Splendid Berlin presents the new photographic series ‘Dogs of Berlin and their Humans’, by Heike Schneider-Matzigkeit.

The third portrait features Patrick and Lara, who live in Prenzlauer Berg. This is their story, as narrated by Patrick.


The first picture shows my dog Lara. She’s a three year old Dalmatian. My first dog, also a Dalmatian called Ikarus, died at a young age, while another person was taking care of him. While Ikarus and I were very similar in character, it was more of a growing relationship between Lara and me.


I knew that I could never live without a dog, but it was difficult to choose a new one. So in order to “not replace” Ikarus, I chose to get a female.


I got her at the age of 3 months and had regularly visited her before. From the beginning we started doing agility training in a dog training class. Last year we went on our first competitions, and with good results. But at the beginning of this year, we weren’t able to continue, because she got pregnant.


I really have to say that having puppies was the best thing that could have happened to her. She learned so much during this time, and now she is really friendly towards almost any other dog.


At the same time Lara was pregnant, I was starting my self-employment with a store for raw dog food. In memoy, my shop got named after my first dog, Ikarus Barf, while the logo depicts my second dog Lara.


I wasn’t able to give away all of Lara’s babies. Two weeks after birth I already knew which puppy I wanted to keep. At first it was really hard to decide to take care of a second dog, because of my starting self­employment and the unstable financial situation that goes with it. But then, selling dog food, I knew that at least they wouldn’t have to suffer. 


On the day before LilaLou – that’s my puppy’s name – was to be given away, I felt really sad about that fact, so I decided to keep her anyways. And now I am very happy about this decision.


Maybe my dogs are going to turn out to be “neighbourhood dogs” (“Kiezhunde” in German) of Prenzlauer Berg, because there are so many children that take care of them and take them on walks while I work at the store. The babies sure were a great attraction for all the kids around!