When a 17-year-old boy was forced to leave his home in war-torn Syria, he brought only the essentials: a small backpack filled with food and water and his puppy, Rose. The boy, named Aslan, told the UN Refugee Agency he has walked more than 300 miles during his trip from Damascus to the Greek island of Lesbos, ensuring that his dog was with him for every single step.
“I love my dog,” he said in a video posted on the UN Refugee Agency’s Facebook page. “I need [her].”
In the short clip, Aslan proudly shows a passport with Rose’s name on it and reassures the person filming him that he could take care of her.
“I have food, I have water, I have anything,” he said.
“We’ve seen many like him carrying their animals with them on the long journey from Syria, across the Mediterranean Sea and through Europe,” the agency wrote on Facebook. “When forced to flee home because of war, many people would never dream of leaving their pets behind.”
Recently, a Syrian man also traveling to Greece made headlines by bringing his kitten along for the journey.
In the UN Refugee Agency video, Aslan tenderly minds to his pet, cupping his hands to allow her to drink and gingerly picking her up to place her in a small plastic carrier. “Good luck,” a man says to him as he secures Rose’s crate and turns to carry her down a narrow road lined with other refugees.
Although their journey is uncertain, the love that this boy has for his dog is unquestionable. Good luck, to both of them.