17-Year-Old Syrian Refugee Walks 300 Miles to Safety With His Puppy in Tow: 'I Need Him'

This Syrian refugee left his old life behind as he fled for Greece but refused to abandon his best friend.

Seventeen-year-old Aslan walked more than 300 miles from Damascus, Syria with his belongings in a backpack and his puppy, Rose, in a red case. The tiny pup even has her own passport.

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He arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos and, in a video posted to Facebook by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), he described the importance of having his best friend by his side.

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, 19 September 2015


"I love this dog, I need him," he explained. "They said, 'You can't take your dog.' I have food and I have water, I have anything."

In the video, the tiny dog is seen drinking water from a cup.

A UNHCR spokesperson said it had seen many refugees carrying animals with them from the Middle East towards Europe.

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"When forced to flee home because of war, many people would never dream of leaving their pets behind," the agency said as it shared the video to Facebook.

More than 300,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece so far this year.

If you'd like to learn more about helping Syrian refugee families visit the UN's website here.

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