Moldova's first dog nips Austrian president on the hand during official visit

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen had an unusual encounter during an official visit to Moldova when the country’s first dog, a rescue belonging to Moldovan President Maia Sandu, bit him on the hand.

Video footage from Moldovan media showed van der Bellen standing with Sandu and Codrut, her rescue dog, during his visit to the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, on Friday. When the Austrian president leaned down to pet Codrut, the dog snapped and briefly bit his hand.

“It was a small wound that was treated with a bandage,” van der Bellen’s office told the German news agency dpa, adding that the Austrian president “is doing well.”

Van der Bellen was meeting with Sandu and Slovenian President Natasa Pirc Musar to discuss Moldova’s bid to join the European Union.

The Austrian president posted about the incident on his Instagram page later Friday, acknowledging it “caused a bit of a stir.”

“Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a big dog lover and can understand his excitement,” van der Bellen said of Codrut the dog. “He was nervous because of all the people around him.”