Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Beautiful Indonesia: Bali's Heritage Dog

The Bali Dog:

Bali has two unique species of dogs that are only found on the island of Bali. The typical Bali Street Dog and the Kintamani. Both dogs are said to be genetically unique to any other dog in the world having been separated and living in Bali for nearly 5,000 years. Their blood lines carry close relations to the wild dog such as the Dingo and old Chinese breeds link the Chow, with characteristics coming out in the fluffy Kintamani. This is link to an interesting blog article explaining a bit more.

There are so many sad situations threatening the Bali Dog and the more awareness the better, so although the below is tough to hear (and to write!) perhaps this will encourage people to pay a bit of attention to these special dogs and donate a bit of their time or money and be a voice to the voiceless.

Common threats to the Bali Dog include: dog meat restaurants, cages and chains, general mis treatment and abuse, lack of proper nourishment, rabies and other diseases that can easily be controlled by vaccinations, mange and other skin problems, over breeding that can easily be controlled by sterilization, abandonment of puppies commonly dumped at the beach, rice fields or side of the road in plastic bags, poisoning by people who see them as pests, and of course the world wide issue of traffic and dogs on the road.

Rescue Efforts
Although not celebrated by all as seen from above, thankfully the Bali Dog does have a huge fan club and strong rescue community ranging from kind hearted Balinese and other Indonesians, expats and tourists, and of course the individual rescuers (see below for their details) as well as the larger official charity organizations like BAWA (Bali Animal Wellness Association) who help in general rescue, vaccination, rehoming etc., and Bali Pet Crusaders who offer highly subsided sterilization making it possible for Balinese pet owners to get their pets sterilized and a very reasonable price.

So now the happy part! Below are tales of real life rescues. Each one is unique, each one a different circumstance and many are still in different stages of rescue. All of the below pups are the lucky ones for sure with different rescuers over seeing their well being and rehoming.

The top photo and the below photo is Lily, she is your classic Bali Dog, a mind of her own, independent, playful and as the photos show, absolutely gorgeous with her healthy white coat and amber eyes.

Her story started out as a typical dumped female puppy, scared and alone on the beach, and got picked on by the other stronger beach dogs. Marcellina, an independent rescuer, would walk her own dogs on the beach and feed her everyday and try to boost her confidence, and eventually got her sterilized. Unfortunately the stitches got infected and she continued to get bullied so Marcellina took her home and... well the rest is history!

Today she lives with Marcellina and the rest of her pack, and acts as a roll model for other rescue pups (like the below Ai Ai and Jolie). She teaches them that not all humans are bad, that they are safe now, she lifts the spirits of broken dogs and teaches them confidence and how to play. On the human end she is happy and VERY friendly and greets everyone with a warm enthusiasm. Happy ending for beautiful Lily in a beautiful home.

This GORGEOUS girl is Bali Dog and perhaps mixed with something else like a pit bull with her square boxy head. Don't let that distract you from her absolutely gentle, fun, playful and easy going personality that would win anyone over within seconds! AND she is up for adoption!!!!

It didn't start out fun and playful when independent rescuer Marcellina found this poor young girl on the side of the road dragging her bleeding leg unable to walk properly. Dragging herself behind Marcellina Jolie followed her home probably sensing that Marcellina could be her angel in her time of need. The doctor said that she had severe hip dysplasia probably due to being hit hard, probably by a human or car/motorbike. Well the good news is that after a period of vaccination, sterilization and recovery Jolie has a small limp but is not even phased. She is completely healthy, runs around, plays and has a down to earth personality and gets along with everyone, oh and did I mention her adorable extra large tongue?! She will make a wonderful pet.

Are you interested in adopting Jolie?? If so please contact me and I can connect you. Shoot me an email at heatherholtphotographybali@gmail.com

Sunny Side Up aka Sunny:

This little cheeky faced trouble maker is another example of a dumped Bali Dog puppy at the beach, and kind independent rescuers Olivia and Carina rescued him and his brother English Muffin aka Muffin and nursed them back to health. They started their journey riddled with the mites of mange (aka Dermodex) which made them completely bald, Olivia and Carina could not even tell what color fur they would have! They were also very skiddish. It took weeks before the girls were able to touch these guys and start to comfort them and let them know that all humans aren't bad. Both have been rehomed and Sunny is lucky enough to live 1 km from the beach, where he takes himself everyday, and home again with or without his owner!! A major trait of the Bali Dog is its incredible independence.


This Kintimani mix is an incredible story of recovery. He was found wandering the streets and literally on deaths door. He had clearly suffered from Distemper which effects the nervous system so he had effects of permanent nerve damage, he was also skeletal and starving, and to top it all off, he was nearly completely bald from dermodex, a type of microbial mange. His before photos would shock you and bring tears to your eyes that an animal can suffer so much. This lucky guy was rescued and cared for and although in the photo below his hair is not fully grown back yet, he blossomed into a wonderful, chilled, trusting and very furry Kintamani dog grateful for every day of his new and loved life.


Rescued from a river, cold and wet as a puppy on the beach, this guy continues to bath in them to this day. Despite his unusual markings he is a typical example of a Bali Street Dog and a wonderful companion and incredibly playful and affectionate. He is lucky to have landed great home, he is a charmer and can be a rascal, but with fosters coming and going through the home where he lives, like Lily, he has been a good roll model for other dogs helping to bring them out of their shell.

Mighty Mouse:

This special girl has had quite an amazing ride. She is clearly part Kintimani with her fluffy appearance. She was rescued in the rice paddies by Prue from Mission Pawsible as a tiny, and I mean TINY puppy. She was the runt of the litter and after being adopted by her first family, and sadly returned, she ended up at the Bali Dog Halfway House. From there this sensitive little girl's health deteriorated and she needed hip and knee surgery. Passed to a rehab foster, then to another foster for socialization this girl came right out of her shell and found her passion for life. She has had incredible luck in that she found an enthusiastic European couple keen to help the underdog and to love her and adpot her into their family forever. Read about Might Mouse's full journey here, its a heart jerker!!


Little Lilu is another example of a mixed Bali Dog (like Jolie above). Clearly mixed with a small breed of some sort she has short little legs and a smaller frame, almost looks like there is some Jack Russel in there! But all the other features of a traditional Bali Dog. She was rescued from the beach, scared and with terrible skin problems as a puppy by Franci from I Love Bali Dogs and has scored herself a loving home in Sanur Bali with a lovely woman named Olivia from Jakarta. Lucky little Lilu is happy and thriving.

Ai Ai (means Love in Chinese):

This little guy, barely 6 months old and wow, he has lived through the pain and suffering of a life time. Poor thing has endured the agony and suffering due an injury inflicted to his eye, and sadly the vet thinks it was human induced. Again Marcellina stepped up and despite taking ages to catch him due to him being terrified of humans and even other dogs, she was finally able to get this little one off the street and got him to vet care where they tended to his injured eye, and of course sterilized and vaccinated him. He has slowly recovered and come out of his shell thanks to the dog Lily (mentioned above) and is a playful little Bali Dog. He is still very young and looks as though he will not grow into a large dog, but his story is one that sure pulls on the heart strings. Now that he is healthy and happy he too is available for adoption! If you are interested please do help this adorable little underdog! Despite his one eye he has a loving personality that matches the meaning of his name.

If interested in adoption please email me at heatherholtphotographybali@gmail.com

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