Dog Dena became the most famous dog on the planet when she traveled 500 kilometers after Operation Storm to find her owners in a refugee camp. Dena wandered through unknown cities, and rivers also hindered her.
Great love cannot be stopped by anything, not even war! At the end of 1995, after 139 days of wandering and 500 kilometers from Petrinja to Ruma, where the refugee camp was located, Dena managed to find her family.
The news about Dena and her family Radanović traveled all over the world in a short time, and Dena became the most famous dog on the planet. In the refugee camp, Dena found Goran and Tatjana, and their parents Dušanka and Milan Radanović, and went to the world with them. They stopped in the Canadian city of Kitchener.
More than instinct
When the Radanovićs bought a house in Kičiner, Dena also got a friend, the dog named Roki, with whom she became best friends.
The Radanovićs wrote a request to move to Canada in 1999, and the question immediately arose as to what to do with Dena.
The children made it clear that they would not go without her. I told the officials at the Canadian embassy in Belgrade, who surprised and delighted me at the same time with her answer: – We know everything about your dog and we will do everything to make her travel with you, don’t worry about anything –
That’s how it was – says Milan Radnović, while his wife Dušanka adds:
– Dena was always happy, but 17 days before she left, when we received a letter from the Canadian embassy about the details of the trip, she did not move from the house. She knew we were getting ready to go somewhere and she kept an eye on us all the time.
The famous film about Lesi, a dog who returned home from a distance of some thousand miles, but she had a stable goal in front of her – to have her masters. Unlike her, Dena managed to find her bosses in a place 500 kilometers away, a place completely unknown to her. This case remained unexplained from the professional point of view, and it all came down to the conclusion that it was more than just animal instinct.
The whole story began in Petrinja, a town near Zagreb, where the Radanovićs lived. In 1991, they got a puppy from a neighbor, and the children named him Dena. Radanović’s house became her happy port, which was destroyed by “Storm”. Columns of Serb refugees from Croatia flocked to Serbia.
In that chaos, when her naked life was being saved, Dena stayed in the yard of the house in Petrinja. Alone. The Radanovićs found their place under the sun in the refugee center in Ruma, trying to organize a normal life with the help of good people. Milan got a job as a bus driver and somehow they made ends meet. Still, the grief for Dena was great, and their happiness was never complete. They thought they would never see her again.
What paths Dena managed to reach Ruma and how she managed to find her masters and friends remains unknown. It passed through the cities, or next to them: Dvor, Novi, Prijedor, Banja Luka, Prnjavor, Derventa, Modriča, Brćko, Bijeljina, Bogatić, Sremska Mitrovica. On the way, the rivers Una, Sana, Vrbas, Bosna, Drina, Sava blocked it. The obstacles, it seems, were really small towards the love that dragged her forward towards the goal of finding her family.
– Before the new year of 1996, exactly on December 22, my son Goran ran into the room and said with endless excitement: Mom, Dena has come to us! – says Dušanka, and adds that at first, she could not recognize the dog because she had lost a lot of weight, and her paws were bloody and without nails, but a white sign under her neck confirmed it was Dena.
In Ruma, Dena gave birth to five puppies. The puppies were given as gifts to the people of Ruma, and she flew over the “big pond”.
Unfortunately, Dena died, but the Radovanovićs still keep her ashes in their home.