September 1, 2011

The Green Dog

When I first saw the works by Zhoy Chunya, I immediately remembered one particular story.
Perhaps this is a legend that appeared in the Soviet Union at the time of the strict censorship in all printed materials of the nation. Very often, it was the editor who carried out the role of the censor. And, very often, it was the editor’s personal attitude towards the author that determined whether the book would and the illustrations to it would be approved. In one of the most prominent Soviet publishing companies, there was an editor that everybody was afraid of. There was also an illustrator, who often had to submit his projects to her. This illustrator would always draw a green dog; he would put one in each work, regardless of the subject of the book he was illustrating. Whenever the editor would find yet another green dog on the illustration, she would become irate. They would start arguing over it, and the arguments would continue for extended periods of time. Finally, each time, the illustrator would give in, and, reluctantly, he would remove the green dog from the project. This routine went on many times.

When this illustrator was asked why he keeps on drawing the green dog, he explained that it was his scheme. The editor would become so exhausted by his insistence to include the dog that she would have no strength left to continue the discussion in order to find anything anti-government in the illustrations. 

The green dog is the symbol of what shouldn’t be.

Today, I would like to offer you a series of photos, which are united by the subject of “the person and the dog”. There are no green dogs present among them, but each dog has a specific personality and mood.


  1. Oh, I so much love the sleeping dog. Wonderful!

  2. Fascinating story of the green dog.
    Your person and dog series is delightful. You captured so many wonderful images!

  3. I'll be darned, Olga. You wrote that post just for me, didn't you? ;-) You know how much I love dogs! My favorite is the last one, the French Bulldog. Have always loved them. Thank you for another good story with great photos. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  4. I have many green dogs in my life! Thank you Olga. I am going to share the story with my boys!

  5. i love the pics of people and their dogs. Very interesting green dog story too!

  6. that story is just fantastic - it reminded me of all the essays and novels I used to read about people's experiences of communism when I studied European Studies. Thanks for this olga, you always have such illuminating posts.

  7. Oh my goodness the sleeping family dog is my favorite. I enjoy your artful nuances-is it the soviet upbringing or is it innate? Very nice post. =)

  8. Merci, Olga, pour ton étonnante et intéressante histoire! Et puis, tes jolies photos nous démontrent que le chien est vraiment le meilleur ami de l'homme.
    Bonne journée!

  9. I think that if I were a dog I would like to be green too :-)

  10. Hello Olga:
    We were absolutely fascinated by the story of the Green Dog and can so easily believe the truth of it. We could point to similar absurdities which were part of daily life in Hungary before what is rather euphemistically described as the regime change. But we do wonder if anyone who has no experience of these things can ever really comprehend the paranoia of the state and the ways in which controls were exercised, and still are to an extent, on a daily basis?

    We very much like the way you have linked today's series of images to the original thought of the Green Dog.

  11. Loved the story of the green dog. It's fascinating how during repressive regimes people's desire to protest results in such amazing creativity.

  12. molto particolare la storia del cane verde:)
    io potessi li vorrei di tutti i colori, perché ciò che danno è molto più del tesoro che si trova alla fine di un arcobaleno :)
    felice we

  13. What wonderful dog personalities!
    I loved the green dog story - brilliant illustrator to think up this scheme. No, things should not be so, but I admire each person who manages to get round restrictions such as these.

  14. Hello, Olga

    Awe inspiring your works...
    It lets me feel warmth with the humanity.

    Thank you for your usual visit and heart.

    Have a good weekend.
    From Saga, Japan.
    ruma ✰

  15. I love the green dog story! I must remember that one...

  16. Great pooch pics, Olga! I am such a dog person.
    (And I love the "green dog" story/lesson. Smart.)

  17. yes, we had the same with cenzorship here:(
    I do like the green dog.
    Do you belive that the owners become similar to their dogs? I mean physically, in Poland we have ven such a proverb

  18. I love dog's! Very beautiful "green dog".

  19. Com muito carinho desejo um
    abençoado final de semana.
    Alegria ,saúde e paz no coração.
    Bjs,De paz e luz.
    Eu amo cachorro e minha hoje terá dia da rainha
    onde toma banho por ser boazinha.
    Estou seguindo seu blog.

  20. Very interesting story. Olga.
    Here is a popular phrase is said ... "You're rarer than a green dog"
    Beautiful pictures of dogs with their owners.
    Greetings and good weekend. Laura

  21. I like dogs too!
    The dog on picture number five is very small lol

  22. Fantastic photos. I have had dogs (and other animals) all my life and how I miss them. Just too expensive and a tie but maybe one day I will get another one. Have a great weekend Diane

  23. Какая интересная история про зеленую собаку! Не слышала такой. и иллюстратор умный, переведи внимание на другое, да? я не знаю насчет собак, немного их побаиваюсь. мне нужна большая собака, но не знаю как бороться с запахом.(можел какая порода пахнет меньше?)

  24. Ольга, спасибо за историю, никогда не слышала о ней!
    Мне всегда нравились собаки, но, с тех пор как у нас появилась Лилу, я их безоговорочно люблю!

