May floods in Bosnia were horrible. Once the roads cleared, Arijana and me answered the invitations of our friends from Tuzla and headed for Orasje and Bosanski Samac.
We are in a car, parked just outside of Orasje. Looking at convoys of humanitarian aid passing by us, we wonder if it is really happening. In our car, a single wet puppy that we found in Brcko and just couldn’t leave behind is sitting still. The lady in the bakery have us meat pie instead of potato pie and without looking at it we thank the lady working at the bakery in Srebrenik and head for Orasje, to get there in time.
We look at the puppy biting the bag with meat pie… We look at it cheerfully biting down the pieces of meat and as our eyes meet it happily wiggles its tail.
I order coffee at the nearby coffee shop, “two coffees”-I say. I feel the waiter watching me longer then he should. I want to ask him what is happening in Posavina, but I just bite my tongue instead. I wait for my coffee. I watch the faces of sad and frightened people. I pay for our coffees and leave. I briefly say “thanks”. I wanted to ask all kinds of questions, but I just couldn’t find the strength.
A strange atmosphere fills the air as we drink our coffee. A car parks next doors. Caki!
“I knew I would fin you two here!”-says Caki as he hugs us both. Tears fill my eyes. Caki’s here! I was sure that he was the only one from Sarajevo who would come. That’s the kind of man he is!
“I must show you a video. We are passing through Zivinice. So sad! You must see this bitch and her pups”-says Caki as he shows us a bitch with 15 pups. They are surrounded by piles of trash, hungry, wet and dirty. Caki says he gave them food, but doesn’t know what to do with them.
We look at the clip…. So sad.
“Can you get them to Sarajevo on your way back? I will call the pension and make the arrangements. Jelena and me must go to Gradiska to bring food that our Slovenian friends sent.”-says Arijana.
“I knew you would help! Of course you would take them to the pension” Caki answers with a smile on his face.
After we spent two days in Bosanski Samac and its surroundings, Caki heads for Sarajevo through Zivinice and Arijana and me head for Gradiska.
“I barely caught them all. I’m taking them to Sarajevo”-Caki reports cheerfully as we take the curvy road to Gradiska.
The rescued pup plays cheerfully in the back seat, the sun burns us, we are low on water, and no gas station in sight. Still, the two of us drive on with smiles on our faces. Arijana just sporadically tells me to remind her to never take that road again.
In Gradiska we get to the “SOS Šapice” (claws) shelter. We are met by lady Vesna and she asks us if we are alive as we pass the gate. “Barely” I say honestly with a smile on my face. We load up the food, thank her and head for a five hour drive to Sarajevo.
As I answer the messages and write my stories, Arijana starts to realize the problem she got herself into. When you save an animal at first you are happy, content, and feel great, but just hour later the problems start to show their ugly heads. How do I pay the bills?How do I find homes for the pups or kittens? How can I be interesting enough on the social networks to get the people to donate money for it?
The worst thing that happens, just a month after you save the animal (which is the period it takes for the donators to lose interest!) is a phone call. Just a simple phone call! “You owe 50, 500 or 5 000 Euros, we are just letting you know” – the pension owner tells you. After these calls, we activists usually go to coffee to whine to each others.
In the meantime, the poor puppies spend their careless days in the pension. The look forward to each day when they are not hungry, thirsty or sick… when someone pets them… That is how this little dog family feels now. If they could speak, they would surely tell Arijana that they owe her their lives and they love her a lot.
In the meantime, Arijana’s debts increase. The dogs need food, shelter, vaccines… In the midst of problems, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. A lady contacts us and tells us that she will take the whole dog family for temporary accommodations in Denmark.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am”-says Arijana after reading the message. Moments later, with a sad face, she tells me “I will kill myself! I just couldn’t leave them… But how do I get the money now! I already owe money to Miralem…”.
There were no floods in Bosnia since the May terrors. People from abroad still consider it a priority to send money and food for the now devastated parts of the country. It seems that some dogs and some people simply didn’t have enough luck to get flooded.
The numerous dog family was also “unlucky”, and did not het flooded. One bitch gave birth to pups beside the road to Zivinice. She was hungry, her days and nights were long, as she desperately tried to get enough water and food to produce some milk for her young.
As she spends her happy days with her numerous children in the beautiful pension, she has started to dream the beautiful dreams of Danmark. She dreams of the armchair she will sleep in. Her little muzzle turns happy as she dreams of her children in their new home.
In the meantime the costs of this operation fall on Arijana.
If you would like to help the poor dog family saved from the trash near Zivinice-the PayPal account is firstname.lastname@example.org. If they could speak, the dogs would thank you for saving their lives for every cent you donate.
If you would like to help Journalists for Animals in their work in documenting what is happening for animals in Bosnia Herzegovina, or to assist in any particular rescue effort or case, please go to PAYPAL and make a donation to:
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