I’m not going to talk here about the grand reasons, like stating my truths about equality and the fight against the cesspit of hate currently burbling up around the world (although they inspire me to show up at my desk every day).
No, I want to talk about Sheldon. He’s a black lab. He’s one of those chaps who proudly emerge from an animal shelter and take over their humans’ lives. Gotta say I’ve loved him since our first meeting when he slid face-first into a mud pool.
That faceplant was a letter of intent.
Over the years, he’s had to be rescued after falling off a breakwater, down an embankment, in a river—multiple times. He loves the undesirable things other dogs leave alone, be it the most toxic carcass or questionable toy (underpants, anyone?). And as he’s gotten older, he’s needed a bit of care. He has arthritis. He’s allergic to summer. He fights with cats (and loses with gusto). Last month he stayed overnight in the doggy hospital for a heart condition. This month it’s a skin rash.
Faced with big vet bills and the reality that he’s just warming up for the years to come, I write. I write so that it can boost the Sheldon Health Fund. I write so that I can look him in the eyes and say, ‘No matter what, I’m going to take care of you.’ I write so that I can spend long, quiet hours with that ridiculous pup curled under the desk, snoring against my feet.
So, yeah. Writing might be seen as a grandiose, creative endeavour, but my motives are pretty mundane. I write for my dog.