Having spent some time living in Ubud and a little time spending a lot of Rupiah in expensive restaurants, it has become apparent that not only are foreign breed dogs being brought in en masse, they are also walking into a few eateries accompanied by their masters and mistresses. Silkies, Malties and the like have been spotted sitting on bar stools enjoying the ambiance of a pre dinner cocktail hour, whilst they and their guardians await a free table upstairs downstairs or out the back. A few have even been spotted looking down their very short snouts at the loitering mangy Street Dogs foraging for miniscule morsels just a few feet away. Their pampered canine dining guests don’t hide their distain either, they usually follow suit and are quick to expel a snort of disapproval via flared nostrils at the sight of such lowly beasts. It would appear that the well heeled and pawed have a foot and pad in the door when it comes to gastronomy gateway crashing, absolutely not a problem at all, however.
As has been mentioned in previous musings, Bali Street Dogs certainly don’t do themselves any favors when it comes to a scorecard in manners and etiquette. They are what they are and we thank whatever Gods made them that way, for they are rare rebels in a world of creeping conformity. So when thinking of Bali Street Dogs and mannered behavior at eateries, well the two are historically difficult to match up, however, If you look at any street side stall on any corner or crossroads you will very likely see a few scrawny dogs hanging around in the hope of a thrown sate or two. They certainly don’t cause any problems and are well mannered enough to just sit and wait in hope, before moving on. Obviously as standards of expectation have dramatically risen in tourist frequented areas, the devoid of any suitable manners Street Dog has become an unwelcome annoyance in and around slick looking roadside Warungs.
Bali Street Dogs are far, very far from stupid, they are exceptionally intelligent, they must be to survive and they are eminently trainable and adaptable, honestly. All it takes is patience and time, stability and structure, reward and respect. When all of that is offered, a commitment to that, then anything including a Bali Street Dog, will respond in ways that will allow entry to anywhere. As more people are drawn to foreign bred dogs, as many are beginning to look back at the local variation and ask why segregation appears to be a growing reality.
So wouldn’t it be amazing if the Bali Street Dog was treated with the respect it so deserves, given its place in the structure and fabric of Bali life, was trained in the niceties of tourism tolerance and a ‘restoran ramah anjing’, dog friendly restaurant could be established for all well mannered canines?