In 1703, St Petersburg began to flourish. Though Russia had been through much turmoil, St. Petersburg, once Russia’s capital, began to triumph into a beautiful land full of history, art and culture. Part of St. Petersburg’s past and present is its affection and fondness for animals, which earn this city the Five Dog Bone Award for pet-friendly destination. The year of 2003 marked the 300-year anniversary of St. Petersburg.
One of the most influential rulers of Russia was Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great. A German princess by birth, Catherine married Peter III of Russia and became Empress after his death. She was considered an animal lover and always had dogs as pets during her reign. While she owned different breeds, her favorite was the Bichon Bolognese, a rare breed known for its lively and affectionate nature.
Catherine the Great inherited the Catherine Palace, built for Catherine I, and spent every summer there. The Great Pond holds many exquisite sites, but one site in particular is a little brown pyramid where she buried her pet dogs. Catherine the Great pampered her dogs until her death in 1776.
Catherine the Great ruled over Russia much like her predecessor, Peter the Great. Considered the true founder of St. Petersburg, Peter the Great was known for trying to lead Russia into a progressive nation. To honor his legacy, Catherine ordered a monument of Peter the Great to be constructed. Located in front of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman still stands proudly in St. Petersburg today and symbolizes Peter showing the way for Russia. A 19th century legend suggests that enemy forces will never overtake the city as long as the Bronze Horseman stands in the center of the city.
Whether history is captured inside a museum or among the beauty of St. Petersburg, it flows throughout Russia. From St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre, which features performances almost nightly, to the Shostakovich Philharmonic Hall located opposite of the Grand Hotel Europe, this city is bursting with artistic venues. Lucky Diamond was not only allowed, but welcomed with open arms into the Shostakovich Philharmonic Hall.
St. Petersburg’s history is surrounded by the city’s acceptance with animals. A definite sign is the Ptichiy Rynok, literally meaning, “Bird Market.” The Polyustrovskiy Market, a weekly farmer’s market, transforms itself into an animal frenzy during the weekend. From small puppies and kittens stuffed into coat pockets to purebred animals snuggled on top of one another, the market has several sites to see.
The Polyustrovskiy Market is split up into sections from amateurs, pet supplies, professional sellers, rare unique furs and a meat market. Several citizens gather at the market to take in the sight of rare and exceptional animals on display. Despite the cold, several tropical animals, including parrots, tropical fish and Chihuahuas are sold. The pet market is an event not many travelers encounter, so it is a must to see.
St. Petersburg possesses many beautiful works of art inside museums and historical buildings. Art is a fantastic way to experience and understand the history of St. Petersburg. The State Hermitage, located in the heart of St. Petersburg, spans across six magnificent buildings. This museum has collected over 3 million works of art that have been gathered throughout two and a half centuries.
The Hermitage has collected many artworks over the years, including those of Alexander Pushkin. Known as the “Shakespeare of Russia,” Pushkin is considered one of Russia’s most revolutionary poets. Many of St. Petersburg’s citizens still consider him to have an impact on Russian literature.
Another way to soak in St. Petersburg’s magnificence is to stay in one of the city’s luxurious hotels. When traveling, people expect hotels to accommodate their needs as well as their pets. The Grand Hotel Europe not only accommodates you, but also treats your pet like royalty. A reflection of old world elegance and décor, and located in the heart of St. Petersburg, the hotel captures the beauty of the city within itself. In 1999, the Grand Hotel Europe achieved the Five Star Diamond Award and continues to be praised by all who visit.
When planning a trip with your pet to St. Petersburg, selecting an airline that has a pet-friendly policy becomes a priority. Here is a list of airlines that fly to Russia and allow pets. The pet fee listed is based on flying from New York to Russia. For safe measure, always check with the airline prior to purchasing your ticket to confirm the pet regulations have not changed.
Finn Air earns a Five Dog Bone Award for pet-friendly airline, having fewer restrictions for bringing your animal and a staff who will spoil your pet. On a trip to St. Petersburg, Finn Air allows up to two small animals in the passenger cabin, as long as the carrier can fit underneath the seat in front of you for take-off and landing. The animal must weigh less than 18 pounds. The cost is $90 each way, payable on your arrival at the airport.
