Ukrainian War: Touching Photo of Dog Carried to Safety by Family Fleeing War | World | News
The photo was taken by the dog’s owner, Alisa Teptiuk, as she fled her hometown and headed towards the Polish border. The German Shepherd, Pulya, is pictured being carried by Alisa’s husband, Dmytro, as they traveled the final part of the journey. Ms Teptiuk said she ‘couldn’t leave her behind’ because ‘Pulya is family’.
She described the German Shepherd as a “symbol of love, devotion, determination”, adding: “She represents our family, the lives we’ve had, the lives we’ve left behind. Pulya is our one constant in all this madness.”
Ms Teptiuk and her family fled kyiv by car, but encountered traffic jams when they were only 16 kilometers from the Polish border.
They decided to walk the rest but the 12 year old dog started struggling.
Speaking to DogsLive, Mr Teptiuk said: “We packed five adults, four children and our two dogs into a Peugeot 307 car and drove out of Kyiv.
“We filled every space, my mother, myself and my sister, our two husbands, the four children and the two big dogs Pulya and Kolt.
“We drove for 16 hours to a village about 90 miles from kyiv, then we stopped.”
That’s when the traffic stopped and they decided to walk.
Ms Teptiuk told Belfast Live: “As we got closer to the border there were lots of cars queuing and we were told it would take the next three or even five days to get to the border in car.
“We didn’t want to sit in a queue without shelter, in the open, open to attack.
“So we decided to walk the last 10 kilometres. We left at 4 a.m. It was minus seven degrees.
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“I stopped cars to ask for help but everyone refused.
“They told us to leave the dogs, to save our family. They didn’t understand, our dogs are our family too, Pulya is coming too.
“Pulya is no less of a family than anyone else. She has been through it all with us, good times, happy days, hard times, sadness and now war and exile.”
Ms Teptiuk added: “So we walked and when Pulya got tired, Dmytro lifted her on his shoulder and he carried her.
“I took a picture without thinking too much about it. I guess I just wanted to capture the moment.
“But now I know how special it is. It shows the world our love and devotion. We are just an ordinary family who love each other.
“Pulya weighed 37 kg when we started the walk. She is 35 kg now.
“When she couldn’t walk, Dmytro picked her up. She was so calm.
“I think she understood that we had to keep moving forward and she had to let us help her.
“She’s a beautiful dog. She reacted calmly when picked up, she didn’t struggle.
“You have to remember that she knows we are her family too and she trusts us completely.
“We arrived at the border, all 11 of the family, including the dogs, and rested for a few hours.
“We could see rows of red tents and a big crowd. A woman asked me to take her 11-year-old daughter – someone was waiting for her in Poland. Of course I agreed.”
While Ms Teptiuk and Pulya are safe, her husband and brother-in-law had to turn around and return to Ukraine following the mobilization order, banning all Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 to leave the country. .