Believe it or not, some people just don’t love dogs. (I don’t get it, either.)
While there are plenty of magazines available here and abroad for people who are fond of canines, perhaps the first magazine ever for dog haters was launched this summer in Germany. And it sold out almost immediately.
Kot & Köter (which translates to Poop & Pooches) started out as a joke, thought up 22 years ago by a group of journalists who’d had “a lot of Guinness in a pub in Hamburg,” according to its website.
Just for the heck of it, Wulf Beleites, who was part of the group, trademarked the name. When the media caught wind of this, Beleites began appearing on talk shows as the editor-in-chief of Köt & Koter, even though there really wasn’t any such magazine.
Beleites, who had been bitten by a Spitz when he was a kid, would complain about how horrible he thought dogs were, and usually got booed by the audiences. As a self-proclaimed dog expert, he also spouted dubious facts. One of them: The formula for calculating the amount of poop a dog produces is “body weight times three divided by 50.”
Fast forward more than two decades, and through some tough financial times for Beleites. To make ends meet, he decided to actually publish Köt & Koter. With the help of about $9,000 raised through crowdfunding, he was able to do so.
The 1,000 copies of the premiere issue quickly sold out, so he printed 1,750 more.
“There are two types of people in Germany,” Beleites told the Wall Street Journal. “One type loves dogs. Another type doesn’t. These are my readers.”
He told Spiegel Online International that he wants the magazine to be “aggressive, funny, pseudo-serious and satirical.”
The magazine’s second issue recently rolled off the presses. “[MADNESS] TOTAL PIMP YOUR DOG,” says the cover.
These are a few of the pseudo-serious and satirical stories included in the first two issues:
- A review of an imaginary restaurant that only serves food made from dogs.
- The case for why having a burglar alarm is preferable to having a German Shepherd.
- A look back at Hitler and his dog, Blondi.
Beleites told the Wall Street Journal he’s been getting hate mail and phone calls from the “German dog lobby.” Most of the letters posted on the Kot & Köter website appear to be negative. Some of the positive ones are pretty disturbing — hopefully, like the magazine, they’re tongue in cheek.
“I can only hope that the magazine comes about and is thus a counterweight to the general sanctity of the dog,” wrote Volker B. “I would like my (unpublished) novel, ‘I Kick Dogs,’ released for printing and to instigate the rights to do so.”
Good luck with that, Volker.
According to the Köt & Koter website, the magazine has 1,000 subscribers but will need 5,000 to continue being published on a quarterly basis.
“You can slap your child in Germany, but you better not slap your dog,” Philip Alsen, a dog dad, journalist and trainer told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t think this magazine has a future.”