When your a professional street dog, small in stature and needing to assert your position in a very narrow area of influence, in a space and corridor frequented by tens of feral friends and foes, there comes a need to exhibit your dominance in unique and novel ways. Paw Stand, as he would come to be known, was the king of his territory. Not a chicken chaser, not a barker and never in demand of affection, he was the epitome of professional, a working dog surviving on what scraps he could forage and what morsels he could salvage from daily offerings. He was as owned as any street dog can or should be, meaning that he lived a parallel existence with a group of humans he felt secure with, connected to and who would be a food supply no matter how limited. He had a home, a place in the family compound where he could find shelter and perform his duties. The street was his extended domain, the range of his reach dictated by his sphere of influence. To take the street from him would be akin to removing the blood from you.
Paw Stand was classically short haired, a very important and positive attribute in a tropical urbane environment, he was predominantly cream colored with brown patches, like a dog in tiny cow skin. On any given day, depending on too many given realities, he could look young and old, healthy and sick, relaxed and frightened and lost and found. On an increasingly busy street that was becoming a fledgling road in a growing village on the edge of a rapidly modernizing town, it was only a matter of time before the impressively honed road skills of this and every street dog was tested too much. The rear flank glancing blow from a speeding motor bike was not enough to snap his spine, this time. But it was enough to unsettle him and make him look twice and vulnerable, not a good manifestation in a professional whose bluff is more psychological than physical.
Paw Stands unique and novel way of showing his dominance was by no means completely rare but it was quite uncommon in the canine world. With one smooth movement he would tuck his hind legs in and flip forward executing a perfect Paw Stand, a feat that would make any gymnast proud. Holding the position for as long as his full bladder would dictate, he would urinate higher and higher in ever increasing power squirts, finishing his performance on the highest leaf on the biggest bush he could find. As the assembled congregation of common canines attempted to match his height with grotesque and quite frankly embarrassing maneuvers, Paw Stand would quite simply flip forward once again. After completing a perfect landing, he would smugly trot off leaving behind more than a few friends in desperate need of canine chiropractic care.
The life of a professional Bali Street Dog is unpredictable in quality and duration, is fraught with danger on a daily basis and is dependent on external events and conditions. Paw Stand is only one in a unique pack of a diminishing many.
May he continue to stand tall and urinate high.