A Ukrainian woman named Alisa Teptiuk drove 16 hours with her family to the border of Poland to escape the Russian bombing of Kiev but when she arrived at the border town, because she refused to leave behind her German Shepherd, she wasn’t allowed to get on the bus and was told that she would have to walk.
Teptiuk said that during the harrowing trek, it was only 19.4°F, but those were only the tip of the iceberg when it came to her troubles.
She was also with her children and husband and it’s almost certain that long walks in the snow, in freezing conditions, with young children, at 4 a.m. is the last thing any parent wants to do. Even worse, we can’t fail to mention that the dog in question, a German Shepherd Dog named Pulya, is a senior dog at 12 and a half years of age. The average lifespan of a German Shepherd is 9-13 years, so her German Shepherd, Pulya, wasn’t exactly in peak condition for a hike at 4 am either.
Teptiuk said that Pulya needed to stop more than she initially expected for a drink of water. Teptiuk also remarked that at her age, Pulya just wanted to rest. She was having trouble staying on her feet after a while and so her husband would carry her when he could.
The journey was 10.5 miles in the wee hours of the morning when it was 19°F outside. Half of that journey was carrying an adult German Shepherd, an occasional child, and everything one needed from home on their back.
To put that in perspective, in Basic Training in the US Army, a recruit’s longest ruck march is 11.8 miles with a ruck that must weigh over 45lbs but remember these are going to be physically fit young adults, not children, and not people fleeing to safety carrying a dog that looks to be over 65lbs in addition to their backpacks with all their belongings they can carry.
In an even wilder twist of events, when the family finally made it safely to the border, Alisa Teptiuk’s husband had to wish them well and turn around to walk back to Ukraine. The couple has family members who are too old to make the trip, even without the long walk. Mr. Teptiuk had to return to take care of those relatives and keep them as safe as possible during these uncertain times in Ukraine.
But for now, his nuclear family (wife and children) are safe and their older relatives sound like they’re in good hands with him in Kiev.
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