A Story by John Ivan

Moscow from dog‚s point of view



I have been watching the evening news with mine owner Rose. Actually, I was in the room, on mine blanket near the furnace, but the TV was on, because she awaited her favorite program. Accidently there was a report of president Putin arriving here and the agenda for his visit. Only thing interesting for me and other normal being has been the gift. It was some kind of Balkan mountain sheep dog, named Pasha. As I went to mine sleeping house, that evening, I have imagined how it will be nice to join Pasha, at least for a day and be president’s guest. I could only dream of it, so here it is.

Arriving at Sheremetyevo we were met with fine Russian welcome. Drinks, snacks and toasts for new arrivals, Pasha and I. Although it was spring back home, here everybody was wearing furry coats out of sable, of course. I was a little bit cold. No time to address to such trivial thing as other dogs rounded both of us, quickly putting us to our places. Hierarchy is very important, both in canine world and in the East were the Tsars still rule.

Huge limo has taken us through very busy and amazingly big city. I just couldn’t comprehend the size of it. I still can’t �" it is just enormous. Broad boulevards, millions of people and many thousands of stray dogs all rushing around in many directions. Fantastic buildings as we visited the Kremlin and surrounding Church of St. Basil, landmark of the capital, how I have heard it later.

After resting in the special villa, owned by Putin himself, we were escorted to ice-hockey match. I have never before heard of such hockey, so I was very interested to see it, whilst Pasha was little sleepy. He, probably, has suffered from jet-lag. I nudge him. I had to, I was older one, and also we wouldn’t want to embarrass our own president. He instigated the plan to give Pasha, although he wasn’t aware of mine presence. He can’t know everything, even though he is really trying. Speaking of such theme, I mustn’t say, describe or talk about residence where we have been before under confidential clause I am obliged to.

Nevertheless, the game and the sport proved much above me. I had some previous ice-skating moments during winters on local pond. Here I had to put skates on mine four legs, which has showed anything buts easy. Domestic dogs helped Pasha and me. More me then him, I have to admit.

There was excellent crowd around the pitch, or ice for those who enjoy using proper terms. Pasha and I started from the bench, and then we had to quickly rush in and out, then again quick dash on ice with some stick in our hands. I tried to hold it with mine tail, but that doesn’t work well as I, most of the time, was without any at all. Pasha played very well. He has lived on highest mountain in the Balkans, where is snowing for better part of the year. The score wasn’t going in our favor as we were trailing behind from the other team “Putin and friends”. Our captain, some husky of malamute, I can’t tell the difference, blamed the bad result on us, especially me. So during intermission or interval how one should say it properly, I was determined to shine next time we were thrown to icy surface. Only one approving me was our goalkeeper, huge Siberian bear, who although was bigger than the goal he protected, had bad reflexes. Also the human attackers lured him with some berries and honey, in particular when Putin had the ball, I mean puck. You are all laughing to me, but for some dog, that is first time on ice, it doesn’t really matter.

As some guys in black and white, dressed like convicts if you ask me, with whistle, gave away the sign that the play is on, I took the little plate with mine tail, much to surprise of everybody, mostly mine inmates and score magnificent goal or century of whatever. Strange silence descendent around, instead of huge roar for previous hits.

I wasn’t aware that the teams change sides after the interval, so I scored own goal. Immediately, nobody had to tell me, I went to the bench, but I have made another mistake �" I entered penalty-box. I stayed there for the rest of the game. Nobody wanted to do anything with me, even Pasha turned his head away. Only one with empathy in his eyes was our goalkeeper, who probably dreamed of the forests of his birth, where he enjoyed so many happy years until they catch him, parade him and turn him into huge dwarf, as entertainment at new tsar’s court.

All is forgotten very soon, as we attended a buffet, especially in honor of the guests, or it seems that way to me. Hungry like a wolf, which partially I am, but also as hyena and lion I snatched everything from the first table in the great hall.

