The Bali Dog may be strong and resilient but the environment is fraying at the edges.
Sitting with a very wise young Balinese man a few days ago, we watched in delight as his dogs did what dogs indigenous to the Island of Bali have instinctively done for thousands of years. Barking, practice fighting, eating, sleeping, barking, practice fighting, eating, sleeping, and repeat again. But it must be said, having been told on good authority, that Bali dogs are very lazy, just like Bali people. Having lived with Bali dogs, we can certainly attest that this observation is to be true, canine wise.
Finding a pack of Bali dogs in a jungle setting with a hierarchy of command was certainly a bonus on an unexpected visit. Realizing that they cohabit with a young family who are determined to keep everything as traditional as possible was a very heart-warming experience. In a rapidly changing environment, they are attempting to recreate the old in present modern day Bali Island form. To retain as much as possible of their forebears teachings but to be realistic and aware enough to realize that so much of the past is slipping rapidly, being swallowed and reconstituted into the new materialistic that is consuming their Island home.
Bali people have their own interpretations and versions of love when it comes to feelings for their dogs. Like so much of everywhere, myth and miscommunication, not to mention arrogance, shrouds the fact that the reality is not so different in general actioned love. Their dogs are fretted over, worried about, frustrated by and cursed at, an awful lot.
With a retro progressive philosophy this small group is attempting to action the best practices of and from the past to create a better life in the present world they now inhabit.
They observe correctly that the planet is at a tipping point, that the point of no return may already have passed and that Bali is a daily micro reflection of that crisis. They regard the obvious danger to the Bali dog, through rampant material globalization and unfettered greed, as just one of many dangers to their culture and ancient way of life. Their decision to continue with mainly having Bali dogs is their small way of honouring the line and creating ongoing balance and harmony.
It is indeed an honour to know them.
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