DOGS OF BERLIN AND THEIR HUMANS

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

The first portrait features Jackie and Nathaniel, who live in Prenzlauer Berg. This is their story, as narrated by Nathaniel.

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I’ll have you know Jackie is a BOY.

He’s not named after Jackie Chan. He’s not named after Jackie Wilson. Jackie is named after Scottish musician John “Jackie” McKeown, singer and songwriter of such legendary indie bands as The Yummy Fur, 1990s and Trans.

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Jackie, the dog, was a gift from my mother. He was 6 weeks old and weighed two pounds when I got him. I felt like I would crush him. I had no idea what to do.

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I also had no idea what to name him. He was impossibly cute, but he would shit all over my apartment. Every time he did it, my girlfriend and I would sing to him, “you’re supposed to be, supposed to be my friend,” a lyric from the song “You’re Supposed to Be My Friend” by Jackie McKeown’s band 1990s. We were listening to their debut Cookies a hell of a lot at the time. Jackie seemed like a very fitting, wonderfully mysterious name, and I’ve been explaining that he is a boy ever since.

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Jackie is now 7 years old. We moved from L.A. to Berlin together. In that time, he’s hung out with rock and rollers, classical musicians, famous actresses, poets, authors and a fair share of dirt bags. He’s appeared on album covers, in music videos, has been featured in German newspapers (in the Fashion section, naturally) and has even been the subject of multiple works of art (paintings, drawings, you name it). He is a legend, my star, and I can’t live without him. I imagine us dying together, driving off a cliff, raw meat dangling from our mouths, pumping 1990s so fucking loud the only thing louder would be the sound of me laughing, him barking and a giant fireball of love exploding.

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Here it is, kids: Love, true love, is loyalty. And this Shih Tzu is the best friend a man could ever ask for.

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