For the small number of foreigners who have undoubtedly attempted, in their own way, to make the lives of Bali Dogs better, there are millions over the years whose mere presence has done absolutely nothing for the wellbeing and welfare of the Island Dog. The unquestionable fact is that now more than ever before, nothing remains untouched by foreign influence under the paws of this ancient dog. Every facet of this unique canine’s existence has been changed by foreigners.
It wasn’t those first second or even third generation visitors who set the grinding greed machine in motion, but unfortunately they told others about paradise and its uniqueness. About a sea locked Island that held mystery, mythology, Hindu Gods, welcoming people and free roaming dogs.
None of us as Bule foreigner or albino are innocent when it comes to how existence for the Bali Dog has been degraded and literally downgraded to basically mongrel status. Even with the best intention and wholehearted effort, the status for a dog that was forever part of the picture, is now being smudged out and erased bit by bit as each day goes by and as foreigner arrivals explode. Foreign dogs now plague the Island in more and more ridiculous numbers and lurid variation. Many are nothing more than money making womb factories.
Denying our individual responsibility and blaming others wont and hasn’t helped. The blame game has emanated from an origin of frustration which is very understandable but sadly misses the point, is unfortunately very unhelpful and quite frankly is in danger of creating an ugly no win combative situation that only serves humans not dogs.
For the Bali Dog there are only a few outcomes that are now totally dependent on the intentions reactions and ultimate actions of the human element. Unfortunately history to date hasn’t proven to be a favourable indicator and the dog is probably in a more precarious position now, than pre Bule infiltration/invasion.
There are many more representatives in the Bali Dog business these days than ever before, and the competing interests are always by their very nature at risk of sending out confusing messages rather than a clear concise “all for one and one for all” mentality in action. Protecting rather than saving, promoting instead of rescuing, preserving not pontificating.
It’s probably completely unrealistic to get all interested parties in one room, unfortunately so. But it shouldn’t be, seriously shouldn’t be, should it? But there are just more than a few pieces missing before that puzzle can ever be contemplated.
Bali Dogs and Bali People didn’t have problems or issues before Bule involvement, not as is now being increasingly witnessed on a daily basis. Foreigner effect has affected that relationship beyond belief and pushed it far beyond anything that was once upon a time recognisable. Balinese people are not beyond guilt, far from it. However in cultural context, their awareness of their dog in ‘historical time place’ is understandably skewed by blind familiarity. ‘You don’t know what you always have when you always have it’.
Why do Bali people have dogs? Do they have any problems with their dogs? What do they want for their dog? What does their dog mean to them?
The answers may not be what is wanted or expected, there may be no answers at all. But unless the opportunity is put up, then any chance of meeting somewhere in the middle may as well be put down for ever more.
It was the Balinese who let the Bules in, welcomed them in, in what was a very different paradigm. The balance has swung wildly resulting in a foreign based progressive aggressive paradigm. Its impact leaving what was an ancient stable relationship tattered and torn in its unemotional wake.
It’s every ones fault that the Bali Dog is threatened. It’s time to work it out by asking simple open questions not continuing to blow it up with confronting complex answers.
For the greater good.