The tragical year 1999

In the middle of March 1999 we went to the town Nis with Seka for mating. Boban and his mother kindly welcomed us and we stayed in the house with the store, which they have at the countryside, not far from Nis. Bigor appeared interested, but Seka did not even allow him to approach. It should be mentioned that nobody helped me in the attempts: and Boban and Stan were afraid one of Seka, the other of Bigor. The days passed without any result.

We benefited from the spare time for a short excursion to the canyon of Sicevo. On the road in direction of Dimitrovgrad and Sofia, only 14km from Nis, begins the well-known canyon of Sicevo, very known, with a length of nearly 17km. It is very attractive canyon, through which penetrates the picturesque Nisava river, with large differences in level of the river, with frequent changes of direction and the water falls. In this calm ambient are many small churches and monasteries of a great historical value. For these natural values, the canyon of Sicevo is proclaimed special natural reserve.
One day the mother of Boban led us to the small church of Holy Trinity or Monastery of Gabrovac, located at the proximity and built in 1833 on the foundations of an older church. Around 1873 was added a wooden gantry and the interior of the church was decorated by frescos (picture 8). Those days we listened to the news on the TV with apprehension, NATO threatened Serbia with bombardments, but so to speak nobody believed that a similar threat could be carried out in the 20th century and without authorization of the United Nations.
Boban took us several times to the restaurants in Nis; we remember still today how one eats in an exceptional and “gourmet” manner there. The grills are among the best in Serbia and even in ex-Yugoslavia.
In front of the observation that Seka did not allow do be mated with Bigor, we asked the assistance of a veterinary. Boban proposed two vets to us which made the training courses in Germany and who practised intra-uterine insemination under control of ultrasound. It was a whole comedy to arrive downtown with Bigor and especially to make him enter in the veterinary cabinet in the centre town, because the room was lower than the street level. Bigor remained the dog of the countryside, lost in civilization. They practised an insemination. We planned another insemination, one or two days later. However, that night happened what was feared, the bombardment of NATO started. We were alone in the house that night. We remained awake for hours considering the noise of the engines of the planes which flew over us at low altitude; of this noise blood freezes in the veins. The tension became even larger when I went out to look at the planes. The first neighbour, a relatively young man, spoke to me. He asked me whether the mother of Boban was there and when he learned that she was absent, he said to me that he was afraid, that he did not feel at ease, because he was also alone at home. After this sleepless night, we wanted to repeat the insemination. However the terrifying noise of the sirens announced the alarm of bombardment resounded several times that day. The veterinary initially promised to come, after we learned that he did not dare to take the road because of the given alarm. When we decided to leave, he nevertheless moved towards our village, but when he arrived, he preferred to make the work in his cabinet. Finally the second insemination was carried out under very bad conditions.
We did not planned to leave so quickly, but when I thought more carefully, I was panicking that the bridges, which we would have to pass, would be probably bombarded and that it would be possible that our leaders decide to close the borders... My very old parents were in safety, in Belgium, but completely depending on me and my other dogs as well. This is why we took the road towards Belgrade the same evening and we prepared to return.

Behind us remained the horror of the war. It arrived what nobody normal could imagine: enormous the armada of the most developed countries in the world, joined together in NATO attacked our country. The air raids of 19 members of Alliance began on 24th March 1999 just before 20h. The aggression lasted 78 days and in the bombardments 2000 civil and 1200 soldiers were killed. Apart from industrial buildings (of the power stations, refineries, factories of all kinds), a lot of the infrastructure was destroyed (bridges, roads, trains, relay TV, TV studios, ministries), the buildings of agriculture, the schools, the hospitals, the cultural monuments ... Cowards bombarded from an altitude of 10.000 feet!
The civil victims were proclaimed collateral damage! By bombs containing depleted uranium 113 locations on territory Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were bombarded, most of them on Kosovo, on Nis and other localizations NATO threw more than 15000 units of cluster bombs on the civil ones. These bombs cause multiple wounds and mutilations.
Without questioning the intentions, standpoints, defence, people of our country suffered unbelievable criminal act. It was caused a horrible damage in all the fields of the human life. In spite of that, these people did not sink in despair, during the bombardments. They organized demonstrations against Clinton and NATO, rock concerts and protected by their bodies the bridge from Belgrade, "the Branko Bridge", carrying the sign of alive target on their sleeves. Here some images which testify the horrors of the bombardments and the manifestations of citizens of Belgrade.

Seka remained without litter, I've take in question the competence of the veterinary, but I also think that the circumstances were not the most favourable. I was not given the possibility to have puppies from Bigor, this dog which I really liked very much.