World leaders, they're just like us... only more petty and childish apparently. Reuters pulls this tidbit out of former President George W. Bush's forthcoming book, Decision Points:
Bush says he had introduced then-Russian President Putin to his Scottish terrier, Barney, on a visit to the U.S. presidential retreat, Camp David.
Putin returned the favor when Bush visited Russia and Putin was giving him a tour of the grounds of his dacha.
"A big black Labrador came charging across the lawn. With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, 'Bigger, stronger, faster than Barney,'" Bush writes. A copy of the book was obtained by Reuters.
Bush says he later told the story to the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, who replied: "You're lucky he only showed you his dog."
Putin actually seems not to have done his homework here. Bush, who made his White House staff star in a series of truly painful Christmas videos starring Barney and Miss Beazley, clearly wasn't embarrassed by his dogs. The old labrador retriever trick worked like a charm on Angela Merkel, but to really freak out Bush, Putin should have proposed a horseback ride.
Update: It seems FP's Preeti Aroon was all over this story way back in 2007.
Artyom Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images