Book Club: DOG Magazine
For me, the words Puff and Tuft remind me vaguely of that giant squishy marshmallow monster in the first Ghostbusters movie that almost brought down Manhattan, but, plot twist, they’re actually the collective noun for a pair and trio of pomeranians respectively. And what about the way in which dogs drink water? I mean, it’s loud and messy, obviously, but I never really put much more thought into it. Turns out it all boils down to cheeks. Or rather, dogs' lack thereof. Humans have cheeks and use a suction method to drink; dogs are cheek-less (or, technically-speaking, they have “incomplete cheeks”, as they open along both sides), which means the way they take in liquids, curving their tongues and ladling water into their mouths, is pressure driven rather than suction driven. I found myself picking up little nuggets of interest throughout the most recent issue of DOG, published out of Los Angeles.
The main thrust of each publication is sort of a deep dive into the history of one breed - so far they’ve tackled the Stabyhoun, the Dalmatian, the Shiba Inu, and in the most recent issue, the Pomeranian. For each breed, the editorial team travels to the country where that breed originated: in this case, Poland. Packed with gorgeous photography of random dogs they encountered along the way, images of romantic architecture and haunting landscapes are juxtaposed with tidbits of historical interest.
In addition to the breed primer, DOG features interviews with pup-loving celebs, makers, artists, and designers. Happily, it’s not just another nod to celeb culture, they also focus on less-glamorous dog owners; in the pom issue there’s a short story titled “Prison Dogs” about an interracial couple who visit one of their family members in a jail participating in an animal rehab program. In another, “A Country With No Dog," the author posits possible reasons why the current US president, for the first time in almost seven decades, doesn’t own a canine (no comment).
Toward the beginning of the issue, there’s an interview with Italian artist Alessandra Genualdo. In it, she claims that the physical act of having a dog is inspirational in and of itself. I couldn’t agree more.