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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mystery of Putin's Pet Poodle Solved

President Vladimir Putin has put to rest one of the most inscrutable mysteries surrounding his leadership — what happened to his pet poodle.

The white, bushy-tailed pooch first appeared soon after Boris Yeltsin's resignation catapulted Putin into the Kremlin. But lately the poodle has not been seen and has been replaced by a more manly black Labrador.

Asked at the Kremlin news conference Wednesday what had happened to the white dog, Putin said: "She dyed her hair. She's a girl. Girls dye their hair."

He then revealed the true answer to the mystery. "It's a completely new dog. Nothing happened to the old one. She's alive and well. It's my wife and my kids' dog, we even got another one, just like it, white," the president said. "We now have a full-blown kennel. But this one is my dog, and I spend more time with it."

He said Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu had given him the Labrador. The ministry uses Labradors as rescue dogs.