While I can’t say Putin is often a topic I cover as a dog writer (and don’t look for any deep political opinions in this piece,) his name and dogs have been showing up together too many times in this short year to ignore. So I bring you a roundup of weird news revolving around Vladimir Putin and his four-legged friends.
It seems that Putin is starting off his new year, by making amends with those he has hurt many years ago, well sort of.
Nine years after the fact, Putin has stated in an interview with German magazine Bild, that he did not mean to scare German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, when he brought his black Labrador, Konni, to their first meeting together.
Considering that dog’s have a known history of calming heated situations and reducing stress-levels, this may seem like a perfect idea to any dog lover (note to Obama: Bring Bo and Sunny to more meetings please) an important part of this story is the Merkel is not only not a dog-lover, but rather has a very big and well-known fear of dogs, having been attacked by one as a child.
While Merkel did not make a big deal of the issue at the time, photographs of the meeting show that she was clearly uncomfortable with Putin’s large dog being there.
Putin, told Bild, that is wasn’t a move of power meant to intimidate, but a simple mistake.
“I wanted to do something nice for her. When I found out that she doesn’t like dogs of course I apologized.”
Bild unfortunately did not ask why he chose to send the Chancellor a dog toy, with a short leash as a gift the year prior.
But the new year, new Putin doesn’t end here. The Russian President also wants you to enjoy him all year-round, with his 12-months of Putin, 2016 calendar. The calendar aims to bring 12 different sides of Putin to all who wish to celebrate the President by putting his face on their wall this year. One of his sides, includes his love of dogs.
The Putin 2016 calendar. November. Putin quoted as saying: “Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one other.” pic.twitter.com/x512nRxOOM
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) December 14, 2015
Putin is shown posing with Buffy, a Bulgarian Shepherd he received as a gift from Bulgaria’s PM Borisov in November of 2010. Each photo includes a quote, in this month: Putin is quoted saying (translated,) “Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one other.”