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07. November 2011
Thomas Platt knows his way with words - as a dear friend and muse of German cartoon legend Brösel (Rötger Feldmann), he has the colloquialisms of bikers and drunks on the corner down just as well as he can turn the switch and narrate haute cuisine cooking events. Platt is always good for a surprise, not only because of his appearance. He dresses unconventionally, with a very laid back attitude.
If you meet him on the street, Platt can get so deep into the philosophy of everyday life that he may leave discussion partners may behind in bedazzlement. He also regularly informs readers of the Tagesspiegel how to recognize good food. And he's a yearlong dog lover. Mongrel Emma has been by his side for years.
Owning a dog has become more and more socially acceptable in Berlin. How do you explain this development?
For one thing, our society is generally getting older. When people grow old they look for a companion that will accompany them until they die.
Can you describe the special relationship between dogs and Berlin and vice versa?
Berlin has gigantic patches of green. There's room for everyone, which is a plus for dogs and their keepers. Trees line the streets in the middle of the city, even though tree-lined streets are typically a suburb characteristic. But maybe Berlin is a suburb.
What made you decide to get a dog?
My girlfriend brought home a puppy one day.
How long have you been together?
Emma and I? Almost two years.
When and where did you meet Emma?
Online. I wanted only her even though I'd only seen a tiny picture of her.
How did you raise her? With the help of a traditional dog trainer or according to your own, private rules?
Privately and eclectically. I consulted a book in the beginning and the books just got better and better. And just a general feeling that I could do this.
What's it like to walk your dog in the city?
A dog like Emma is a natural born pro. We walk without a leash, which works very well. I already dragged her halfway across the country when she was only ten weeks old. Whenever we approach a train station, Emma's already jumping up and down with anticipation.
How does she get along with other dogs?
Emma is pretty fixated on humans so she only has a couple of dog friends that she likes to spend time with.
Where do you put Emma when you can't take her somewhere?
She's either with my wife Enrica who lives in the same building, or with my neighbors whose dog Chato is Emma's best friend. But you can also leave her by herself.
Describe Emma's personality.
Emma is very affectionate and even clingy sometimes; but she always has her own agenda. She's almost manipulative I'd say. There are a number of unspoken agreements between us. And when it comes to the crunch, I can really count on Emma. She'll make her way through crowds of thousands without a second of hesitation.
When do you get mad at her?
I'm rarely really mad at her. Sometimes I have to pretend to get angry, like when she just starts eating random objects. But she can always see through the act.
(Interview: Eva-Maria Hilker)