Bali Dogs have been known for their bravery and independence. Therefore, they are more likely used as working dogs; house guarding or hunting.
But with their bravery and independence, some of them can make good nanny dogs too.
With a baby that I just recently had (a human baby, of course), I have noticed 3 of my 10 dogs are so alert to this little bundle of joy. When we finally headed back to our Ubud house from the Clinic, we let Sate, the dog we rescued that was going to be a dog meat delicacy up in Ubud, to sniff the baby. She didn’t seem to care at first, as she focused more on her toy.
And then the baby started to make sound.
Sate, as alert as she could be, approached the bed and sniffed. I could see her eyes were getting bigger, she was showing interest in this ‘thing’ that squealed. After that, she kept trying to be with him at all times, although she needed to tone down her ways of interaction. She is still a young Bali dog anyway.
A few days later, we moved back to Tabanan. We brought Sate to meet the Tabanan pack. It went quite well. Some of my dogs were alert once they saw me with something wrapped in blanket. They put their nose up in the air and their eyes locked on the baby in my arms. They didn’t approach me like they used to. They used to jump and wag their tails like crazy once they see me coming home.
They knew something was different, from my scent, from my behaviour. They kept their distance. They knew it was me, but something about me was making them hesitant.
It was the baby.
Everyone was so scared at first that they will jump and do their thing on me, and will harm the baby. And it didn’t happen. My husband and I were projecting a shield, to keep the baby safe, but close enough for the dogs to have a chance to meet.
In Bali, in most households, having a newborn baby means you are closed to the outside world, let alone having a chance to be with animals. That means pets often become victims of neglect. They are used to being loved or taken care of and once a baby is born, they are even less than the dog they have ever been. Family and relatives are afraid they will bite, they will make the baby sick, or they will make the house dirty.
But for me, my dogs are my family. Yes, they will make the house dirty. But I know they won’t bite, and they won’t make my baby sick. They will make my baby stronger. I still let them sleep in the room; take turns in looking and sniffing the baby. The trust I have on them is enough.
And I know they respect it.
And amazingly, each day after that, they take turns in sleeping on the floor next to our bed. Every time the baby squeals, their ears are up, and their eyes turn from the baby to me. As if they were saying, “Ma, that ‘thing’ needs something”
I believe that a kid who grows up with an animal will most likely become a good person. They learn to nurture each other and having unconditional love. They grow up with a best friend. In my son’s case, he grows up with 10. So when these 10 dogs take turns in taking care of my kid in their own way, I know something good, will come out of it. My son has already gained best friends from doing nothing else than being adorable.
Now I know, beside their bravery and independence, Bali Dogs have a high sensitivity towards the belonging of their people. A new born baby is an example of how they can be gentle. They can sense the fragility, the need of protection, and new feeling of parenthood instinct. And they complete the circle by surrounding us with respect and acceptance. All you need is to give in, and empower the trust that you have in bonding with your Bali Dogs.