Dogs and Russians

Random Dog, Petrodvorets, Russian Federation, 2008

Random Dog, Petrodvorets, Russian Federation, 2008

Russians love dogs. I wrote about Muslims being wary of dogs. Not so the Russians. We found this dog taking care of business on the grounds of Petrodvorets, here chasing a squirrel up a tree, later getting his stomach rubbed by a pair of small children.

All of our Slavic daughters were comfortable with our dogs. The girls would take them on walks, give them baths, and lavish lots of attention on them. Our Russians and Belorussian liked having the dogs in their room and having them sleep on the bed with them, maybe Asya a little less than the other three girls. Dogs are just a part of the Russian culture where they are not in Muslim culture. It is something to consider when selecting an exchange student.

Dogs are everywhere in Russia. There are, of course, those on leash being led around by their owners, but there are also the multitude that just roam around the city at their own free will. I have seen packs of dogs on Red Square and around the Kremlin of Moscow. They are also to be found in parks, in the play areas that exist between the apartment buildings, and sometimes lying on busy sidewalks. Some have collars, some do not. These dogs are very street smart, managing to survive in a large city with its accompanying car traffic. They seem well-fed, content, and for the most part well-behaved. Kate has related to me her experience with a pack of overly aggressive dogs that she had to contend with walking to one of her job sites. I have never experienced a problem, but I have always managed to avoid direct contact.

I remember a story about a pack of dogs that were being fed and cared for by a crew on a Moscow construction site. The Moscow authorities decided to deal with the dog issue and arrived to capture and remove the dogs from the site only to be rebuffed by the construction workers.


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