Aeroflot has a pet policy stating that on a trip from New York to St. Petersburg, your cat or dog must weigh less than 18 pounds in a carrier to be allowed in the passenger cabin. Otherwise, your pet must travel in the baggage carrier. No more than two dogs (or small animals) per passenger. The flying fee for your pooch is $216 for one way to Russia.
British Airways allows only cats and dogs to travel on the flight and they must be stowed in the baggage carrier. Animals are not permitted in the passenger cabin whatsoever. There are restrictions on the type of dogs allowed. All animals must be older than 10-12 weeks and no more than 6 weeks pregnant. Don’t wait until the last minute before requesting your animal on the flight! British Airways requires 14 days advanced notification. Also, know your pet’s measurements and weight, as well as the carrier, so they are able to properly equip your animal. From New York to Russia, the cost is $125 for one way.
Lufthansa allows only cats and dogs in the passenger cabin and your pet must weigh less than 13 pounds (with size restrictions) in the carrier. Cats and dogs weighing more than 13 pounds must go into the baggage carrier. Lufthansa suggests you sedate your pet during the flight, however, you should always consult with your veterinarian before the flight. The cost of traveling with your pet is $110 one way and varies on the way back from Russia.
Delta has a pet policy that changes from season to season. For instance, between the months of May and September, Delta does not allow your pooch in the baggage carrier. However, cats and dogs that weigh less than 18 pounds are allowed in the passenger cabin. All animals must be certified and up-to-date before traveling. From New York to Russia, the price of pet travel is $90 one way.
US Airways does not allow pets into the passenger cabin durring transatlantic flights, but does allow small animals under 18 pounds to travel in the baggage carrier. The price is $100 each way from New York to Russia. Other animals may be shipped by air cargo, however shipping is not available in all areas.
St. Petersburg is an amazing city where all citizens allow and embrace animals everywhere. From the local pizza joints to the philharmonic symphony, dogs are allowed to sit on their owners lap while enjoying whatever venue they are involved in. When asked about dogs being allowed in the hotel, the General Manager of the Grand Hotel Europe said, “It’s a free country.” In St. Petersburg, there is no better way to explain it.
Misha Lenn is an internationally acclaimed artist whose roots are in Russia. He received his Masters degree from the Academy of Art and Design located in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia. Lenn began drawing at the age of three and his artwork can be found all over the world. He has also donated many of his paintings to charities and non-profit organizations as a contribution to helping others.
Recently, Lenn reproduced his painting to commemorate February 2004 Westminster Kennel Club’s Annual Dog Show in New York City. The painting is filled with images of dogs and the New York lifestyle. The sale of the poster will be donated to the Animal Medical Center in New York.
“Misha has done a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Westminster,” Westminster Kennel Club’s President Peter R. Van Brunt said, “We are thrilled to have such a wonderful painting to represent Westminster’s rich heritage and exciting annual dog show.”
To learn more about the WKC, go to www.westminsterkennelclub.org
To see more of Misha’s works go to www.mishalenn.com
ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS FOLLOW YOUR NOSE
Everyone knows that humans suffer from a wide range of diseases including MS, epilepsy (including Parkinson’s disease), diabetes, brain trauma, severe stress and many others. But did you know that your pet can also suffer from these same illnesses? Russian medical researchers do and have been safely and effectively treating age-related dysfunctions and seemingly “untreatable” diseases in both animals and humans for years, thanks to a high-tech medical breakthrough known as Peptide Therapy. Patients receive non-toxic nose drops which increase not only quality of life, but life expectancy as well. Dr. Boris Voitenkov, a top Russian immunologist and developer of Peptide Therapy, says, “Luckily, all you need is a nose to really benefit from our treatment.”
