Syrian Refugee Refuses to Flee Without Dog

The road to freedom for 17-year-old Aslan would have been nonexistent without his dog Rose.

I love my dog!

“Some people will ask – you have only a small bag?””Yes.””And you bring your dog?””Yes.””Why?””I love my dog!”Many animal lovers will relate to this 17-year-old boy from Damascus, Syria. And we’ve seen many like him carrying their animals with them on the long journey from Syria, across the Mediterranean Sea and through Europe. When forced to flee home because of war, many people would never dream of leaving their pets behind.

Posted by UNHCR on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Many of us would never think to leave our dogs behind if we moved across country, to another state, to another city or even just across the street. Leaving our dogs would not be an option. Aslan, a Syrian refugee, felt the same.

At 17, Aslan fled Damascus, Syria because of war. For part of his journey to Greece, he traveled 500 kilometers (around 311 miles) on foot, carrying his dog, Rose, with him. He even brought a passport for Rose. Aslan was told repeatedly that he couldn’t bring his dog to freedom, but he couldn’t leave her behind. When asked why, his response was, “I love my dog!”



Rose no doubt brought solace to Aslan during his journey, and will likely continue to do so.


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