The dog is thought to have appeared in man’s life about 15,000 years ago. In my life, the dog appeared when I was 5 years old. It is a significant time difference and I’m convinced that in the old days the dog’s role was not reduced to only being a pet. Nowadays, with the exception of some utility breed dogs (but not exclusively), the modern human only thinks of the dog as a “pet” that must be fed, taken outside for walks and taken to the vet every now and then. It has become a sort of cliché to attach the words “man’s best friend” to the word “dog”, and this may also be due to a profound psychological connection usually found between dogs and their owners. You end up investing emotions in the dog, it becomes a part of you, a part of your family. Dogs are an extension of our own lives, a somewhat distorted reflection of the human species: we’d behave the same as they do if we abandoned the insincere attitude and formal restrictions imposed by society. We may find ourselves in dogs, but we can more surely recognize the children who will never grow up.
According to Milan Kundera, the dog was never banished from Paradise, it knows nothing of the duality of body and soul. The dog is similar to the primordial man, a sort of Adam. That’s why people feel so peaceful around dogs: they are the thread that still connects man to Paradise. Therefore, the idea might arise in the human mind that the love binding a human and a dog is better than the love between two people.
Although they were aware of my presence when I photographed them, they stood in front of the camera without a shred of falseness, they were authentic without thinking whether their hair looked good or whether they were dirty. Whereas we humans stiffen up and display artificial smiles on our faces while posing.
The photos in this series were taken starting from 2011 and are dedicated to the dogs I had over time. Even though, for biological reasons, their lives did not overlap entirely with my life, they made may life whole.