Have you ever been to Bali, Indonesia? It's by far one of the most magical places that I have ever been to. I got here back in February 2020 right before the coronavirus hit. I live here during my off time when I'm not working on the yachts as a chef. Due to the pandemic, I have currently lost my job, and I have taken Bali entirely into my heart.
I've always wanted the long term goal to make Bali my permanent home. Now I have more of a reason, and that is where my story begins with my furry best friend, Lunita.
Lunita came into my life shortly after the death of a baby bird that I found and tried to rescue named Peeps. I was genuinely devastated after the loss of Peeps, and my friends and I ended up having a Balinese style scared burial in our yard.
The thought about getting another bird was on my mind. So was the idea of fostering a dog, which brought on a discussion with my housemates. There are so many dogs that need loving homes here in Bali and, as a matter of fact, all over the world. Due to the coronavirus, it became extremely evident that more and more dogs needed homes since a good portion of ex-pats living here ended up going back to their home countries to be with their families, having to leave their pets behind.
Growing up in the westernized world of New York with pets is a bit different from most of Southeast Asia. Animals are sure not treated in the same regard. Most of the dogs here in Bali are free to explore and do what they want. From running around on the beaches splashing in the waves, adventuring through rice paddies, scooter rides with wind on their furry faces, and going through the trash and smelling like garbage.
With this freedom, it also comes sadness of some of the unfortunate dogs. Some are starving and need medical attention, as did Lunita and her three puppies that were found abandoned on the side of the road in the hot Indonesian sun.
Lunita was almost hit by a scooter when crossing the road. The driver of the bike and his girlfriend Crystal decided to stop to see if she was ok. There they found Lunita and her three pups, weak, hungry, and dehydrated. Crystal being the loving soul that she is, decided that it would be best to bring them all home.
Lunita, just seven months old, was a very protective mother of her newborn babies. Crystal got a sarong out to provide some shade and attempted to hydrate while waiting for transport. Four hours later, with Lunita still putting up a fight as any new mother would do, Crystal was finally able to get her home.
Once back at the villa a few days of tender love and care, hydration, food, they all seemed to be doing just fine until they weren't. The animal rescue operation can be a bit disorganized, and things can change quickly. All of Lunita's three puppies' health started to fail, and they all suddenly died.
Lunita cried and visibly grieved after the loss of her babies, as did Crystal. After the overcome to the heartbreak, Crystal, like many others, had to tend to the pandemic situation and had to fly home, but not before finding Lunita a new home. She was put into good hands by another friend who was able to take her in, but again unfortunate circumstances did not allow her to keep her for very long.
So now, this is where I came in and got to meet my rescue puppy. It was love at first sight. Lunita, at our first meeting, immediately jumped into my arms as if she knew who I was. My friend, who could no longer tend to her, was in complete shock and told me that she's never trusted someone that quickly, as she has shown some abusive traits that might have happened to her as a puppy.
I was looking forward to getting her home, and my housemates were excited to meet her. Lunita was very timid and frightened at first. She would eat her food like it was her last meal, hide behind me whenever someone new ever came close, and was untrusting of people. She even tried to show her dominance by humping anyone that she was unsure of that came to visit.
After some time, love, and lots of patience, a trusting bond began, and her temperament slowly changed. She has been with me now for three months and has become my best friend. She loves to explore, and in the mornings, she jumps on my bed, excited to go for her sunrise walk outside. She is full of life, energy, and has become my shadow as follows me everywhere.
Still a bit of abandonment issues as if I go out for ten minutes, she acts as if I have left for a year. I have recently taught her how to sit and give me paw. She has learned how to play fetch, loves to catch flies, geckos, and her favorite, dragonflies. She loves to dig and hide her treats and enjoys cuddles as she snuggles by pushing her nose into my armpit. Seeing her smile makes me smile.
Lunita has a resilence and brings magic into my life. A dog that lost her babies, abandoned, beaten, and broken down has become an inspiration for her courageousness and strength. She continues to change each day and has become one of my main reasons to build a career to flourish in Bali so I can tend and love her. We are now in this together, full of unconditional love, for this beautiful journey called life.