“Sometimes when you start off doing the right thing, you actually end up doing the wrong thing”.
A philosophical term that is not often uttered, probably due in part to the universal fact that the degree of self awareness and introspection required in admitting that such an outcome has occurred, is sadly and usually way too much for us humans. Critical self analysis is usually skewed way out there on the positive arc of a swinging pendulum; no one likes to hear negative feedback from anyone else, let alone themselves and even though most of our negative musings are done in the sanctum of our own skulls, we are certainly not comfortable in publically admitting failure.
Brown or Brownie as he came to be known was a magnificent specimen of pure 100% Bali Street Dog. Standing tall with tail and ears held high he looked like a dingo on steroids, a magnificent creature who patrolled the streets of the Banjar in which he and we and many of his breed called home. He lived and guarded his family compound opposite the main temple and was a true alpha male who had the respect of all within his territory. Over many months we came to know and respect Brownie and within time he eventually reciprocated in his own canine kind. So it was with sinking hearts that one day we saw him injured. With his rear leg held off the ground and bent at a strange angle he was obviously in pain as he continued trying to rule his patch. The other dogs sensed his weakness and were quick to come in for the challenge but true to his nature he managed to keep them at bay. However, the once magnificent alpha male was down and in a weakened position.
The overwhelming urge to fix Brownies injured hind quarter was nearly unbearable in its intensity. The wanting to help him be complete and be his normal rambunctious self, the needing to see him charging as normal, to have things as they were, not as they are. All these wants and needs emerging as emotions and driving a choice of action were spinning like an out of control compass in a mega magnetic storm of mayhem. Had he been hit by an errant motor bike rider, maybe a cruel driver of a speeding car had deliberately swerved, could his owners have inflicted a vicious blow to his unguarded back end. How on earth had this happened, how could this have happened, this shouldn’t have happened and what should happen now, to such a perfect specimen. But it wasn’t uncomfortable for Brownie with his remaining very powerful three legs, as he continued to do what he always did.
Things happen just because that’s the way it is and sometimes there’s really nothing that can or should be done. The reality is that many things can’t be fixed without the possibility of making them worse than they already appear to be. There is no winning a case when it comes to the welfare of anything, because it’s a full and overflowing case of human intention, presented in its full spectrum of technicolour ego.
The Bali Street Dog is a dog indigenous on the streets of this Island but first and foremost it is a dog that is highly adaptable and intelligent. A dog that is capable of surviving and thriving in any environment if the conditions and intentions of what and who around them are of course favourable. Unfortunately the welfare of anything that is vulnerable and at risk can easily become a landscape of acidic warfare and whatever good seeded intentions that were planted in the beginning, can unfortunately end up bearing a very ripe fruit of poisonous pods in the end.
I am sure that if Bali Street Dogs could answer in ways that would and could possibly be conducive to our very limited understanding, they would simply voice the wants and needs that all beings have in common, freedom.
The want and need to continue to allow Brownie his freedom was so very nearly permanently interrupted that day and the day after and after and after. It was only Brownies free roaming reality as a dog that allowed his ungrounded paw to finally touch earth again and it was only a patient self reflection of human intent that stopped what could have been a selfish ego based decision removing that very freedom to recuperate.
Just as there is no safe sanctuary for the Bali Street Dog there is no secluded sanctum for the sanctimonious.