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Dog lover Putin gets pup as gift

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-13 07:59

SOCHI, Russia - 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 Oct 7, took the puppy, called Verny, which means "faithful" in Russian, and kissed it on its forehead.

The alabai is a homebred 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.

Plush and cuddly when they are young, alabai dogs grow into fierce shepherd dogs, fearless in warding off wolves but also in dealing with human strangers.

The two men held talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, with the Turkmen side keen to see a possible resumption of natural gas exports to Russia.

Turkmenistan has the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves. Russia, once the main buyer of Turkmen gas, stopped buying the fuel last year due to a price dispute.

Putin had received a Bulgarian shepherd named Buffy from Bulgaria's premier and an Akita named Yume from a Japanese official. He also has been given horses and even a tiger.

Reuters - Ap

Dog lover Putin gets pup as gift

(China Daily 10/13/2017 page12)

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