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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dogs in Bali

Thanks to Steve Tipton for sending link to this article on dog problems in Bali.

Here's my response - DC:


I wish the NYT paid as much attention to Indonesia's alleged culling of people in Papua and execution of lowest level illegal drug mules while ignoring, showing leniency to, or allegedly working with the big guys in the biz and ignoring the much greater numbers of dead from tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs.

At the end of the article it quotes someone saying the dog that bit the girl should be back on the beach. If they'd asked the opinion of just about any expert in dog training and behavior they'd not have let that pass. For instance, a guy who'd written twenty books on dogs told me that any dog that shows aggression toward people should not have another chance - to be that free.

When I was here in 92 dogs were a big problem but others and I have found that situation to have changed. There are dogs here and there on the beach and the streets, many with collars - fewer dogs now than a year ago, some that bark at people but not many, and I haven't felt genuinely threatened this time whereas in 92 I had to call for help more than once when surrounded by a pack of snarling canines. Back then I got used to walking through villages while being challenged by numerous scary mutts. There's a street stray I call the boss of our favorite restaurant (with a mix of hip locals and foreigners and mixed bloods). I've seen it stick its face in a friend's plate and fight with the manager when it found some chicken scraps in the kitchen trash - that fight continued cause it didn't want to eat it in the rain. People at our table moved to another to escape the clash. The dog still hangs out there. At another high quality place by the beach with an excellent bakery there's a fairly ragged mutt that wanders in and sleeps on the floor till an employee finally shoos it out - to return later. Eating at a table on the beach it's not unusual to have a dog come lie down at my feet. Most restaurants catering to tourists do not have dogs. Katrinka just noticed there are fewer dogs on the beach and streets. I haven't noticed any aggression from dogs at the beach but Katrinka says one was barking at her yesterday when she walked by it but she says she thinks it wanted her to play. We agreed that there's more dog shit on the sidewalks in San Rafael than here. I haven't heard of any tourist being bitten but a guy from Flores who runs a travel stand near here said that one of our landlord's dogs bit him a couple of years ago and they were unconcerned and didn't help to pay for his rabies shot. The article said the shots are free. I hope that's true. It's good to read there's no rabies with people this year. In past years the deaths from rabies were attributed to poor people not wanting to spend the five dollars to get a shot.

Katrinka and I support the culling of stray dogs. Of course we'd like them to be taken to a nice sanctuary to spend the rest of their days lolling about well fed. Don't know if I'd wish them to be adopted because people tend to put dogs in cages here. Our friend Alice lives next door to a family that keeps dogs in a cage and they start barking at five in the morning. Her mate Danu won't talk to the owners because he's Javanese and they're Balinese. I bet that would be fruitless. I told her to get an electronic gizmo that sends back a painful high sound when a bark hits it. That can work but they have a dog o their own and don't want to do that. It's no fun to see how dogs can be treated here or in many parts of the world. You can buy dog meat here legally. Just look for the RW sign. Don't know what that stands for. Read about arrests for dog-napping and selling to RW shop. Katrinka says they favor small brown dogs for sacrificing.

I used a high sound dispenser - looks like an aerosol can - to stop a pit bull from barking all the time at the place where we first lived here. Made, the owner, said his dog ran into the street and was killed by a car when a Russian woman guest let it out of its cage. He said she had been complaining to him that that was cruel. I urged him not to get another dog. He got a young pit bull that was super friendly and dying for attention and put it in the cage outdoors by the front of his place. Elmo got walked daily to the beach for a while but mainly he begged for attention and barked in his cage - a large cage with a roof - like five feet wide and four deep and tall. They'd let him be in the courtyard on a long leash and I'd say hi to him but he was too strong and enthusiastic to get too near to. A long term Aussie tenant who lived up front told Made he'd move out right away unless the dog barking stopped. So Made moved the dog to the back of their villa where his in-law Yani and her husband lived across from one of their mothers. Also that was next to us. They kept the dog chained up all the time on a porch except for an occasional walk to the beach. But those walks stopped because Elmo was too strong. I complained to Yani that the dog's barking all the time was not acceptable. She just asked why I didn't like dogs That's when I got the sound spray can.  Boy was that effective. Elmo stopped barking. The next day Yani told me that she was worried about Elmo because he'd stopped eating. I remembered the instructions that came with the can saying to use it in coordination with positive feedback. So I became friends with Elmo, brought Elmo a snack every morning. I'd have to stand beyond his reach to pet him cause he was too rough and strong. If he'd bark I'd let him do it a little then whistle which he learned meant stop or it's the can. So we had a happy compromise. Wonder how Elmo is now.