"I would like to begin with a pleasant task. Recently you celebrated a happy occasion– your name day. Therefore, I heartily congratulate you, and wish you good health, success, and all the best of luck," Berdimuhamedow said at the start of his meeting with Putin in Sochi on Wednesday.
"We have a common friend – the one and only Central Asian Shepherd dog, and today I brought this little Central Asian Shepherd puppy with me," Berdimuhamedow added.
In the accompanying video, Berdimuhamedow is shown retrieving the puppy from his kennel and presented to Putin, who proceeds to pet him.
The name Verny is appropriate, given the breed's nature, Berdimuhamedow explained. "They [these dogs] are big, but loyal," he said.
In the course of the meeting, the Turkmen president stressed the importance of Russian-Turkmenistan bilateral relations, and of the two countries' contacts in the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On Wednesday, Russia is hosting a CIS summit. In addition to the Russian and Turkmen leaders, the event is being attended by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and the prime minister of Kyrgyzstan.
Verny will join the Russian leader's two other dogs. Vladimir Putin is known as an avid dog lover. In 2010, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov presented him with Buffy, a Bulgarian Shepherd. In 2012, the head of Japan's Akita prefecture presented him with an Akita Inu named Yume as a thank you gift for Russia's help following Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Yume ('Dream' in Japanese) got some media attention of her own last year after barking at Japanese media. "She is a strict dog," Putin said at the time, adding that she performs security functions.