In Fall, 2009, I took a trip to Russia
with a People to People Ambassador’s group.
Traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg to the Baltic Sea, I became
captivated by this country. The beauty
and extravagance of the building within Red Square, the magical vision of St.
Basil’s Cathedral, the grandeur of Catherine’s Palace, and the opulence of the
Amber Room presented a sharp contrast to the bleak government buildings and
stark living quarters housing much of the population. As a rehabilitation professional, I was
dumbfounded to find services for the disabled citizens housed in buildings
circa early 1900’s, inaccessible to those confined to wheelchairs. But, within these walls, dedicated
professionals with indefatigable spirit worked hard to meet the needs of their
charges, and bring their services up to the standards that we in the USA and
many other countries take for granted.
During my trip, I learned of the many
difficulties, trials, and barriers these wonderful people encountered under the
previous governmental regime. But even
while living under the most restrictive of conditions, they continued to try to
make their lives better. As I rode along
the streets of Moscow, I saw the buildings that once housed the communal
apartments of the USSR. Now privatized,
the people have been allowed to purchase their apartments. Along the outsides of these drab buildings,
you can see plywood “porches” built outside of windows to house grills and hibachis,
along with plants and other decorations.
It is through these people that the
Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka originated.
These Russian Fur Babies lived side by side with the Russian worker,
existing in a crowded, cramped apartment, sharing meals with strangers, and
finding joy, happiness and delight regardless of the circumstances. Each time I look at these little jewels of
Russia, I am thankful for what I have here, and for all of the blessings we
have in the USA.
But, I have to warn you….. Bolonkas are
like potato chips….
It’s impossible to stop with JUST