Finding Blue

A lesson in learning to trust my intuition

The author teaches writing at Butte College and is a freelance writer, editor, tutor and social media consultant.

“Trust what your intuition tells you.” I recently spied this line on Facebook one night. It loomed as a virtual fortune cookie, stuck to my news feed. It made me think of The Poodle.

The Poodle, you wonder? None of my Facebook friends have to ask. I’ve posted only 996,000 photos of him—or something close to that.

The Poodle is Blue—not as in color. That’s the name he came with when he entered my life almost three years ago. My friend Susan, a dog groomer, explained to me when Blue first arrived that, “In the animal world, grey things are called ‘blues.’” Who knew?

Somehow, about a year before my 50th birthday in November 2009, I knew I had to have a poodle. I had no idea why. I visualized a toy poodle, something the size of a Paris Hilton kind of dog that could be carried around in a blingy purse. I just knew someone would bring me a cardboard box on my 50th birthday, and out would pop a poodle.

The universe had another idea. My birthday week finally arrived, and I had five parties, each unique, but the actual day of my birthday finally came and—no poodle. I was a bit crestfallen.

When I woke up the day after my half-century milestone, a voice spoke in my head: “Go to the animal shelter.” What? I hadn’t been there for at least five or six months. Why would I go to the animal shelter? There were never any poodles there.

I did my best all morning to ignore this voice. After lunch, though, I was out running errands when the voice insisted: “GO TO THE ANIMAL SHELTER!” All right, already, I thought. I drove to the animal shelter.

Entering the indoor dog kennel, I looked to my left at the very first cage. I did a double-take! There, silent and shivering in a front corner of his prison, staring up at me with soulful brown eyes, sat a dark-grey poodle! As pit bulls cacophonously barked, he looked up at me with a pleading gaze. “Pure-bred poodle,” the adoption card read. “Previous owner died.”

He was a mini, not a toy, yet I instantly knew he was the poodle for me. The shelter people said he’d been put out for adoption only 15 minutes earlier.

Trust what your intuition tells you.