We all saw the tragic terrorist attacks that took place in Paris. During the height of these attacks, the Police Nationale and secret service agents had Abdelhamid Abaoud under siege on Saint-Denis. Abaoud was suspected of being the mastermind behind the attacks. During the siege, a suicide bomber detonated her vest, resulting in the instant death of a beloved canine member of the special operations team, Diesel. Now Moscow has offered Paris a very special gift to show their solidarity in the face of the terrorist attacks.
Diesel was a bomb sniffing dog, who had been performing her duty to ensure that the area was safe for her friends. In doing so, the gentle hero pictured below bore the brunt of the attack. In doing so, Diesel almost undoubtedly saved the life of (at least) her handler, according to Le Parisien newspaper.
Diesel’s sacrifice has resulted in an outpouring of love, support, and grief from around the world, with the hashtags #JeSuisChien and #JeSuisDiesel. Among the thousands who commemorated Diesel’s courage were Russian K-9 handlers:
But Moscow has decided to make a symbolic gesture above and beyond an Instagram hashtag. They’re sending their European friends one of their own four-legged heroes. Well, perhaps little Dobrynya will have some growing up to do before he can really step into Diesel’s pawprints… but we trust he has the big heart to follow in his heroic French cousin’s footsteps… just check out these photos from Elena Alekseeva (the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs):
Sure, this little guy might be more interested in cuddles, balls, and tug of war right now, and he might look like a fluffy little bear cub…
But Dobrynya will grow into an intelligent, protective Alsatian (better known in the United States as a German Shepherd), a breed quite similar to Diesel’s, who was a Belgian Malinois.
The little pup, who will need to undergo an examination and quarantine before trading his Russian passport for a French one, is named after Dobrynya Nikitich, pictured on the left:
Dobrynya is an important figure in Russian folklore—a peasant who became an epic knight after slaying a deadly three-headed dragon, the Zmey Gorynych.
Alekseyeva explains that the knight is “a symbol of strength, kindness, valour, and selfless help,” truly an ideal description of the types of dogs that give of themselves in service to their human friends. Choosing a pup with such a heroic name to commemorate Diesel is certainly an honor in and of itself. The move also represents Russia’s commitment to the West in the face of terrorism, an important diplomatic statement, considering ongoing tensions between the two.
Undoubtedly, Diesel would be happy to know that her friends on the force, whom she’d spent seven years protecting, will have such a gallant little knight in shining armor to look after them in her absence.