Passport

Where, oh where, have Musharraf’s little dogs gone?

Earlier this year, Passport reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a “secret” poodle, Tosya, whom he has kept hidden ever since news of the poodle made some Russian men perceive him as a wimp. Now it turns out that Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, may also have secret canines. They’re “secret” for a reason that ...

Earlier this year, Passport reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a “secret” poodle, Tosya, whom he has kept hidden ever since news of the poodle made some Russian men perceive him as a wimp. Now it turns out that Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, may also have secret canines. They’re “secret” for a reason that has nothing to do with a need to be seen as macho, however. In fact, in his autobiography, In the Line of Fire, Musharraf revealed that he likes his pooches pint-sized:

I prefer small dogs, though, not the huge ones. This surprises my friends, for they expect a commando to have something like a rottweiler. I think people who keep rottweilers, and similar dogs, have a need to cultivate a macho image.

Musharraf seems to have “disappeared” his dogs over the years because many Muslims consider dogs to be dirty animals, especially extremist Muslims he was under pressure to appease.

Shortly after taking over Pakistan, Musharraf unabashedly appeared in photos holding two Pekingese, Dot and Buddy. When a reporter asked him if the dogs’ breed hinted at his foreign policy, he said, “Absolutely, we have always had a special relationship with China.” (And this relationship appears to have strengthened in recent times.)

But where are Dot and Buddy now? Is Musharraf just keeping them out of the spotlight, or has he gotten rid of them for good? Scottish Terrier and Dog News, the authoritative source on canine matters, has been investigating the “little-covered canine angle” of Pakistan’s state of emergency and wants to hear from anyone who can provide information regarding the whereabouts of Dot and Buddy. If you know anything, please e-mail Scottish Terrier and Dog News so we’ll no longer be hounded by the question of where Musharraf’s dogs are.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP