It’s no surprise to hear that I am an animal lover. I’ve been a mother to dogs, horses, goats, sugar gliders, chinchillas, fish, salamanders, hamsters, chameleons, pygmy chameleons, hissing cockroaches, chongalolos, a pot belly pig, regular squirrels, llamas, an African rock python, an eel and a hedgehog – to name a few.
As we have traveled, a couple things that REALLY bother me and keep me awake at night, are suffering animals, and suffering elderly people.
Bali certainly has its fair share of both of these, and it just really breaks my heart. In the mornings if I’m running an errand on the scooter, sometimes I’ll see women that have to be in their 80’s with a rope tied around their waists, the other end of the rope tied to a basket woven from palm leaves, and they are walking down the street, dragging the basket, picking up garbage – sweeping and dumping everything into the basket.
These sweet Angels should be sitting reading to a grandchild on their laps, and enjoying their last few years of life in a peaceful, restful manner. Sometimes I see them with a towel on their heads to protect their skin from baskets full of bricks that hey are carrying to construction sites. I love these dear people and want to help them all. I want to know their names and their life stories.
I’ve seen an overwhelming number of thin, weak and wound covered dogs roaming the streets. I carry a small bag of dog food with me on the scooter, so if I see a dog in need I can try feed it. I posted a question on the Bali expat site, asking if anyone had considered opening a sanctuary for Bali dogs. I received several replies stating that the better route is to educate the Balinese on how to take care of pets, and offer free sterilization and vaccinations. A woman by the name of Rhonda Lepsch contacted me, and told me about a program she’d started, (balijetsetpetz.com), and said that on the 15th of every month they have a place where people from the poor communities can bring their dogs and cats to be spayed, neutered and vaccinated for free. Everything they use is donated and the vets that come to operated, donate their time. I told her that the creatures and I would be there on the 15th to help. It was an hour ride on our scooters to the location, so we gassed up at the fancy hand crack gas stations and set out on the days adventure.
When we arrived, Rhonda assigned Mycah to help with check ins and organizing which pet goes in next for surgery.
Jude had to stand by in the operations,
then wash instruments and get them ready for the next surgery,
Max, Aidan and Emma had to take care of pets in recovery,
which included medicating their eyes before they woke completely.
I was the floater between stations to assist in any area that needed it. I’m quite confident that I could neuter a dog if I needed to at this point, but I’d need to watch a few more times to be able to spay them.
I was fascinated with how tiny the ovaries and uterus are on a dog!
We cuddled so many dogs.
We played with puppies,
and tried to be of best help we could with our limited knowledge.
Aidan and I managed to run to a local cafe down the road and bring some food back. I love the way food is placed on a sheet of brown paper then stapled together. No utensils are provided because it is to be eaten with you’re hands.
By the end of the day we smelled like dog, and had been peed on or had blood on us and were ready for outdoor showers and then a dip in the pool.
Ever since we moved in to our villa, a skinny little dog has been stopping by and has not allowed us to come close to it. I has a collar on so I think it’s owned by someone in the neighborhood, but they obviously don’t feed it much or ever pet it. We named it Stanley and have been putting food out for it, and last night he let me pet him for a while and when I rubbed his tummy I realized he was a she. This morning she was asleep by the pool and wagged her tail a couple times to greet us.
Even though we don’t do much, we hope that by the time we leave, all the little actions will have made a big difference. We have so much to be thankful for!