Oddly Enough

All Russia invited to help name Putin's new puppy

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hugs a Bulgarian shepherd dog, after receiving it as a present from Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov (not seen) in Sofia, November 13, 2010. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has invited Russians to help him come up with a name for his new puppy, which he received as a gift from his Bulgarian counterpart over the weekend.

“Anyone who wishes to can send their suggestion of a male name for the prime minister’s new dog to his site,” a government statement said on its official website .

After Moscow and Sofia signed a series of accords to boost the South Stream gas pipeline, Putin was all smiles when Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov presented the Karakachan dog to the 58-year-old leader.

Putin, who has a black belt in judo and has cultivated a macho image, snuggled the fluffy, floppy-eared puppy of three months before gently planting a kiss on his snout.

The puppy will have to share the canine spotlight with Putin’s beloved black Labrador Connie, who is 11.

Putin once boasted that Connie was bigger than former U.S. President George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier Barney, according to Bush’s memoir “Decision Points,” published earlier this month.

“Of course, it is very important that they build their relationship,” the government statement said of the dogs.

Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman, editing by Paul Casciato