A Dog Collar from Ukraine

A turquoise leather color purchased online two weeks ago is laying at a post office in Ukraine. I didn’t notice where I was ordering from until yesterday when I started wondering why it hadn’t arrived?

Finally, we had decided our 6-year old Patches needed a new collar. Now being an only dog, we are spoiling her more than usual, and are trying to help her through the grieving process -which of course is just an excuse -we would pamper her anyway, but it sounds better if you can make it sound more reasonable.

My husband thought turquoise would look nice, I agreed and went online to Etsy, quickly I found what we were looking for. Patches’s name and my phone number will be engraved to make sure our pup will never get lost. It wasn’t expensive. $23.70 for the item including shipping was very reasonable.

But where is it?

I got curious and that’s when I found out I had placed the order in Ukraine. I clicked on the tracking number, and sure enough, the item is awaiting shipping somewhere in a country that is now under attack. We ordered three days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, it had been brought to the post office a day before.

How did it make me feel? Weird! Uncomfortable! Guilty as well. Here I am sitting in my warm workroom, ready to complain about a small insignificant shipment I did not receive.

War! What a powerful word. It scares me. “I hope you won’t ever see war, child.” A sentence many children in Europe heard from their parents and grandparents growing up. My grandma used it many times, always with the same look on her face. While she spoke to me, her eyes focused on something in a far distance. Her facial expression showed me, she remembered something she hoped I would never see.

Being under attack. I watched it on the news, protected by walls around me, sitting in a comfortable chair, in a heated home, snacking on something even though I am not really hungry.

Over the years I have watched so many wars, all far away in other countries. I spoke to people who survived battles and I have listened to interviews. I have read books.

I feel so helpless!

A young man in Ukraine made a dog collar for our dog and shipped it to us.

Then the Russians attacked and overnight it all changed. Is the post office stills standing? Is he alright?

I decided to check on the seller, perhaps not the smartest move but that’s the first thought that crossed my mind.

Why oh why did I mention we could cancel the order? What was I thinking? How rude of me? How typical of me? How dare I think about money right now? Yet, I do!

To my surprise, he answered back within an hour.

An automated reply, mentioning COVID but not the actual events. One hour later the store was temporarily unavailable, which didn’t surprise me at all. The young man has so many ratings, and so many sales he probably a living selling beautiful wallets, collars and so much more.

I am afraid our shipment might only be one of many and not the only one that is missing or will perhaps never arrive. It would financially ruin him if we all would ask for our money back.

I don’t want to lie, the thought crossed my mind for split second, but then I let it go. It’s just money!

Today his shop had a message for all buyers, one I hope all his customers will understand. I can feel his need to continue life as normal as possible. This war is destroying lives in more than one way. It’s taking human lives, destroying livelihoods, separating families, taking away security. It’s crushing hopes and dreams.

I wish him well, I hope one day the collar will arrive, not for our sake, but his. It would mean the area where Andrew, the seller, lives was not under brutal attack. It could mean the war is over. I sure hope so.

I want him to continue his beautiful work, and I hope many will buy from him in the future.

I can’t help but imagine a small package in a post office with our name, found many years from now under rubble, being sent to us again. I should have never watched CASTAWAY, the last scenes when Tom Hanks delivers the lost package always got to me.

I never visualized a no-fly zone. It’s downright terrifying.

Ukraine is now a no-fly zone, FedEx, UPS, and DHL, and eBay have suspended shipments to Ukraine and Russia. “At this point, there is no telling what will happen to shipments,” they said and my heart goes out to all the people who are getting hurt by it.

How many other families in Ukraine depend on their shipments to arrive -both ways- who will lose income, which will add another headache to their uncertain future.

I wish I would not have asked about canceling the order. Why wasn’t I friendlier. Why is everything we do these days so often a thoughtless routine, a foolish reaction?

And here I am anxious about a new collar for our dog! Patches will be alright with her old collar.

I hope they all will be too!

The way I look at it. Putin owes me a dog collar!

13 thoughts on “A Dog Collar from Ukraine

  1. There’s another human with real human stories behind everything we do.
    Thanks for the story. Now I too have a connection with someone (you) who directly connected with someone of flesh and bones in Ukraine.
    Putin owes us so much. His war is an affront to us all.
    Thanks for sharing your story. Sending blessings. xoxo


  2. We have had little experience with war and it effecting our daily lives. This is a reminder of how closely we are all connected. I hope Andrew is safe. I hope this war ends soon. I hope we can all find peace after the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “A young man in Ukraine made a dog collar for our dog and shipped it to us.
    Then the Russians attacked and overnight it all changed”
    Such powerful and moving words. My heart goes out to all those suffering in Ukraine. Even more, after reading your powerful writing.
    Peace will prevail

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It really does come down to what you’ve emphasized about our distance from the hell these poor people are living. We sit in front of our televisions and are moved to tears, but utterly helpless. And we have to go on with our own lives. A year ago I purchased a beautiful wooden set of blocks, hand carved, for my grandson. I didn’t realize until later that the Etsy store was in Russia. I had a lovely exchange with the artist and I’ve thought of her, as well. The Russian people are in the dark and not responsible for this atrocity. Our hearts grieve, don’t they Bridget? Very sensitively written. I hope in time we can support your artisan. I really do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s wonderful how we are all connected, but also scary. I never thought I would order anything from Ukraine, yet I did and now knowing about it, it changed everything.
      I visited Russia twice in my lifetime, both times with great hesitation. I should write about it.


  5. Thanks for sharing and for your honesty. Your simple order of a dog collar reminds us of how connected we have become in a globalized economic world. We in the USA have, so far, been shielded from the terrifying reality of surviving in a war zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with derrickjknight’s comment. We all make mistakes – especially when we are in the moment without a chance for reflection. I know I have! Many times! When I am feeling the guilt, I think of how I can learn from it and do better going forward, and if there is a way I can make amends, that can help ease my guilt, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are correct, guilt is a good teacher if we are willing to listen. I just wonder at what amount the guilt would stop and my ‘entitlement’ would kick in. $20..no problem, $200 would hurt, what if I would have ordered goods for 2K? It’s a slippery slope isn’t it.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This personal link of yours to Ukraine resulting from the order you placed hits home to the heart. It makes the upheavals the residents are experiencing there so real. You are good at doing this.

    Liked by 3 people

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