‘Puppy’ for President Putin

12 October, 2017

The leader of Turkmenistan has stunned the media when he gifted a puppy to the Russian President Vladimir Putin as a belated birthday gift.

Putin was delighted when he saw his gift as he is a dog lover. Media coverage showed that Putin was holding and kissing the puppy named Verny.

It’s not the first time when Putin got a puppy as birthday gift. Leaders from Japan and Bulgaria had also gifted puppies to Putin.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had gifted a black Labrador to Putin. For Putin, they are not dogs and sometimes they are advisors for him. 

Putin’s black Labrador dog named Koni once terrified the German Chancellor Angela Merler during a meeting in 2007. Merkel, who was once attacked by a dog, looking apprehensive as Koni approached.

Last year, Putin introduced another of his dogs, a large Akita called Yume, to Japanese journalists at the Kremlin. They smiled warily as Yume's barking reverberated around the hall, before Putin calmed her with some treats.

Yume, which means Dream, had been a gift from Japan in thanks for Russian help after the 2011 earthquake. The Russian leader's dogs are all big, reflecting his tough-guy image. Former US President George W. Bush recalls Putin ridiculing the Bushes' dog Barney, a little Scottish Terrier.

Bush recalled Putin saying: "You call that a dog?" A year later, he went to visit Putin at his dacha outside Moscow. As Bush recounted in his memoir, "Decision Point," "A big black Labrador [Koni] came charging across the lawn. With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, 'Bigger, stronger, faster than Barney.' "