In Russia, it is common to see dogs riding the subways on their own. Russians love these canines and never throw them off. Riding the subways is the reward Russian dogs earned for their great sacrifices during World War II. During the War, Russian dogs were used to destroy German tanks. The dogs had magnetic bombs strapped to their bodies and were trained to run at full speed at a German tank. When the dog got close to the tank, the magnetic bomb automatically detonated, killing the dog and destroying the tank. Dogs were also used for tracking, search and rescue. In desperate situations dogs were killed and the dog meat used to feed starving Russians.
Modern people in American and Western Europe are horrified when they hear of this World War II cruelly towards Russian dogs. However, it is impossible for these modern people to even imagine what World War II was like for the Russians. Approximately 15% of the entire Russian population died in the War, when the death toll was counted not in thousands but in millions.
Russians had always loved dogs, and they vowed that after the war they would repay all Russian dogs with absolute freedom. Hence the rise of the Russian subway dogs. These clever canines have learned to navigate the complex systems. They use them to avoid the cold and even to commute from the suburbs to the cities.
When the dog commuters get to the city the use clever tricks to get food. Dogs have learned to work in teams when they see a person get food from a street vendor. One dog will sneak up behind the person and bark loudly just as the person gets the food. The startled person usually jumps and drops the food. Then a second dog waiting in front of the person grabs the food from the street and runs off with it. The barking dog then follows the dog in front and the two meet up to share the food. If only humans could work with such precision teamwork.
So if you are ever in a Moscow subway, don’t be surprised if a dog climbs up onto the seat next to you like it owns the place. Remember that Russian dogs shed blood to earn their seats on the subway. The Russian people have not forgotten.