Vaska has arrived
Tolstoy is acknowledged to have used Davydov, the romantic partisan cavalryman and poet, as a model for the character of Nicholai Rostov's brother-in-arms Vaska Denisov, but it's obvious he took at least part of the name from the Cossack cavalry commander Orlov-Denisov, who was both more prominent and more conventional than Davydov.
The fellow on the left was a Don Cossack, the one on the right, though he rode with Cossacks, was apparently not ethnically one himself. The one in the middle is proving to be a perfect little Tatar, and that's what I was hoping for. The character in "War and Peace" for whom he is named is a sidekick in the got-your-back sense of the Sundance Kid rather than in the whatever-you-say-boss sense of Sancho Panza.
Vaska flew into Burlington Thursday night, just in time for a holiday photo promotion Saturday to support the dog park that he won't be allowed to visit until after his next round of puppy shots on the 28th. Meanwhile, we're taking walks at another, less potentially infectious, park to try to work off some of the energy of this little fellow.
The first night, he slept fairly well, but that was apparently the result of a long day of airplanes and airports coming up from Orlando. Friday night, he regaled the house all night long with rousing choruses of the dog folksong, "I Do Not Wish To Be In This Crate." And the house next door as well, apparently, since on Saturday the neighbor commented, across the fence and two driveways that separate us, that he had figured I had a new puppy after hearing the commotion the night before. Yes, in winter with all windows closed.
And Saturday's holiday shoot was a pretty good demonstration of why we should all be happy that human babies are not terribly mobile, because a nine-week-old puppy is very much a baby and we ended up with a great many out-of-focus shots of a 19-pound puppy running around pulling up the fluffy cotton floor spread, attacking the decorative stuffed animals and attempting to undecorate the tree, before we finally got a few of him sitting still without a restraining hand in the shot.
On the other hand, he is wonderfully social and was pleased to greet everyone at the store, and I have no doubt that he will be very nice to walk down the street with.
Assuming he eventually comes to realize the difference between a leashed dog and a roped calf.