I’m not what you’d call a do-gooding hippy type. I’m just a normal guy walking around in shoes made by Chinese slave children, who gives the finger to swans and yells at rainbows to ‘tone down the fruity shit’ and ‘stop rubbing it in our Goddamned faces’. A normal guy. I do have some lady type feelings and I’m capable of compassion for other human beings (if they’re on the TV and I don’t have to speak to them). But like most normal people where I really go weak is baby animals. Especially baby dogs.
Here’s a tip for all you writers (advertising hacks) who are working on (talking about at parties) your screenplay (half hatched idea that’s probably already been done). If you want to make your bad-guy BAD, have him kick a dog. People like dogs more than people. Go to a movie and watch a bad-guy murder kids and no one blinks – have that bad-guy kick a dog and the whole theatre will pull out their phones there and then and start hacking into the studios email system on some retaliation leaks type shit.
A few Flemensdays ago we adopted a Bali dog…
A few Flemensdays ago we adopted a Bali dog. More accurately, this little dog hunted us down and thrust himself into our lives. We heard a little whimper outside our villa and went out to investigate and found him… More accurately my sister-in-law heard the whimper and went to investigate while I screamed out, “Don’t you go out there. I forbid you to go out there! Do not go out side that gate!” She came back into the villa with something tiny and barely moving in her hands. It was a 6 week-old puppy. Furless, covered in ticks, wobbly on its feet, slow cooking in the sun and nearly dead.
As anyone who has ever loved someone or something knows – it’s bloody annoying. It means one has to consider others in one’s ‘life’. So I really, really wanted to toss the puppy underarm into the rice paddies and go back to watching my life pour down Mark Zukerberg’s plughole. The Disney version is that he leaves my villa and toddles off to make friends with a frog and a mouse and they have adventures in the rice fields and sleep on a pile of leaves under the stars. But the reality is that he wanders hungry until he’s squashed open by a truck and has his eyes eaten by one of those bigger lizards.
So because I’m not Hitler reincarnated or a South African policeman named Junta, and because my wife made a sound like a balloon that was filled with joy being released as soon as she saw him, we adopted the little bark-machine. Adopting a dog was never on the cards for us – it’s one of those lame things married couples with no kids do because they need something to talk about but won’t man-up enough to create a human being / tiny soap opera to fill the awkward silences as they stare at their shuffling feet and travel towards the sweet release of death.
Naming the dog is an important thing to do because by naming it you are forging the start of a personality in your mind. But mostly because it’s what you’ll be yelling out in public – a lot.
We landed on the name ‘Pig’ because:
When we got him he was a hairless little skin ball like a piglet / bacon seed.
It’s a damn good name for a dog.
His full name is Pig Rambo Green. The Rambo is short for ‘rambunctious’ which is a nice way of saying ‘dick’. It’s fair to say that Pig is a handful – even now without his balls and with a few months of ‘training’ under his collar. He seldom does what he’s supposed to do and often does whatever the hell he wants to do. Which means I spend at least an hour a day standing on Berawa beach yelling out “PIG!” at the top of my voice like a retard on a farm visit.
When you live in the city and you go out into the world at 11am on a Wednesday it’s a different world filled with different people. Not the people you see at 8am on the way to work and not the commuters you see at 6pm on the way home. Maybe you’re sick at home and you need to get some lemons, paracetemol and a pornography magazine so you venture out into the streets and there you see the man who has a parrot; the man who talks to rubbish bins; the woman who writes down passing number plates of cars in a tattered notebook; the Subway sandwich worker buying crack on his break; and occasional disgraced policeman who has been demoted and walks the crazies-beat for getting caught shoplifting nail polish and wearing stockings under his policeman cargo pants. That time of the day is a nether time where the fringes of society walk among the artefacts of civilisation touching the things the normal people don’t touch and sniffing the buttons on the crosswalks… and you.
And that’s what the beaches are like at 5am. These are the type of people that my dog has forced me to associate with. I am one of the 5am crazies – meet my mates.
And that’s what the beaches are like at 5am. These are the type of people that my dog has forced me to associate with. I am one of the 5am crazies – meet my mates:
‘The White Walker’ – A woman in her 60’s who wears the white bikini and carries two hand weights. She walks with urgency of a woman who knows the toilet is an hour away but her ablution is minutes away.
‘Christopher Walkin’ – Who is this old man? He has no dog and no exercise apparel yet he is on the beach… walking walking walking. Back and forth.
‘Why-an’ – A Balinese dog walker who asks way too many personal questions about your life, finances, and motorbike situation. “Where are going?” “How much you pay for your villa?” “Do you have any photos of your wife going to the toilet?” That kind of thing.
The Bintang Clan – Five Russian nerds who have been up all night on PRO-PLUS and are having one last beer before going to bed… Vlad has lost his Croc and Sergei can’t find his fanny-pack.
And me… and the Pig.
Pig loves that beach. That beach is his jam. It’s a wonderful place for a dirty little Bali dog. It’s a constantly changing smell-scape filled with delicious decay, cows, horses, other dogs and occasional human turd to roll in. Pig’s favourite time of the day is beach time followed by eating time but mostly beach time.
