one by one?

Here’s an example of allowing (being in the moment), trusting and following through. Then, in hindsight, seeing the puzzle pieces and how they created a whole picture.

Eighteen years ago my husband and I had decided together that we would not be getting another dog. Our beloved American Cocker Spaniel Theodore, whom we’d had since an 8-week-old puppy, had passed away at age 11 and it broke our hearts.

Theo’s ‘last hurrah’ fall colour tour

Our previous dog, an English Spaniel named Charlie, had died just a year before we found Theo. It was too much.

Over the next few years, we discussed the decision occasionally always arriving at the same conclusion = no more dogs for us.

In 2007, my husband was reading the paper and happened across an advertisement for 3 American Cocker Spaniels for sale: 2 females and a male. It had been three years by then since Theo had passed away. Yet another discussion took place — we had decided ‘no more dogs’; but, it wouldn’t hurt to go see them, would it? We’d always had male dogs, maybe we should consider a female?

Then, he asked me, “If we got a female dog, what would we name it?” Without any thought whatsoever, I said “Emily” as that’s the name that immediately came to mind. He said that wasn’t a name for a dog. And, honestly, I didn’t think it was either — and it certainly wasn’t a name I would have chosen if I pondered what to call a dog.

You’ve likely figured out by now that, yes, we went to take a look at the dogs …

We called the number in the advertisement and, amazingly, they were within a hour’s drive of our home. We sent up an appointment and off we went.

Upon arrival, we saw four dogs. They were in a metal cage about 8×10′ and about 6′ high on a concrete pad with about half the area set aside as an enclosure from the elements. It was a long, sad story that the owner had with the end result being that he was selling all of them.

All the dogs, three cocker spaniels and another bigger unknown, were bouncing off the sides of the enclosure. Three were barking, one was not. We asked to meet/greet the non-barking dog which was a blonde female. She was cautiously friendly to us.

We asked the owner if the dogs had names and, indeed, they did.

The one we were petting was named “Emily”.

And, there you have it. A sign from the Universe/God, whatever you want to call it. It was meant to be.

After some discussion, Emily was ours!! She was loaded in the car where she promptly sighed, laid down and went to sleep for the ride to her new home. Big adventures awaited her. Since she had never been out of her cage, she didn’t know how to climb stairs (we have many, many flights of stairs in and around our home), was leery of large spaces and took a while to warm up to people. Her run here was a fenced in 1-acre area to explore. Blessedly, she only barked when the doorbell rang.

We nick-named her many things but she was known as “Emma” and was the most even-tempered, affectionate and adaptable dog we were blessed to share our lives with. Through her life, she travelled extensively with us and participated fully in our lifestyle. Sadly, in the last 5 years of her life she gradually went totally blind. Even then, she adapted and was able to continue most of her activities. In 2020, Emma sighed her last breath and went to join Charlie and Theo in the great beyond.

LESSON (in hindsight): If hubby hadn’t seen the ad or shared it with me; if I hadn’t blurted out the name Emily; if we hadn’t chose to go see the dogs; if we had chosen a different dog to meet and greet first — the entire string of events might never have happened and we would not have had the pleasure of 13 years of Emma’s unconditional love for us and our family.

ALLOW yourself to follow a trail or go with the flow in the moment(s) when it feels right. Trust that it is meant to be.

I’m sure you have similar examples of when you listened to your heart or trusted your instinct.