May 01, 2006

Chado, the Roving Superdog

A dog is a basic necessity in the village, and the bigger the dog, the better. Houses here do not have doorbells or alarm systems – that is the dog’s job. I have always wanted a big menacing dog, like a German or Caucasian Shepherd. So imagine my disappointment when a friend from Moscow visited and brought us a red, short-haired dachshund puppy. I was skeptical, to say the least. The dog came with a pedigree certificate (likely fake) and a number tattooed on the inside of his right ear (poor thing), both supposedly guaranteeing that he was an authentic miniature dachshund, descended from German canine royalty.

According to the documents, the puppy’s name was “Nice Shadow” (in English). So we decided to call him Shadow. The name Shadow was quickly Russified, however, thanks to an elderly neighbor. She was fetching water from our well as I was calling the puppy – “Shadow, Shadow!”

“You’ve lost your Chado, again, eh?” she asked.

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