Cover Photo: From Plato’s Dogs by Thomas Roma and Giancarlo Roma, published by powerHouse Books.
From Plato’s Dogs by Thomas Roma and Giancarlo Roma, published by powerHouse Books.

In Which the Magpie Lets the Dog Live

A dog and her birthday pancake . . . the fate of Old Yeller et al . . . Thomas Roma’s dog shadow photographs

Consider dogs. This will not have anything to do with the recent Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which the Magpie did not attend because, this year, cats. The Magpie did attend the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show one year some time ago, and perched backstage, where it mostly seemed to be people blow-drying their dogs. The weird thing was that the dogs looked kind of happy about it, which suggested to the Magpie that the show dogs had lost the plot. What kind of life was that, shuttling between a crate and standing on a platform having one’s fur blow-dried? Do dogs care if they win, anyway? What would a win be for a dog, on the dog’s terms? A former consort of the Magpie’s used to bury pancakes in the garden for their dog on the dog’s birthday and then let the dog discover her treasure. That dog, running around the yard with a pancake in her mouth, clearly felt victorious over the entire pancake-withholding universe.

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The Magpie is someone who notices what gleams in the world.