Sochi, Russia, Oct 12: Russian President Vladimir Putin, a dog lover, received a top breed puppy as a belated birthday gift on Wednesday from Turkmenistan’s president who is keen to recover lost Russian markets for Turkmen gas.
“We have a common friend – this is the world’s unique alabai dog. And today I brought this little alabai with me,” President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said before talks with Putin, pulling the pup out from a portable cage and holding it up by the scruff of its neck.
Putin, who marked his 65th birthday on October 7, took the puppy, called Verny which means “faithful” in Russian, and kissed it in its forehead.
The alabai is a home-bred Turkmen variety of the Central Asian shepherd dog. Along with the handmade carpets and the ancient Akhal Teke breed of race horses, it is officially listed as part of Turkmenistan’s national heritage