“The Balkan dogs”, I heard somebody saying, the term is used for every living thing from that territory, but I didn’t mind. On the next table, there was some funny smelling mixture in a bowl. Dead frogs around the Danube River look appealing than that, so I passed on. Others, particularly few fat colonels pounced on it. It was caviar, as I have heard someone saying. And the price was staggering 500$. Quick thought entered mine brain, I should pick up dead frogs and snakes mix them in pretty glass jar and make a fortune. After picking up with mine muzzle another fantastic taste, I have turned mine head and found myself in front of gigantic kettle with master cooking inside �" the borsch. Recent thoughts evaporate from the head, as there was only one thing for me to do. I jumped into finest flavor of flavors. The temperature was just right, as things here in Russia, close to Arctic can’t remain hot for a long time. I was swimming and eating, eating and swimming, having the best time ever. You should really try it at home, it’s so fun. Everybody else ignored me, which I didn’t mind, because I was in heaven. I stayed there until there was nothing to swim in.

In the evening, we were invited to Happy hour �" festival of Russian dance, music and ballet, at Bolshoi Theatre. This has turned into nearly four hours of splendid entertainment, as all the participants worn specially design clothes and have showed imaginative skills, for us the guests, the hosts and probably for their own souls. Sword dances, kazachok players (mine favorite), small, delicate but exquisite ballet dancers and last but not least, ice escapades. That is how one should behave on ice. I was a little bit shamed, when I have witness splendid and almost impossible moves, which I couldn’t repeat, not in a million years. Only regret was, that mine owner Rose can’t be here to see this beautiful array of colors, dancers and decorations. She has similar hobby back home, from youth period until recently, as she was a member of local folk ensemble which nourished old traditions. I bet a huge bone, that she will appreciate everything here and also magnificent and famous theatre. I could try to describe it to you, but that won’t be good, as I am just a poor dog, I am not Michelangelo or Da Vinci, master builders, painters and sculptors, which can easily depict Bolshoi Theatre like your eyes has seen it for themselves.

I nearly have forgotten to tell you about funny story that happened at the end of the match. Victorious lap for whole team has turned into one man show �" Vladimir Putin’s parading and waving to the delightful crowd with his head high up. Only one member of the team followed him as on the other side, red carpet is put on ice for some VIP’s without skates. The president approaches the carpet, still holding his head high, so inevitable occur, although his bodyguard tried to stop it, but he was just too far. Suddenly, at least for him, he was falling down on his chin and on to the rug. Finally something to smile about, after dismal match for me. Nobody laughed, but all eyes were on me, away from horror scene of their beloved president falling. I had to react swiftly, so I retracted mine tail as best I could and hide under seats in the penalty-box. Good thing I have booked airline ticket, they don’t like when anybody miss the flight, otherwise I will end up in the gulag, where, despite mine tolerance to low temperatures with mine isolation and fine orange coat of a Wirehaired Viszla, I wouldn’t have any pleasant time.

At midnight, I had to departure and fly off for “Nikola Tesla”, Belgrade airport. Pasha and I simultaneously wag our tails. In our world, that means �" safe journey. I think he will be fine over here. The rest of the dogs accepted him. Maybe he is at the end of the cue, but that is normal, he is youngest and newest arrival. Also, life in Putin’s mansion is not like living at Hue Heffner‘s but for a obedient dog, it is better. Finally, I hug the goalkeeper, big bear, or at least his knee, because he is such a huge animal. With a joyful bark I wish him speedy retirement and return to his beloved forests of the north, if any stood there since wild fires, cutting trees and global warming are shrinking them hourly.


© 2020 John Ivan

Author's Note

John Ivan
Visiting Moscow for a day.

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Added on February 12, 2020
Last Updated on February 12, 2020
Tags: Dogs, bear, Moscow, Ice hockey, Bolshoi Theatre, Putin


John Ivan
John Ivan

Bombing 1 Bombing 1

A Story by John Ivan