“We don’t treat a single symptom of any disease or dysfunction, rather our treatments are based upon the idea that the body itself is infinitely more capable of treating itself provided that the primary regulatory systems are functioning normally and remain well-protected. After 25 years of research and 30 clinical trials, without even one adverse reaction,” he notes with a smile. “We have been able to identify, create and re-introduce key protectors back into the brain. These protectors are called peptides and the body produces fewer as we get older. We simply supplement the supply. In essence, we treat those systems that protect us and since the systemic makeup of an animal is the same to that of a human, it has been possible to treat our beloved pets as well,” explains Dr. Voitenkov.
According to Dr. Voitenkov, the processes of aging, disease and stress are inexorably linked: “Stress in humans and animals alike is nothing more than an increased demand for energy from the mitochondria in cells. It makes little difference as to the root of the stress—emotional, environmental, viral or bacteriological. Systemic stress speeds up the process of aging, reduces the effectiveness of our protective systems, makes us more susceptible to disease and leads to systemic disintegration, the number one cause of death in humans and animals. These protective peptides that we introduce inhibit necrosis and apoptosis of the main cells of the central nervous system.” (Translation—that’s premature cellular death to those of us without a medical degree!)
For Russian pet owners and animal enthusiasts this is good news and Russians are now treating their pets, including dogs, cats, pigs, cows and horses, to the benefits of Peptide Therapy. Russian dairy farmers claim their cows produce more milk with a bi-annual peptide treatment and race horse enthusiasts better get their stop watches ready because like fine tuning a car engine, Peptide Therapy means more horsepower.
Four-footed world travelers, like Lucky, will be pleased to find out that transport stress is greatly reduced by only a couple of sniffs of these non-toxic drops. “It is unfortunate that many pets have to be sedated when traveling. Not only are their systems thrown off, but with small dogs especially there is always the risk of an overdose,” notes Dr. Voitenkov. “Stress to both pet and owner can be alleviated, but only if the pet is willing to share their peptides.”
Ultra high-tech manufacturing to produce peptides that exactly mimic those found in the body doesn’t come cheap! Costing more than $2 million dollars per kilo for the raw peptides, everyone can count themselves lucky that the nose has neural patches that lead directly to the hypothalamus of the brain—the heart of the neuro-endocrine system, allowing a direct pathway to target centers. What does that mean to you and me? One dosage in Russia currently costs less than five dollars. How often do you need to take it? This depends on whether you and your pet are jet-setters or home and hearth types and whether you’re taking peptides to combat an illness or just to top up your system.
The bad news? Russian people and their pets are already in the know as far as peptides go and Russian pharmacies are finding it hard to keep peptides on their shelves. “As fast as I can manufacture these peptides, the demand is exceeding the supply by many times,” Dr. Voitenkov says as he shakes his head. “My cat, Froska, has a standing order however and is just lucky that she has good connections on the inside.”
For more information about Supplemental Peptide Therapy and how to acquire it, log onto www.deltaran.com or email us here at www.animalfair.com with your questions and comments.
FABERGE EASTER EGGS
In 1885, Tsar Alexander III presented the First Imperial Egg to his wife Dowager Empress Marie Fedorovna on their twentieth annivesary. Their son, Nicholas II, continued the tradition by odering two Faberge eggs each Easter. One egg was given to his mother, who had grown accustomed to the gift, and one was given to his wife, Empress Alexandra Fedorovna.
Materials like gold, agate, rubies, diamonds, pearls and many other precious stones with a perfected use of enamels decorated the eggs. Faberge used the egg only as the integument concealing a surprise inside. Production of these jewels lasted from 1884 until 1916, stopping due to the World War.
Malcolm S. Forbes became fascinated with the artwork by Faberge in 1965. He quickly began acquiring parts of the collection until he owned nine Faberge eggs along with other impressive pieces from the collection. Since the Forbes family placed their Faberge collecion on display throughout the world, a love affair between the American public and Russian art d’object has begun.
The Forbes family recently announced the Faberge treasures would be auctioned at Sotheby’s. However, before the auction took place, billionaire Victor Vekselberg purchased the entire collection for an undisclosed amount. The value of these creations is estimated at over $90 million.