This dog wants cupcakes. So says the YouTube title for this home-made video. And yet this same canine has been trained to resist them. The remarkable aspect of this clip is the pained expression on the dog’s face as s/he metaphorically drools for what seems like an eternity. We see the full agony of desire wrestling with self-denial etched across his or her features, to the extent where it tips into the realm of “becoming-human.” It is amusing, because we can relate to the situation. And it is disturbing for this very same reason. After all, human subjectivity is premised on repressing one’s instincts: to eat whenever, to dance wherever, to urinate however, to rut over and over. Such is the discontent of civilization. The reward for such repression – or so we are told – is the ego: the socialized self, suspended between the primal needs of the body, and the internalized strictures of the wider world. Levinas reads the face as an ethical epiphany; the very interface of one’s infinite obligation to do right by the other. In sharp contrast, Deleuze and Guattari consider the face to be “a horror story,” the grotesque all-too-human territorialization of the animal head. The face of the dog in this video embodies both perspectives. It is as if we are seeing a speeded-up time-lapse of not only the emergence of an individual, but the very birth of the human as a species. Since Darwin we are cognizant of the narrative in which the human more or less floats to the surface of the bestial, so that our kind is considered as “animal +”. Indeed such a notion stretches back to Aristotle’s “rational animal.” Stiegler prefers to talk of “hominization” rather than “the human,” which has the advantage of acknowledging the intelligence and technical ingenuities of other creatures. However it also has the disadvantage of collapsing all evolutionary potentialities into a single trajectory: that “humanity” with which we are familiar. So the question this dog poses for a post-human age, through its silent grimace, is whether the face is a universal site of emergence for a shared ontology, or whether it is the opaque reflection of fractal alterity. In other words, can a dog’s ego overlap with a human’s? And if so, what lies within the middle-space of the Venn Diagram? (other than cupcakes, of course).