A Ukrainian woman, 86, now living in Co Clare, has been reunited with her beloved dog, Tasha


An elderly woman who fled the war in Ukraine to seek refuge in Ireland has been reunited with her beloved dog.

ioletta, 86, a native of Odessa, tried to take her 13-year-old black labrador Tasha with her when she fled the country.

In Romania, however, they were forced apart because the elderly refugee was physically unable to carry Tasha.

Violetta was devastated to leave her beloved pet behind.

A local family kindly agreed to look after Tasha while Violetta and her family continued on their journey, eventually finding refuge in Co Clare.

Charity worker Debbie Deegan first offered her support when Violetta was unable to enter Romania due to her expired passport.

“A Russian friend of mine called me about four weeks ago and told me that Ukrainian friends of hers are trying to cross the border from Moldova to Romania,” she said.

“And they didn’t let Violetta in at the time because her passport had expired years ago, and I got involved.

“They had traveled across Ukraine for days and then ended up on a bus and ended up in Moldova in a field and snowstorm. They had a bag with them and Violetta was really weak at that point and she lost the will to live a bit.

“She was carrying her dog in a crate and they got as far as a train station and at that stage Violetta was lying, she just wasn’t able to cope.

“They finally came to Romania and wanted to put the dog to sleep, but they just couldn’t because Violetta thinks Tasha is her best friend. So they found family in Romania and gave them the dog and then headed to Ireland.”

Violetta has finally arrived in Ireland safe and sound, but without her beloved dog.

Ms Deegan said it was a “difficult problem” to solve and that she had to get Tasha unaccompanied from Romania and across six borders.

“I was nervous about the company we chose to move the dog, so that was a bit difficult for me, but I called the van man every day to make sure he knew I was sort of walking him watch and they’re really nice,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“I took the dog all the way to the UK. Bringing the dog to the UK was my biggest concern because of all the rabies rules and all the rest, so I had to try and get the dog to the UK quietly.”

Ms Deegan then received help from a woman living in the UK, who collected the dog and housed him for a week.

“I asked a British group, a Ukrainian relief group, if someone would pick up the dog there for me because we couldn’t go there at the time. I found a great woman in Solihull on a beautiful farm who picked up the dog and kept Tasha for a week.

“A friend of mine from Waterford then went on the ferry on Friday with a handler and they picked Tasha up and took her back to Dublin and we all went to Co Clare with Tasha.

“Violetta was a very happy woman last night, she kept saying to Tasha, ‘Please forgive me for leaving you.’ She’s a different woman today and Tasha is a different dog, I might add.” A Ukrainian woman, 86, now living in Co Clare, has been reunited with her beloved dog, Tasha

Fry Electronics Team

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