Sally needs a home, but…

What would you do if a dog rolled up on your doorstep and begged to be taken in? It happened to us about six months ago. Sally, a thin, lanky, light grey, Bali dog must have heard the news – Bayu’s Kitchen gives you a bowl of dry dog food and as much water as you can drink, if you look hungry. Sally trotted in to check out the special-of-the-day.

Sally 3

“Is she a stray?” I asked my staff.
“She belonged to the people at The Round Bar, but they went back to Australia.”
“And left her?”
“No, they gave her to a family, but they don’t want her now.”
“Feed her,” I said, “but don’t encourage her.” What was I thinking?
Sally was back the next day and the day after and…

Rina, my miniature poodle, and I were doing our daily walk, when Wayan fell into step beside us. He’s a driver I use sometimes and before becoming a freelancer, he worked for BAWA (Bali Animal Welfare Association)
“How are you?” I asked.
“Good, but Sally’s not so good. She needs a home, can you take her?”
“She drops in now whenever she’s hungry. We feed her.”
“I know, but it’s not the same as having a real home.”
“Rina’s enough for me. I don’t need another dog.”
“Think about it,” Wayan said, leaving us to walk alone.

We paced it out until Rina tired and I picked her up, shoved her under my right arm and continued walking. I couldn’t imagine doing this with Sally, she was much too big. One dog is enough, I thought. I can manage one.

Sally had other ideas. Her visits became more regular, moving from once a day, to twice, to thrice and about three months ago, she became a permanent fixture in our restaurant. I ignored her presence, half hoping she’d leave and half hoping she’d stay. My staff fed and petted her, pleased with her presence. The restaurant clients became her next target. She would meet them on arrival, put up a paw to shake hands and often sit beside them with her head resting on someone’s foot. No one objected, in fact many hands reached down and patted her head. She worked on becoming indispensable.

Sally’s confidence grew and her visits to our home next door started. She’d wander in, drink from Rina’s water bowl and hang around long enough to get a pat on the head from someone. Over the months, she wore us down. Rina’s tail wagged whenever she saw Sally and I petted and talked to her. Sally was victorious. She’d adopted us and we appear to have adopted her back.

Sally 2Last week Bayu met the vet and organised a home visit for Sally. They gave her a physical, updated her injections and wormed her. During her physical they checked inside her ears.
“She’s got a BARC tattoo. So she’s had all her injections and been sterilized.” BARC is short for Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre
The vet gave us a log book for Sally and recorded the date, her booster injections, name and then asked, “What’s Sally’s date of birth?”
“31st April, 2013,” I said, “The same as Rina. This will make birthday celebrations easier.”

Two days later, we bathed Sally to discover she was not grey at all, but rather sparkling white under all that dust and dirt.
Next week, we will buy Sally a bed.

Sally had faith; from the time we met she knew we would become family. We took a little longer to reach the same realization, but we got there. She’s a welcome addition to our home, our restaurant and our life.

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