My dear, sweet Long Hair Dachshund Napoleon, "Nappi"

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I met my girlfriend, Gisela Mach, in the same Kurfuerstendamm apartment where I lived for my first 3/4 year in Berlin. When she took me out to the edges of West Berlin, where she grew up, we visited a friend of hers, whose pure-bred Long Hair Dachshund had just had puppies. On the spur of the moment we decided to buy one of the dogs. One was quiet, shy, and looked unbelievably sad. So, of course, we fell in love with him, took him, and I decided to call him Napoleon.

I have never again met so sweet a creature. He lived with both of us through the Kurfuerstendamm apartment times and when we took another apartment together. Then, when I became a photographer, Gisela found me a great studio in a building built by a sculpturer for sculpturers, in which two friends of hers lived in the upstairs attic apartment, and she took a condominium near the city center. Gisela kept Nappi, but I had a key and often took him with me while she was at work, and we had dinner together with him at Gisela's place many times a week. When I had to leave Berlin in '68, leaving him was the most difficult thing of the move.

He was magnificently unmagnificent. Just a really sweet, shy, loving presence.

Even though it is a fast, very grainy film, the eye stands out in the photo as the focused point/plane of the image, with its greater plasticity (effect of three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional surface).

©2006 Mark Anstendig. All rights reserved.

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