Let’s get one thing, very straight up and very front on. Bali Street Dogs are not pets, not in the traditional Anglo Saxon view of what a pet dog is and how such a pet should behave. To call a Bali Street Dog a pet would be as insulting as referring to an Earthling as nothing more than a monkey that resides on Uranus.
Bali Street Dogs are wild, not a stupid out of control and inebriated on a Saturday night type of wild, rather a very intelligent sharp and focused wild. A born bred and nurtured from a survival base of need type wild, a wildness that has remained tough and uncompromising in order to maintain purity of species.
You don’t pet a Bali Street Dog but that doesn’t mean you won’t, shouldn’t or can’t touch and give affection. General physical contact in comfort form is not something that has been a constant laid down norm within their genetic pool so they don’t seek out what is foreign. However, when the barrier separating human hand and canine fur has been lifted, there really is no stopping the train of affection and attention. They are very adept at working the system and given that they are pack orientation hard wired, they tend to play dominance like a game of psychological poker. As most commitments to the sharing of life with a Bali Street Dog involves cohabiting with more than just one, the pressure to pet after breaking through the wall of trust, can be immense. So be warned, once you have their full attention and have satiated their newfound desire for reinforcement in all its varied rhetoric, they will take everything you can give and return it with unlimited interest.
But as with anything foreign, attempting to react from a position of little knowledge is a sure setup for a failure of cluster bust proportion. As many foreigner and Bali Street Dog relationships end up in the shit box of tragedy, just as many Balinese and breed dog unions are joining them in the sewer. Just because a tail wags like a dog it certainly doesn’t follow that what’s attached will behave in ways that are familiar to you in a very unfamiliar environment and setting.
There are many reasons why touch has been missing in the lives of generations of Bali Street Dogs, but as time has changed and access to all things foreign has exploded the Bali Street Dog has touched the hearts of a growing number of new and non Balinese residents.