Aslan and Rose, owner and dog, a pair who at first glance appear like many others. A smiling boy and a lively husky filmed walking down the road; very normal behaviour for every owner and their pet. However, what they are experiencing in this case is considerably different: escape from a war-torn country to start over somewhere new.
Aslan and Rose: the story
In the midst of a real humanitarian crisis there have been many special stories about the people compelled to make the exodus from their homes to save their own lives. Photographers, reporters and cameramen have been the witnesses and the web and social networks have been the amplifiers, as proved by the story of Aslan and Rose, protagonists of a video spread by the UN Refugee Agency. Little more than a minute of video accompanied by a short interview tell the tale of this 17-year-old Syrian boy on his difficult journey from Damascus to the Greek Island of Lesvos. All the things that would discourage many adults from attempting the feat did not put off the teenager who never thought to abandon little Rose: “I love this dog, I need him, I walked for 500km with him,” he said.
Dog and owner together, in spite of everything
For the boy, any personal comfort items were secondary to those needed to transport and care for his four-legged friend: his dog’s passport, carry-kennel and sufficient food for this long and unpredictable journey. His determination to bring his dog along forced sceptics to quiet their criticism. He explained his actions simply, saying: “Because I love my dog.” Modest words that speak volumes in relation to statistics about the abandonment of pets during the holidays. Aslan and other refugees who crossed the sea with their pets during this crisis, not only teach us that anything is possible if we are determined enough, but from our four-legged friends’ point of view, taking them on this journey was a certainty from the start: the choice to share their life with a pet is a responsibility which involves affection, care and a lifetime of loyalty.