A “miracle” for graveyard dogs

Gung Dewi is the sweetest girl. She’s shy, and soft-spoken, and has a heart of gold.

There are a few interesting things that set her apart, too: she believes a stray dog saved her life; and she lives in a graveyard.

I know this sounds strange. But in Bali, unwanted dogs are often dumped at graveyards, left to scavenge among the offerings of food locals leave for their departed relatives.

These dogs are starving and sick because they have no one to care for them. In this case, they have no one except Gung Dewi and her family.

Gung Dewi didn’t always love dogs. One day, a few years ago, she had an accident that left her in a coma. The doctors did everything they could for her, and but she never responded to treatment. Eventually doctors told her family to take her home and allow her to die.

Soon after bringing her home, though, her father found a black dog by the side of the road. He didn’t know why, but he had an uncontrollable urge to rescue this dog from the street and bring it back to his daughter. And when he did…she woke up.

She and her family credit that dog – “Miracle” – for her recovery. In return, they have now devoted themselves to caring for dozens of dogs in their small home near the graveyard outside the village.

Because they often struggle, Gung Dewi and her family get help from our partners at the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), who provide them with food for the dogs, as well as veterinary care and assistance. Because so many of the abandoned dogs are young puppies, Gung Dewi and her family will foster and care for them until they are old enough to be adopted.

Bali’s dogs are amazing and unique. Unfortunately, many people in Bali are unable to care properly for their dogs, which too often leads to dogs being sick, injured or abandoned. But thanks to our community-based work with BAWA, we are slowly changing the way people relate to their dogs. And thanks to Gung Dewi and her family, hundreds more dogs have been rescued, loved and found their way to new homes.

--KA

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