12 November 2020 18:37
Some pet lovers buy treats for their favorite animals. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan has taken that a step further, unveiling a 19-foot-tall sculpture of a golden-colored dog to honor his favorite breed, the Central Asian shepherd. The monument to the dog, tail aloft and head held high, was erected on a pedestal at the center of a traffic circle in the capital, Ashbagat, the state news agency of Turkmenistan said, adding that it reflected the breed's "pride and self-confidence." The statue was unveiled Wednesday in a ceremony complete with exuberant singers and twirling dancers, clouds of colored balloons, and a wraparound television screen on the statue's base beaming out images of the dogs — the breed is known locally as Alabai — in action, according to footage released on YouTube by the state broadcaster Altyn Asyr. An Alabai puppy, held by a young child, also made an appearance as Mr. Berdymukhammedov, an autocrat who rules over one of the world's most repressive governments, watched with evident pride.