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Statue being made for hero dog who braved the floods alone

By The Siberian Times Reporter
31 March 2015

Tribute for Druzhok who swam back to his own home to protect it against the rising tide of water, and became a symbol of hope.

Heroic Druzhok became known around the world after returning to his home to guard it against the rising tide of cold water. Picture: Yelena Andreeva

A statue is being made to commemorate the brave dog who became a symbol of the floods that swept across the Russian Far East two years ago.

Heroic Druzhok – which means 'Little Friend' in English – became known around the world after returning to his home to guard it against the rising tide of cold water.

His house in the village of Vladimirovka was one of thousands submerged by the worst floods to hit the Amur region in 120 years, with an area almost as large as Texas and California combined affected.

The four-year-old dog had originally escaped to safety with his family, the Andreevs, but after three days suddenly vanished. He was found back on the doorstep of his own home trying to keep the water out, and refused to leave until his owners came to take him to safety.

Now in tribute to his bravery the local newspaper Amurskaya Pravda and Russian TV Channel 1 have commissioned a statue in his honour.

The trophy is being made using 400kg of bronze by prominent local sculptor Nikolay Karnabeda and will be placed on the new waterfront of the Amur River at Blagoveshchensk. It will show the dog standing with its front paws on the parapet looking out to the river.

It is currently in the workshop of businessman Alexander Dubko who is going to do some welding work on it before it is passed to Nikolay to complete.

Nikolay said the sculpture will be slightly larger than Druzhok is in real life.

Symbol of flood


Symbol of flood


Nikolay Karnabeda

Druzhok statue is currently in the workshop of businessman Alexander Dubko who is going to do some welding work on it before it is passed to Nikolay Karnabeda to complete. Pictures: Amurskaya Pravda

He said: 'Any sculptor knows that if you put a copied sculpture next to the original, the copy will seem lifeless and a little smaller than the original. I do not know why it seems so, probably there is some aura that visually makes a living being a bit bigger. But I am aiming to have a great likeness. I have studied photos of this wonderful dog.

'Today not everyone can boast of such loyalty, such love, so I tried to convey not only the formal resemblance, but the mood.  You see Druzhok raising his foreleg. It is evident that he is not just sitting but he is waiting.

'And he's not simply waiting for the end of the flood, but waiting for the moment when the owners return. This is a sense of expectation and I wanted to show this.'

Druzhok, a cross between a Caucasian Shepherd and a stray, came to the Andreev family six years ago as a puppy having been bought by a friend.

When the flood hit their home at 4am, they had no time even to save any of their belongings and fled as quickly as they could. They simply took their dog and drove to the top of a hill before deciding to go and stay with relatives in a 5ft floor apartment.

Druzhok was left outside at ground level guarding their truck and sleeping underneath it at night. But after three days he went missing, only to be found back at his own flooded house.

At the time, his owner Elena said their pet had swum back at night, perhaps thinking his family - the couple live with their son, daughter and granddaughter - had returned and needed guarding. 

Druzhok the loyal dog flooding 2013


Druzhok the loyal dog flooding 2013


Symbol of flood

The ultimate loyalty. Druzhok the dog is pictured guarding the house up to his neck in water.  Pictures: Yelena Andreeva

'It was deep there. He could not run, he had to swim,' she said. 'The dog stood on the top step of the porch in the cold water all night.

'We sailed into the yard and saw him. He was standing there and trembling, but wouldn't move away from his place. But when he saw us he was so happy. We took him into the boat and he rushed to lick us. We all were so happy.

'Then we saw some rescuers sailing toward us. 'Is it your dog?' they asked. 'He won't allow us into the house and refuses to let us take him to safety'.'

After such stress, they decided not to leave him alone. His bravery came to light when Elena posted the 'Druzhok Rescue Operation' on his own social network page.

Druzhok the loyal dog flooding 2013


Vladimirovka village flooding 2013


Vladimirovka village flooding 2013


Vladimirovka village flooding 2013

'It is a symbol of steadfastness and courage of people, who survived the terrible flood, and a symbol of patriotism and loyalty.' Pictures: Amurskaya Pravda, Yelena Andreeva

'People started writing from all over the world and offered help,' she said. 

Alexander Scherbinin, the director of the publishing house behind Amurskaya Pravda, said: 'This is not just a monument to the dog, though, without a doubt, Druzhok, who was standing for two days in the cold water, to protect the house, deserves it. It is a symbol of steadfastness and courage of people, who survived the terrible flood, and a symbol of patriotism and loyalty.'

Comments (3)

I'm a cold war Army vet- your 'Communist' comment is unwelcome. I love dogs- they're all hero's especially this dog. I'm glad the family and best friend are reunited and safe. I hope someday America and Russia will be best friends too. Nice story, thanks for sharing and take care.
Jacob, New York, USA
06/06/2016 01:03
0
0
Beautiful story about a wonderful dog. Such loyalty. I wish he was mine! Thanks for sharing, great photos too. I hope everyone has recovered from the flooding now. Best wishes.
Rob, Canberra, Australia
02/04/2015 09:55
1
0
Communists not only exiled best people to Siberia, but their dogs as well...
evan luke thomas, california USA
31/03/2015 20:39
5
0
1

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