Monuments to man’s four-legged friend have been erected in various cities around the world to commemorate their devotion and loyalty, their feats and contributions to science. In Moscow, not far from the Institute of Military Medicine, there is a sculpture commemorating the first living creature to go into space – a dog named Laika. The monument is made of bronze in the form of a large rocket that turns into an open palm, on which there is a figure of a dog. And at the entry of the Institute of Experimental Medicine territory there is a monument to the nameless dog of Pavlov, who gave his life for the sake of science. It is difficult to imagine how hard it is for a blind person to navigate in space. Four-legged friends – guide dogs come to help him. Their hard work is immortalized in the form of a monument in Berlin.
The main quality of a dog that evokes respect and reciprocity is loyalty, and namely for this feature there have been erected monuments to a four-legged friend in several countries. In the Italian city of Borgo San Lorenzo, the dog Fido went to the train for 14 years to meet his beloved owner, who was no longer alive. People erected a monument in its memory, so that the dog, looking hopefully into the eyes of passers-by, would remind those who are always in a hurry that feelings and relationships are most important. This story is known to everyone who is familiar with the famous film about Hachiko – a dog which two wonderful films were made about – Japanese and with Richard Gere in the title role. A sculpture of Hachiko meets everyone on the platform of Shibuya station in Japan. There is a similar monument in Edinburgh – a small Terrier Bobby, as well as in Tolyatti, where there is a monument to the dog Konstantin, who waited seven years for the dead owners, believing that they were about to come for him.
In Paris, there is a monument to Saint Bernard Barry, who saved several dozen people in the snow-covered Alps. The dog lived at the monastery, and the servants after each storm sent him in search of climbers. Barry found people trapped in the snow, warmed them with his warmth, and took them to the temple. In gratitude to him, a sculpture was installed in order to be known and remembered by many generations. In Alaska, it is known a different story. The leader of the dog sled Balto provided invaluable help to people: sled dogs in the most difficult weather conditions delivered a vaccine against diphtheria to the city, managing to save residents from a deadly infection. Now in the small town of Nome in Alaska, as in Central Park in New York, there is a monument to the brave dog.
Another monument in New York is dedicated to the K-9 service dogs that successfully draw their duty. The search for criminals, work in extreme situations, the rescue of people during natural disasters – nothing is impossible for the strong and loyal dogs! And in Volgograd there is a monument to demolition dogs. They gave their lives during World War II, exploding up enemy tanks.
On November 10, the Turkmen Alabai monument, installed in Ashgabat, was added to this sculpture gallery of loyal friends of man. Alabai is a national treasure and a source of special pride of the Turkmen people, its faithful assistant and defender, who accompanied people throughout the centuries-old history. Alabai is one of the oldest purebred breeds of dogs with excellent fighting and guard qualities. Dogs of this breed are not only brave, but also smart, as well as extremely loyal to their owner, and therefore are considered almost family members.
The fifteen-meter monument, located on an area of thirty-six square meters, embodies great respect and reverence for the unparalleled courage and great good heart of these wonderful animals, emphasizes their significance and role in the historical fate of the nation and in the life of Turkmens. The monumental dog reaches six meters in height, and the height of the pedestal with information about the Alabaies from antiquity to the present day, is nine meters. The majestic sculpture reflects the distinctive character traits of Alabaies – dignity and confidence. Fixed up at a roundabout along one of the central avenues of the Turkmen capital, the monument is perfectly visible from all sides and is noticeable from afar.