A Bali Dog is a Bali Dog. They are stubborn, independent, and strong. The journeys they have been through have made them that way. It crushed them hard; it molded them into what they are now. They survived.
But this is not about Bali Dog. This is about a group of women, acting like one.
As everyone try to play their part to make the world a better place, we too thrive to get things done for our motherland. The Bali dogs, the environment, the positive tradition, all the things that we want to protect and preserve. But we do not make it easy for us, we take the long road; education.
To change someone’s behavior is like growing a forest. It takes up most of your time, too much energy, and can’t be fast enough for people to see. What they will see is this group of people digging, watering, observing the land and tiny plants in a monotonous level, almost boring until the point that they want to leave. And when they almost forget about it, the land has turned to be a beautiful place of what they have always wanted to be.
After several years of struggling with educational strategy and material, we finally get our chance to take this long road of animal welfare education.
Our Yayasan, Seva Bhuana was used to be a small community that wants change from within the people, not from our force. We keep our education friendly and approachable, and most importantly, sustainable.
2018 was the start of this journey, where we went to elementary, junior and high school in Tabanan to promote animal welfare so that they too can protect and preserve the raw beauty of the island. We introduced the 5 freedoms, Bali Dogs, dog population management, and environmental issues.
Surprisingly, the students that we taught were very excited to talk about their pets, unlike bad promotion of locals that people may have heard. They were well aware about animals especially dogs and cats that can be hurt scared and in pain, just like them. They knew what kind of vaccinations that their pets need. If you have lived as locals here, you will be proud too just like us.
Although, there were some students who need further encouragement in connecting with animals, and we found out later this lack of connection is due to limitation of interaction with the animals themselves. Environment played a huge role in creating how people react to an issue. Their sympathy, empathy, ignorance and fear were made by the society. We kept saying, by pushing the right button, they will go far. And those obstacles, we will conquer them.
This program is a baby step to something greater and sustainable. This is what these people needed. A change from within, a change they feel like needed to be happening, on their own. There is no need to bash around and point fingers to people who we thought causing the problem. We too are included in the problem after all, which makes us equally responsible.
The problem is riding ahead of us, but together, as a pack, we will get through this long road.
This right long road.