When I was a little girl my father was an angry man… We only had one dog in my family growing up, her name was Princess. She was a beautiful, white American Eskimo with a cream dot on her head. I remember she had the sweetest, most understanding brown eyes. I remember laying down on the carpet with her and wrapping my arms around her neck and hugging and kissing her for hours while she would just lay there and stare at me.
One day my father got pretty angry with Princess for urinating on the kitchen floor. I watched him throw her down our basement stairs, which were metal plated linoleum. He kicked her a lot and smacked her a lot too just like he did to me and my mom, and I guess in the wake of some sort of childhood intuition I saw her and I as one in the same. We were dealing with my father together, we were surviving. I understood her pain as she understood mine, and she protected me as I her when my father decided he wanted to take something out on us.
I’ve always seen non human animals in a different light. I’ve always had this sense that they understood everything and that it was us who are the incoherent, ultimately dumb species.
I do think my childhood, and Princess significantly shaped my life into what it is now.