Tuesday, December 7, 2010


In Russia, there is this very important man named Vladimir Putin.  His official title is Prime Minister.  I don't know a whole lot about Mr. Putin or about his political views or anything, so I won't try to talk about them.  What I do know is that Mr. Putin likes animals, and especially dogs, so that is a good thing.

In the middle of November, Mr. Putin got a puppy that was given to him by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, whose name is Boyko Borisov.  The puppy is a male Bulgarian Shepherd, and he was about 10 weeks old when Mr. Putin got him.  His name was Yorgo, which seems like a perfectly nice name, but Mr. Putin decided to give the puppy a new name.  So he asked all the Russian people and anybody else who was interested to suggest names for the puppy.

Some people think that Prime Minister Putin is just trying to get in good with the Russian people before the 2012 election, and that is why he asked everybody to help him name his dog.  But other people really think Mr. Putin is trying to make Russia into a more open and democratic place.

Lots of names have been suggested, and the most popular one right now is "Balkan."  There are other names that have to do with Bulgaria, since that's where the puppy was born.  Some of these names are Bratko, Shipka, and Theodore (for a Bulgarian tsar).  Other people thought the name should sound more Russian, like Ros or Rus.  I wonder if anybody has thought of calling the puppy "Piper."  That would be the best name of all!

Anyway, Prime Minister Putin really seems to like his puppy, and he got his picture taken over and over again while he was holding the pup and kissing him.  The prime minister already has a dog named Koni that he loves very much.  Koni (which is pronounced like "Connie") is a black lab, and he was the first dog who ever got a satellite tracking collar to wear.  Poor Koni.  Now he can't even sneak into the trash can without everybody knowing where he is!

Oh, but here's a funny story about Koni.  One time when Mr. Putin was having a meeting with some important people to talk about ways to help the local food industry, Koni snuck into the room where the snacks were that had been made for the guests, and he ate every last one of them!  Hahahaha!  I think Koni must be a very smart dog!

Besides Koni and the new puppy, Prime Minister Putin also has a cat, two poodles, a she-goat and her kids, a horse, a Persian gazelle, and a crystal crocodile (whatever that is!).  And on his birthday two years ago, Mr. Putin got a Siberian tiger cub as a gift.  The tiger lives in the zoo now, but this all just goes to show that Mr. Putin really likes animals, and that lots of people like giving him animals as gifts.

Well, in case you were wondering what sort of dogs Bulgarian Shepherds are, I will just tell you that they are a very old breed that probably goes all the way back to when Bulgaria was called Thrace.  Some other names for this breed are Karakachan Shepherd and Thracian Mollos.  The dogs were used by Balkan people for many centuries to guard their flocks of sheep and goats.  And in fact, they are still used in this way today, and not just in Bulgaria, but also in the U.S.  Bulgarian Shepherds are big dogs that weigh between 90 and 125 pounds.  They are very fierce about defending their flocks against predators or human strangers.

So anyway, I hope that someone will now give Prime Minister Putin a flock of sheep so that his new puppy can guard it and will feel like he has an  important job to do.  Or maybe he can just guard the animals that Mr. Putin already has.

I don't know anything else to tell you except that Mr. Putin seems to like going around with his shirt off, and he doesn't mind if someone takes his picture while he's going around that way.  Here's a picture of him out with his rifle.  I can't really explain what he is doing or why he is doing it without his shirt on.  Maybe he is hunting for American spies or maybe he is making an audition tape for a movie about the Vietnam War.  I think he is actually pretty good-looking, but of course he's not nearly as cute as Brad Pitt!


  1. Dear Piper,

    Here is another famous person who loves dogs:


    I think maybe Beau was a basenji because he started a fire in the house to keep warm. I would do that, but mom usually leaves the heater on and locks me in a crate.

    I got to play with OC (office cat) today - that was kind of fun, but I also got to eat OC's food. That was the best part of my day since I was starving.

    Your friend,

  2. Dear Zest,

    Mom and I listened to that poem about Beau, and we almost cried because it was very sad. I think you may be right about why Beau started the fire in his house.

    I wish I could get to eat some of our cats' food, but Mom won't let me. She started giving Chloe an extra meal because Chloe got skinny while she was sick. Now all Chloe does is meow and pester Mom because she is hungry. Gabe also gets extra food because he is skinny, but I don't get extra food because Mom says I am a little too pudgy. Life is not fair, if you ask me!

    Your friend, Piper