Sitting on a step by the side of a busy road at the end of a narrow lane accompanied by Bali Street Dogs, is one of the most rewarding activities an outsider can do. Of course such indulgence can only be rewarding if it is the penchant of an individual who is bent in that direction. There are hordes of tourists who do the same in a sightseeing fashion of sorts, except their view is usually more of the valley vista variety or rice paddy panorama. Those who indulge in the street gazing genre are mostly to be found in a road side Warung or upmarket restaurant.
From an outside point of view it must have seemed somewhat ridiculous and futile, not to mention a possible waste of valuable time, for a foreigner and local dogs to be loitering in the same place at the same time, twice a day every day for weeks and months on end. It can only be hypothesized as to what the view and accompanying opinions were, or might have been from those streams of strange faces that passed by on a regular matching timeframe. Those unfamiliar faces, who as time went on became familiar people who started to make gestures through eye contact and upward nods.
Street Dogs who have not been accessed to streets pose a number of interesting and challenging issues, especially when they find themselves for whatever reason suddenly living close to a road frequented by all manner of mechanical mayhem. Rescued street dogs are becoming much more common for various reasons, mainly due to the influx of well meaning foreigners who see a need for more care and protection. Unfortunately the result of this intervention can at times turn what is an objective and unemotional system of weeding out the weak on its head, meaning that a lot of dogs who may not have survived become possible rehabilitation nightmares.
Sitting somewhere and going nowhere can be a very difficult action especially for Bali Street Dogs of any age, but for observing life in its total reality it can be an invaluable activity. Old Brownie would arrive at the same time every morning and after a greeting sniff he would proceed to defecate in the lane at the same spot. He was so predictable and regular that everything in the narrow potholed pathway automatically and silently moved respectfully around him. It was as if it was his divine and earned right to squat and drop.
Old Blackie was the king of his small area, an area that had luckily become a building site with an assortment of rubbish and food scraps strewn halfway across the road. With his dull and tufted fur he would snarl and stare down any possible intervention from anywhere. Young Blackie was the main instigator of trouble within the area at that time and the only one with a collar, his prowess for pushing Old Blackie to the point of confrontation was legendary and youthfully, cunningly cruel. Paw Standing to urinate dog, was the smallest in the area, but he had true alpha position and status, mainly due to his agility and ability to command respect and be looked upon in awe for peeing higher than any other.
We don’t sit on the step by the side of the road at the end of a lane so much anymore and Old Blackie and Old Brownie are no longer alive. Young Blackie and Paw Stand are still around, urinating not so high and trouble making not so much. We were able to venture further, sit somewhere else and still go nowhere in particular.
Those days and weeks and months of just doing the same thing over and over were simply the most difficult thing to do, but they have made the months and years on the street to nowhere, the best that they could be.