My companion animal is an aging sheltie named Eve who I adopted several years ago. She was living at a rescue and recovering after years of mistreatment. At first, Eve was fearful of everyone and everything, but over time, most of her fears faded. Her only lingering trauma is a terror of fly swatters. These days, she’s relatively calm – for a high-strung sheltie – and only becomes agitated when the skies fill with lightning and thunder.
A few months ago, I noticed Eve was showing signs of age. She walks slower, runs less frequently, and lately, has an issue with stairs. My front entryway has five steps to the porch. When Eve and I go for a walk and return, she hesitates at the bottom of the steps. After much coaching and encouragement, she’ll climb the steps and come inside. But bedtime is another story. My bedroom is on the second floor. She refuses to climb a full flight of stairs and will sit at the bottom and wait to be carried.
A thunderstorm rolled through central Virginia three nights ago. As usual, Eve pressed her body against the side of the bed, wanting me to protect her from the weather. I performed my duty, petting her and talking to her for several minutes before remembering I hadn’t unplugged my computer. Since my personal paranoia involves the loss of all my writings in a computer disaster like a lightning strike, I jumped out of bed and rushed downstairs to pull the plug.
Eve wasn’t letting me out of her sight, and she followed me down the stairs. But when I turned around and went back to bed, she stopped at the foot of the stairs, waiting for a ride. I poked my husband, “Go bring Eve back up.”
Before he had time to get to his feet, the sky was lit with a bright flash of lightning, and the house shook from a tremendous crash of thunder. Eve bounded up the stairs and plastered herself to my side.
Since my brain is hard-wired to connect everything to writing, Eve’s dash up the stairway sparked thoughts about motivation.
An average person in one of my stories can do extraordinary things, accomplish tasks they might have thought beyond their talents or physical capabilities, find the courage to be a hero.
Like Eve, all they need to be prodded into action is a sufficiently strong motivation.