These dogs are the glitterati of the dog world; natural beauty, good health, lush coats and not an ounce of fat. They would feel quite at home on the catwalk.. sorry, dogwalk. However, unlike the Tel Aviv dog, these dogs do not command respect or generate excitement from the Russian locals, instead, they’re often ignored. In a cruel irony, these dogs then commit the same discriminatory based apathy toward tourists/foreigners. The Olkhon Island canine looks upon foreigners with suspicion, often refusing the slightest interaction. The puppies, however, are happy to interact with foreigners, not yet biased by the systemic racism that exists among seniors. The puppies often run hundreds of metres to greet the foreigner, holding them in the highest regard; bouncing around, rolling on the ground, chewing hands, all vintage puppy form. Meanwhile, the senior dogs look on in disgust..’They’re scum, woof woof, get away from him now, woof woof’. The puppies, in time, will lose their welcoming demeanour, as they soon learn that the foreigner, while friendly, is not loyal. It’s all just PR, a friendly face to a cruel reality. They learn that the foreigner will leave at the first opportunity, while the local human will always be there, albeit less excited. The reality of being a Siberian dog kicks in; it’s battle conditions, no time for PR nonsense, this shit is real.
The black and white dog was more than happy for me to stop and observe the area as I walked by. The minute I pulled the camera out though, fireworks erupted… ‘how dare you, woof woof, have some respect, woof, no photos allowed, woof, go on.. piss off, woof’. We argued for a little while before the white dog, who had stayed out of it till this point, started getting involved too. That was my cue to leave, ‘ok, relax guys, I’m deleting the photo. I’m gone’, as I slowly backed away, using a calming motion with my hands.
This dog was a busker performing a rendition of Whiney Housten’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ as i walked by. Superb voice, I appropriately left him some of the chicken legs and lamb shanks that were in my pockets.