Russia’s dog-loving leader gets another puppy as gift

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MOSCOW — Another summit, another dog.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday added a puppy to the litter of canine companions he’s received as gifts. This one is a Central Asian Shepherd bestowed by the president of the ex-Soviet nation of Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov presented Putin with the puppy as a birthday gift. Putin, an avid dog lover, turned 65 over the weekend.

Putin cuddled Verny, which is Russian for “loyal,” and kissed the pup on the head during a meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Putin previously received a Bulgarian shepherd named Buffy from Bulgaria’s premier in 2010 and an Akita named Yume from a Japanese official in 2012.

Konnie, a black Labrador of Putin’s who was famous for terrifying German Chancellor Angela Merkel, died a few years ago. Putin received Konnie as a gift from a Russian official in 1999.

The Russian leader also has been given horses and even a tiger.