Russian President Vladimir Putin may have set a dangerous precedent after convincing a retired soldier to buy his wife a pet pooch, possibly spawning a wave of similar requests from animal lovers nationwide.
"Please just say to him: 'Boris, you're wrong! Let your wife have a dog!' We've already tried everything,” a woman from Rostov pleaded Thursday during Putin's annual call-in with the nation, which was broadcast live on television.
The woman's appeal to convince her friend's husband to buy her a pet was one of a handful of funny moments from this year's marathon call-in, which mostly centered on domestic issues.
After first suggesting he did not have the authority to make such a request, Putin addressed the man in question, a retired soldier, by saying: "Boris, please, allow your wife to buy a dog. It will strengthen your family."
The soldier, Boris Fadeyev, took the hint and has since brought home a Welsh corgi called Gosha, his wife Yelena told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Sunday.
It is unclear whether the Russian president's words alone did the trick or whether Yelena's friend followed Putin's advice to get the job done.
"We can work out an action plan of some kind,” Putin said during the call-in. “The two of us together, you and I, can ask Boris to go and meet with his wife, Yelena, and Yelena could say to him: 'No, I don't need a dog, I'll do what you like.'
“And then I'm sure that he would get her not only a dog but also an elephant, especially if she says it at the right time and in the right place. He might even promise her a fur coat,” he added.