The country’s rarest and tiniest dogs are set to make a king-size impact in Milton Keynes.
There are just 24 pedigree Russian Toy pooches in the UK – and a dozen of them will be coming to Walnut Tree on July 12.
The owners, who have shipped their pets in from as far afield as Lithuania and Latvia, are fighting to make the breed officially recognised by the Kennel Club.
To spread the word, they have invited animal lovers from all over the city to meet the character-filled canines at a special doggy picnic.
“They are amazing little dogs and we know people will fall in love with them,” said owner Julie Collins.
She had set up an owners’ club and a database to trace every Russian Toy in the UK.
“Though we have only 24 that have full sets of pedigree papers, we have found 120 more that are genuine Russian Toys but have no registration documents,” she said.
“It is often the case that people from Russia or Eastern Europe have come to live here and brought their pet with them – but they do not have the papers for it. Sadly, though the dogs are gorgeous, they cannot be officially recognised over here.”
First bred for Russian aristocrats, the breed became virtually extinct in the 1950s but is now making a comeback.
They stand between 8ins and 10ins tall and weigh around 2kg.
“They have long legs and long necks. We call them Bambi dogs,” said Julie.
“They are lively, intelligent, friendly and happy – everything you could wish for in a dog.”
Club members are now organising a breed programme to boost the Russian Toy numbers. They are also campaigning hard for the coveted Kennel Club recognition.
The picnic will be held in the afternoon at Walnut Pet supplies off Walton Road near Walnut Tree.
For more details of the breed see www.rtbcuk.co.ukwww.rtbcuk.co.ukwww.rtbcuk.co.ukwww.rtbcuk.co.uk