A Dog’s Life A Dog’s Life
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Illustration: Joanna Grochocka
Dreams and Visions

A Dog’s Life

The history of "Przekrój" written in four paws
Sylwia Niemczyk
Reading
time 11 minutes

Nero, Lula, Hegel, and the other office dogs feel right at home here. They’ve got their bowls, blankets, and lots of hands to pet them. This is not only the case today—apparently it was also the case a few decades ago, back when we were published as a weekly in Kraków. After all, how could you make a magazine without a dog under your desk? 

Przekrój has always been a big menagerie: from Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński’s “Green Goose” to Daniel Mróz’s spoiled cats. But only one animal joined the board of editors—Fafik the dog. He managed that trick back when he was a puppy, and he didn’t even have to sign anything. Things did not always go so smoothly when it came to his articles. “He’s one of my best authors, but the bastard just won’t learn how to hold a pen in his paw,” said Marian Eile, Przekrój’s legendary editor-in-chief, and Fafik’s caretaker. Despite the dog’s evident idleness (breed: almost a Scottish terrier) he kept his post in the editor’s office, right under the editor-in-chief’s desk, until his dying days, making up for his shortcomings with his talent for creating a light atmosphere, his general charm, and his antics. 

We cannot say he wrote nothing at all—that would be unjust. Since 1957, when he had turned eleven and had licked his share of the world, he co-created the Thought of Great People, Middling People, and Fafik the Dog column, in which the editors published his pearls of wisdom alongside such luminaries as Einstein and Horace. His name featured under such pearls of wisdom as: “We ought always to bark when it comes to what’s important,” or “Don’t believe other people’s words. Believe your nose,” or the contemplative “Having a bone means you must growl.” 

Apart from his bon mots, he could also paint. In a holiday issue he got a two-page spread for his colorful paw prints. As Eile explained, this was paw Tachisme, a variant of ordinary Tachisme. To

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Pure Joy Pure Joy
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Konstantin Somov, "Young Woman Sleeping in the Park", 1921, source: Wikiart (public domain)
The Other School

Pure Joy

Paulina Wilk

Living with a dog is far better than living without one, and here is some anecdotal evidence to prove this. It may help you make the long overdue decision to move in with a pet, but let’s not kid ourselves: in the end, the dog will make all the decisions. 

No one will ever understand you like your dog—or any dog, for that matter. When things go south, itll be in your lap ready for a cuddle. When youre crying, it will lick tears off your face. And when you feel like dancing with joy, your dog and its wagging tail will join your celebration. You don’t have to say or explain anything, but even if you choose complete honesty, theres no need to fear rejection. A dog’s eyes see everything, ears hear the slightest change of tone, and nose sniffs out every mood. While we still dont fully understand what makes dogs sad or what excites them, we know they are able to tune in to our feelings and simply share them with us. They wont comment, offer advice, or get bored when we complain about the same thing for the seventh time. Hugging a dog takes away at least half of life’s burdens. Conversely, a wagging tail and a dog’s eyes make all misery go away and amplify all joy. Dogs are known as mans best friends, because in friendship they never make the kind of mistakes that humans often make. They never ask stupid questions, they listen patiently, and their sheer presence eliminates the penetrating singularity of human fate: both immediately and in the long term. Dogs are also stable in their feelings; they are unlikely to suddenly file for divorce. 

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