Pet a la Bali
Having a pet is a trend that constantly rising for years in Bali, which is shown by the rising number of pet and pet owner in Bali. Pet shops sprung here and there to fulfill the rising demand on pet food, pet accessories, and other pet related things. Now you can see afternoon two or three people walking their dog in Public Park, and to a sight that impossible to behold forty or thirty years ago.
In the bygone days, petting is an alien concept in Balinese mind; dogs, cats or other animals were just animal and did not deserve love and care since love and care only fit for human. At that time, the only noble position for a dog is to be sacrificed in a ceremony; domesticated animal such as cows, water buffalos and pigs had a better position since they were fed and sometimes provided with a pen. As for dogs and cats, they wandered around freely. The massive number of street dogs at that time made Covarrubias concluded that dogs were the things that keep Bali away from perfection.
Nowadays, most of dog and cat in Bali are pets. The number of street dog diminishes greatly (partly by the massive dog hunt in 1980s to prevent the outbreak of rabies and partly by the constant hunting activity of dog meat sellers) in the course of twenty years. The diminishing in number is followed by rising welfare of the dog or cat at least now their status is pet.
Unfortunately, most Balinese have little awareness on the safety of their pets. Most Balinese only provide food and shelter for their cats or dogs and put little attention on the activity of their pet. There is always a dog or cat crushes by the rushing automobile on the street or fall into hand of dog hunting expedition of dog meat seller. This half-hearted care on the welfare of the pets is still the popular method used in petting activity by most of Balinese.