Who would have imagined that when writer Octavia Butler gazed into a dog’s eyes, her perspective would change forever?
When I was between 2 and 3 years old, I got to know my first non-human being. The non-human was a cocker spaniel named Baba. We weren’t friends, Baba and I, nor enemies. He wasn’t my dog. He belonged to the people my mother worked for, and he lived in the house with them and us. My father had died, and my mother had to find work that would support the two of us. She became a maid. She had been a maid before she married—she had been taken out of school when she was only 10 and put to work to help feed herself and her younger brothers and sisters. Now she was a maid again, “staying on the place,” as it used to be called, living in her employer’s home and having no home of her own.