Spike, the wonder dog who has left Ukraine for a new home in Southport

A wonder dog who has fled Ukraine for a new life in Southport is celebrating winning a prize in the weekend’s Coronation street party in Churchtown. 

Little did Spike the Jack Russell terrier know what was ahead of him when his family’s home town of Bucha, in the Kyiv Oblast was destroyed by Russian soldiers in February 2022. 

Bucha was subjected to some of the most brutal attacks in those first few weeks of the war in Ukraine whilst Russian forces attempted to seize the capital just a few kilometres away.

Spike and his family were sheltering in the basement of the children’s nursery with several other families with almost no provisions and water while a ground and air offensive took place above them. 

After three weeks, the family saw an opportunity to escape the basement and they fled Bucha.

The family, including two young daughters, Kristyna and Kateryna, found refuge in a small village in the countryside, away from the main attacks on the cities. 

Spike, the wonder dog who has left Ukraine for a new home in Southport. Also pictured:  Mum - Dalyna Burlachenko; Elder daughter - Kristyna; Younger daughter - Kateryna

Spike, the wonder dog who has left Ukraine for a new home in Southport. Also pictured:
Mum – Dalyna Burlachenko; Elder daughter – Kristyna; Younger daughter – Kateryna

However, the threat of passing troops and crude airstrikes were never far away. Poor little Spike had a medical procedure to his voice box so that his barking would not alert the outside world to their presence.

After a few months, the family fled Ukraine entirely with Mum Dalyna Burlachenko and her two daughters arriving in the UK, leaving behind her husband and Spike. 

Earlier this year Spike was brought near the border with Poland where other family members were able to bring him to be reunited with his family who had found a home here in Southport. For the family, leaving Spike behind was never an option as it would have been like leaving behind a son or a brother. 

Elder daughter Kristyna, now 13 years old, is now happily studying at Christ The King High School in Birkdale, while younger sister. Kateryna, aged five, is at Birkdale Primary School.

Mum Dalyna is attending an English language course at Southport College, and the family have been made to feel very welcome in the town.  

They have been welcomed by Dalyna’s cousin, Ganna Sytova, who was already living in Southport with her other half, local business leader Tony Howard. 

Seeing six-year-old Spike reunited with his family, playing with the children in the parks of Southport, and then winning a prize at the Dog Show at the King’s Feast Coronation Street Party in Churchtown on Bank Holiday Sunday is a world away from the awful events that still continue in Ukraine. 

Lots of dog friendly events were organised at the King’s Feast by The Wagging Tail and by Churchtown Pet Boutique. 

Spike and his family are now looking forward to celebrating this week’s Eurovision Song Contest being held in Liverpool on behalf of Ukraine.   

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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