Since the moment they met, Freshta Siddiqui and Lucky the dog have had each other’s backs.
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Freshta first met the 3-year-old yellow Anatolian shepherd when she rescued him from children pelting him with rocks in her home city of Kabul, Afghanistan. She chased the kids away, then took the dog home to live with her.
A year later, in September 2021, Lucky repaid her good deed by alerting her to the presence of Taliban soldiers entering the home she shared with her mother. Under Taliban rule, it is illegal for women to live alone. Freshta was also a human rights activist, so she was targeted by the terrorist organization. If it weren’t for Lucky’s warning, she and her mother would likely have been taken into custody.
“He barked and let us know that strangers, Taliban, were already inside our place and we were under attack,” Freshta recalled.
Freshta grabbed her mother, Lucky, and her cat Leo, and fled. She was able to connect with the Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) International, who loaded Lucky and Leo onto a chartered plane full of animal refugees heading from Kabul to Vancouver, Canada.
That was in February 2022, and Freshta wouldn’t be reunited with her four-legged best friend until March 2023.
Freshta and her mother were able to escape to Pakistan before landing in Canada as refugees. Meanwhile, Lucky was sent to live in a series of foster homes, but his anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder made finding temporary homes a challenge. Nevertheless, SPCA International director of programs Lori Kalef says Freshta and Lucky’s story really “touched our hearts.”
“Lucky is a very, very funny, big goofy dog,” she explained. “He has no idea how big he is, he thinks he’s a lapdog. He loves to play, he loves toys and he loves to open doors.”
“We’re very, very excited to make this reunion happen,” she added.
At long last, Freshta and Lucky’s journey came to a happy conclusion at Peace Arch Provincial Park in Vancouver. The dog recognized his human immediately, and they shared a joyful hug and lots of belly rubs.
“I’m filled with this overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude,” Freshta said before giving Lori a huge hug.
“Lucky means family to me,” she shared. “Lucky means a part of my heart that was gone and now, I’ve got him.”
Lucky will rejoin his kitty brother Leo, who was already reunited with Freshta and her mother. They now have a new pet-friendly apartment and are looking forward to restarting their lives in their new country!
Watch the video below to see their joyful reunion for yourself, and don’t forget to share.
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