When Freshta Siddiqui was fleeing Afganistan when the Taliban took over in 2022, her first thought was for her beloved pets. Before Freshta left Afghanistan, she made sure that her cat Leo, and dog Lucky were on a plane out of the country.
The Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) International chartered a plane from Kabul to Vancouver in February 2022, taking Leo and Lucky with them.
It would be a longer wait for Freshta and her mother, who sought refuge in Pakistan for ten months whilst they awaited Canadian visas.
Lucky’s journey with Freshta started when she rescued the Anatolian shepherd from children in Kabul who were throwing stones at him.
“I could not stand it. I went there and grabbed Lucky and brought him home.”
The pair formed a close bond, and Lucky proved to be a loyal companion:
“He barked and let us know that strangers, Taliban, were already inside our place and we were under attack,” said Siddiqui.
Due to Freshta’s advocacy for women’s rights, she had to leave the country without delay. Once her Canadian visa was granted, Freshta and her mother left Pakistan and arrived in Vancouver.
They were reunited with Leo straightaway, however, waited to meet Lucky whilst they searched for a dog-friendly rental.
Siddiqui says she is excited to feed Lucky and re-introduce him to Leo, who is waiting for him at home.
“Lucky means family to me. Lucky means a part of my heart that was gone and now, I’ve got him.”