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Five days in Bali I will never forget: Part 1

There are certain events in everyone's life that connect with us so strongly that is shakes us into life changing action. One of these events happened for me in August 2016. I had always been aware of the sad and often brutal lives many dogs around the world face, but a trip to Bali brought me face to face with the harsh reality of this.

I had planned a winter getaway with my wife and family. We went looking for a relaxing time and to enjoy all the wonderful things Bali has to offer. We had our minds firmly focused on some warmth, sun, a nice villa with pool, a few massages, lots of cool drinks and some light shopping.

This is exactly how the first week and a half panned out. Our last five days however brought a few unexpected surprises.

Day 1:

We were leaving a lovely country villa near Ubud, heading two hours away to Seminyak for our last week of R&R. Our taxi driver Inyoman is a lovely man who had transported us previously, and had now come up to Ubud to deliver us to Seminyak. 

As we left the fringes of Ubud we travelled down a steep road to a small bridge over a deep gully and river below. As we crossed the bridge my attention was caught by a dog. I noticed he was laboured and very unsteady on his feet. I could see he was very malnourished, like the majority of Bali Street dogs I had seen, and he had virtually no hair due to skin diseases and scabies.

We passed him and I caught sight of an image, where my first thought was ‘no, that can’t be possible’. As we carried on up the other side of the gully that fleeting image would not leave my mind. A kilometre further on I asked Inyoman to stop the taxi. I turned to my wife and daughter and said, “Sorry, but I have to go back to check that dog on the bridge.” They agreed so we turned around and headed back.

As we approached the dog, now at the top of the hill, some locals at a road side stall started throwing rocks at him. He turned and tried pathetically to flee back down towards the bridge. I got out of the taxi and followed him down the hill towards the bridge, and now I could make out what I had seen as we passed earlier.

A huge, raised, volcano-shaped open wound covered his back and shoulder blades. The top of the wound was like a crater and was the size of a side plate.  As I got closer I could see it was full of maggots and pus. It was a hideous and sickening sight. My heart broke as I looked into the saddest eyes I have ever seen. I knew I had to do something for this dog.

My journey started with this one dog, and it has turned in to a mission to help all dogs around the world. This is why I have founded the Dogs of the Globe Foundation. 

To find out how you can help, please check out our appeal on PledgeMe.

Leigh Burney
Dogs of the Globe (DOG) Foundation