August 8, 2022

The 12-and-a-half year old German shepherd was struggling to walk

A Ukrainian woman escaping her war-torn country had to carry her elderly dog for 10 miles in freezing conditions.

Alisa, 35, told the Guardian about her harrowing journey escaping Ukraine with her two dogs and family.

She worked for a German company that helped her leave the country for Poland with her family and two large dogs, including the elderly German shepherd.

“We drove for 16 hours to a village about 140km from Kyiv…We decided to leave the village later in the morning because it was dangerous, even there,” Alisa said.

Alisa was one of nine crammed into her Peugeot 307 but when they got close to the Polish border they decided to make the rest of the journey on foot as they couldn’t stay in the car for the “next three – or five – days.”

So they walked 10 miles at 4am in minus seven-degree weather.

The family’s 12 and a half year old German shepherd, was struggling to walk though and “fell down every kilometre.”

Elisa said: “I stopped cars and asked for help but everyone refused; they advised us to leave the dogs. But our dogs are part of our family.

“My dog has experienced all the happy and sad moments with us. Mum’s dog is all she has left of her former life. So my husband, at times, carried our dog on his shoulders.”

When they reached the border with Poland though, her husband couldn’t cross the border “because of his age and the mobilisation order.”

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People have been praising Alisa for her bravery and love for her family and pets.

One Twitter user wrote: “I’m sobbing. Even more amazing to me, is that in all the photos and videos I’ve seen, the dogs seem to understand and will let themselves be carried.

“I don’t think I could lift my 85 lb girl, but I couldn’t leave her behind.”

Another said photos like this were “testament to the love and kind heartedness of the Ukrainians.”

A third said it showed how “pets are family in good times and war times.”

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