  25. As always I do enjoy your stories of Russia, and the green dog story is no exception. You have cleverly then gone on with wonderful photographs of dogs and their owners. I like these themes very much Olga so thank you.

  26. An interesting story about the green dog and lovely photos of humans and their doggie friends.
    xoxoxo ♡

  27. An eye looking life around!! Congratulations from Mhanna, my black pooddle, and I.

  28. I love the way you see the things of life!
    You're special!
    Warm hugs from Brasil.

  29. I always find people and their dogs fascinating together. Some dogs fit so perfectly the personality of their owners, and vise versa. Love the green dog story. Fantastic.

  30. what a great story; like many, this illustrator tried with to make a difference. I wonder why a dog and why green; though...

  31. Belas fotografias de lindos animais...Espectacular....

  32. Hi R. Jacob,
    This was indeed a very personal moment, but I couldn't help capturing it.

    Hi Laura,
    Dogs are always so expressive and likeable that it's impossible not to photograph them.

    Hi Veronique,
    This post is partially for you. You have revealed my secret - I am preparing a special post about the dog just for you.

    Hi Misty Meadows,
    I'm glad you liked this post. I also have one green dog :)

    Hi 1-2Punch,
    I'm also happy that I recalled this story :)

  33. Hi Nikki,
    I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for visiting :) Dogs are great!

    Hi hila,
    In those olden days of the Soviet Union, there were many bizarre happenings that would be unimaginable in any other context.

    Hi Sandy,
    I think it's nature and nurture working together :)

    Hi Richard,
    Je ne suis pas sûr que j'ai complètement exprimé la relation entre les chiens et les gens. Mais je suis content que vous me donnez du crédit. Passez une bonne journée aussi super!

    Hi Pet,
    If I were a dog, my colour would have been lilac. As a cat, I would prefer to be the same colour as my Deniska; white and orange, with stripes.

  34. Hi Jane and Lance Hattatt,
    You're absolutely right. Paranoia was so overdeveloped that it would seem completely absurd in this day and age. At that time, it was the reality of everyday life.

    Hi Sarah,
    This is just one example of how people fought to survive during that regime. There is an endless number of these stories. You could be imprisoned for listening to The Beatles!

    Hi chaillrun,
    Sarebbe stato divertente, se i cani erano di tutti i colori:) Mi piace questa idea.

    Hi aguja,
    I will try to share some stories of my friends, especially artists, who used ingenious methods to survive in the Soviet regime.

    Hi ruma,
    Thank you for visiting and for your kind words :) Have a great week!

  35. Hi Talli,
    I have plenty of such stories. Just give me time!

    Hi Rick,
    I am a dog, cat, and all other animals person! But dogs have their special charm.

    Hi Ola,
    I agree with you completely. It's amazing how the dogs and their owners tend to resemble each other. Sometimes even their walk is similar.

    Hi Antonio,
    Thank you for your visit, and your lovely words :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Hi Evanir,
    Obrigado pela sua visita e suas amáveis ​​palavras. Eu estarei te seguindo também!

  36. Hi Laura.M,
    I never knew this phrase, but I think it's great. Thank you. I'm glad you liked the story.

    Hi Fabio,
    We have this well-known guy in Toronto, who can be seen walking around the Lake Shore with about fifteen small dogs.

    Hi Diane,
    It's even expensive to have a cat. I can't imagine the cost of keeping dogs.

    Hi kopeechki,
    Среди моих знакомых много собачников. Они говорят, что надо выбирать соаку с волосами ( пудель), а не с шерстью, чтобы не было запаха.

    Hi Sergio,
    Thank you very much. Dogs are lovely indeed :)

    Hi patatinka,
    Лилу - красотка и прелесть! Наверное, шагу не можете ступить без комплиментов.

  37. Hi Dolly,
    I always pictured you as a cat person :) Russian tales of the past appear absurd and exaggerated today, but they're absolutely true, and I am planning to continue sharing them.

    Hi Diane,
    Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

    Hi artebaiao,
    Say hi to your Mhanna! Thank you for visiting.

    Hi teca,
    I'm glad you like my stories. I enjoy sharing them, as well as my photos.

    Hi Doug,
    I think that people choose their dogs to suit their personality. Then they adapt to each other, and become one whole :)

    Hi Jorge,
    These stories took place extremely often among artists, in order to express their ideas one way or another.

    Hi Fernando,
    Thank you for your visit. I'm glad you enjoyed my post :)

  38. Those were wonderful! I love that bond that people have with dogs. I don't have one myself--too busy to give one the attention it needs.

  39. Οlga, I love dogs, I have two wolves dogs, named Lara and Fidel.They are beautiful and they are playing together.Kisses from Greece.

  40. Hi Lydia,
    I think that busy people need to work really hard to make their dog happy, because a pet also requires attention and care.

    Hi Φανή Παπαγεωργίου, Ζωγράφος,
    I really love the names of your dogs :) I'd like to see their photos.

  41. Hi Ekaterina Trayt,
    I am every single object, thing or person paparazzi :)