Any person who has take a trip to Bali even for a short visit has undoubtedly seen lots of stray dogs on the streets, the beaches, near temples and just about anywhere on this Island. I’ve read that over half a million stray dogs live on this tiny island of Bali. They hang out at these locations – hungry, sick and often injured from mistreatment and accidents.
Some pictures of stray dogs below:(
Balinese (like Indians) have a different cultural attitude and viewpoint on keeping pets and how much to nurture them. The Balinese people have a very special and cultural relationship with their dogs, even though this is sometimes seen by outsiders as not humane. Balinese society is highly spiritual and can be superstitious. Many people believe the Bali dog will alert people to the unseen presence of “spirits” – both good and bad. Some Hindus believe humans who lead a less than perfect life are destined for canine reincarnation, and generally the Bali street dogs are not desired as pets by the locals. I guess like most people around the world, most Balinese prefer purebred dogs. Furthermore, there was a rabies epidemic a few years ago and many street dogs needlessly were culled before a rabies vaccination campaign was launched by the government, which has further contributed towards negative attitudes to Bali street dogs.
My children have always wanted a dog. When we lived in Canada, I found it hard enough taking care of kids, leave alone taking care of a dog as well. More so, I wanted my kids to be a bit older and take responsibility for looking after their dog.
Before we moved to Bali, I promised the kids that we would look into getting “a” dog once we were moved and settled into Bali. We moved in July of 2013 from Canada to Bali and I was pleasantly surprised how well my kids adjusted to life in Bali. My younger son was turning 8 in September of that year, so we though it would be a good idea to get a puppy for the family on his birthday. With this in mind we did some research and decided that a golden retriever was a good choice as a pet for young kids – they love the water, love to fetch, love kids, love cuddles, look extremely cute…the list goes on.
After some research and deliberation, we felt as a family, we could not pay for a puppy when there were so many stray dogs on this Island. We decided to wait a bit and learn more about Bali street dogs and how we could help other than donations. After a year of living in Bali, we felt that if we were going to have a dog, it had to be Bali dog!!! So we adopted this cute little girl from BARC, ( a Bali dog adaptation and rehabilitation center).
To learn more about BARC and the fantastic work they do on this Island visit this site http://www.balidogrefuge.com Please donate if you have the means, to this organization.
Our little adopted pup was rescued on Kuta beach, we named her Coco because of the color of her eyes and fur.
Coco liked the kids from the very first day we brought here home and the kids were in their element.
….and then there were two. In less than a month we had two puppies. A friend had rescued a few dogs on a beach near her house and she was looking for a home for them. We adopted our second Bali pup. She was already named Cleo so we kept that name
Meet Cleo our second Bali dog, a month younger to Coco
Coco and Cleo are great playmates for each other. Is it a lot of work having two puppies? – YES!! Without a doubt. Is it worth it? YES!!! for sure. We have learnt a lot from interacting with these puppies and my children have learnt about responsibility and a fair bit about Bali dogs.
We have learnt that genetic studies of the Bali street dogs indicate that a diverse population of dogs existed on the island of Bali prior to its geographic isolation approximately 12,000 years ago and has been little influenced by domesticated European dogs since that time.
The Balinese Dog had the important job of keeping the balance of garbage, organic waste and consequently the rat populations on the Island in check until the introduction of plastics in the 1960’s, thus making them a valuable part of the health and ecosystem in Bali. Unfortunately, this does not hold true today!
Despite our Bali dogs still being puppies they make excellent guard dogs due to their loyalty to us and the fact that typically the Bali Dog will never obey someone who has not first earned their trust.
The misinformed belief that they cannot be trained may stem from their uneasiness with humans. If a person has not gained their trust, the Bali Dog will not obey them. We have learnt that our Bali puppies our extremely intelligent and once their trust is gained they can be trained to do anything that they are asked to do.
We love our Bali dogs – Coco and Cleo. Here our some more pictures of our Bali dogs.