Even though the long term future for the Bali Street Dog looks doubtful, especially for those ugly mangy urbanites, their dogged determination to still occupy the streets is downright impressive.
Anyone who has ventured out in the witching hours will attest to the plethora of paws pounding the pavement. Packs of dogs free roam in the safety of relative quietness, foraging for food scraps and chasing each other in the dark coolness of very early morning. They can be an intimidating sight as their streets become their playground where their rules apply. They are not interested in whatever human activity may be going on at such a time, unless there is the possibility of a few thrown assorted satays, it’s the time for them to catch up with freedom and freely frolic their fur off.
In the daylight they will still get out there, they must as its all they know and it’s the only home they have. To really see a street dog doing what its designed for, is a lesson in true hunter gathering technique, as witnessed at times by a flash of fur carrying a brown paper bag of leftover Nasi campur, clenched not too firmly in its mouth.
The Bali Street Dog is amongst many things a rubbish removalist, a self sustaining component of street life, without them the rodent population would explode and has in fact done so in areas where the dogs have been removed or eliminated.
It is reluctantly understandable, given the bad reputation bestowed upon the Street Dog that many visitors to Bali see them as nothing more than an inconvenience, a literal physical obstacle that interferes with their passage to purchasing power. They would much rather see the paws pushed off the streets and the way clear to a sanitised future.
If that comes to pass, not only will it be a sad day for such a unique dog, it will be the beginning of transforming Bali streets into western walkways.