And it breaks my heart. Because Pig’s world is a small world. It consists of our house, the rice paddies around our house, our gang, the scooter trip down the road to Berawa beach and Berawa beach with borders of Echo beach at one end and Batu Belig at the other. That’s it. He knows nothing of the world outside the route to the beach. He has never seen the shuffling, sunburnt miners in Kuta or the so-so socialites in Seminyak and he knows nothing of the spiritual materialists in Ubud. So when we leave the house to got to work / supermarket / gym Pig thinks that we have gone to the beach and he looks distraught every time we start our scooter engines. He thinks that my wife wakes up puts on her clothes and heads to the beach for 9 hours. Then he watches as I grab my laptop and head out… to the beach. And when we return he looks at us as if to say – “how was the beach you fuckin’ jerks?” And it hurts me. I only want to see him happy.
Once I put peanut butter on his dick. I can’t tell you the joy it brought him. This one action encompassed two of his other favourite things; licking his dick and peanut butter. He curled into himself like a pleasure cashew and gobbled himself off for a good minute. I looked down at him and thought, “I have never in my 41 years with all the travel, drugs, material gain, music, human warmth, rewarding marriage, 20/20 vision and rude health – ever, ever been as happy as that hairy little dick licking dude is right now with his mouth full of his peanuts and his penis…”
Responsibilities are the worst thing about being an adult. Having responsibilities makes me wish I had a mild head injury and was rendered 20% mentally deficient. That way when someone says to me, “Hey Oli, you need to get your dog’s testicles removed so that it doesn’t breed and make more homeless little Pigs,” I could point to my head and lick the sharp edge of a knife until my wife hands me the iPad with the videos of trains playing on it and put my finger up my nose, rock a little bit and say… “Train… Train… Train… Uh Uh Train…”
But no. Sadly my head is uninjured and so I have had to take care of my stupid responsibilities and have my dog’s testicles cut out of his plump little sack. I love the little guy and like every Jewish parent knows – sometimes love means having to mutilate some genitals. This was a sad and hilarious day.
First thing that happens is the Pig was rendered unconscious – and not with a brick or a petrol soaked rag as I thought might be the case with a Bali vet, but by an injection, which was refreshingly modern. He was then placed on what looked like a maxi pad for a woman who has a vagina the size of a bathtub. Then the instruments were sterilized and the vet asked me to plug in a strobelight and put some Metallica on while she put a gimp mask on… Okay that last bit didn’t happen but that would have been weird right? At this point I didn’t want to be alone – so I reached for my iPhone and had a Facetime with my wife. Needless to say what followed was a scene that didn’t make the final cut of the iPhone commercial…
Apple iPhone Facetime Commercial: Dog Testicle Removal Script
We open on a drugged little black dog totally passed out on a giant maxi pad. A Balinese vet flicks the dog’s testicles with her forefinger. The dog doesn’t move. The dog owner winces. The vet then cuts open the dog’s little scrotum with the type of razor blade you see people chopping up cocaine with in the movies – and not a proper surgical scalpel – which gives the whole thing a prison movie vibe. Then, like it ain’t no thing, the vet removes two bloody doggie grapes from the scrotum while the dog owner whimpers and instinctively reaches for his own grapes.
Dog Owner: I think I’m going to be sick.
The vet sews the dogs nut-purse back up and throws the testicles (no lie) into the kitchen rubbish bin while the dog owner just sort of stands there and says.
Dog Owner: You just chuck them in the bin?
Vet: Yep. That’ll be 250,000 rupiah please.
Cut to close up of iPhone screen where we see Dog Owner’s wife
Dog Owners Wife: Oli, I’m in a meeting. I’m hanging up!
Apple Voice Over: Everyday. More people connect on Facetime to tiny split open dogs ball bag on the iPhone than any other phone.
Pig was limp. His tongue was hanging out and he had stitches instead of testes. I felt terrible for a few hours but then he woke up and it was time to put the sadness behind me and laugh my tits off at the little douche.
He was a hammered animal. And not a hammered animal like when you used to get your cat stoned. It was like he was on much ‘better’ drugs than weed. If you’ve ever done Ketamine and been trying to travel the three steps from the wall to a couch or from a couch to a door or even bring your hand to your face you’ll know what my little dog was going through. Pig was in a K hole of epic proportions – so I did the decent thing and put on some Grime music and flicked the lights on and off for a while.
Bali Dogs are fantastic dogs. They are a breed that hasn’t been bred. Bali dogs are small, wiry, fast as hell, loyal, fantastic watch-dogs and smart. They are what happens when people stop taking an interest in dogs’ sex lives and trying to change them to be more aggressive, flat nosed, hairless, hairy, fit into handbags and all the other stupid things in between what we’ve made dogs become. When whatever disease, bomb, or financial collapse gleefully removes human beings from this planet – after a few generations of us not breeding them – all dogs will eventually even out and become Bali dogs. They aren’t what you think they are. They aren’t feral or dangerous or full of rabies – they’re quite the opposite. They’re now my favourite breed. And since having Pig, we have opened our hearts and food bags to the other dogs we see in our area too. In our gang alone there is:
Tiger dog – who has markings like a tiger.
No Pants – who has no hair on his hind quarters.
Three legs – who has a missing front leg.
White Dog – who is pure white.
And Asshole dog – who’s an asshole.
All of them are packed with personality and, if you give them a chance, great fun to be around. Watching them do their thang is better than a box-set (okay, an average box-set).
So even though Pig is annoying as hell at times (his barking sounds like the last, urgent scream for help of a serial killer’s victim from the bottom of a hole dug in a basement before the serial killer drops the dank plywood cover back over it, plunging the victim back into darkness mixed with a power tool designed for cutting wood trying to cut metal duct taped to a megaphone and it makes me want to drown him in a bucket) having him in our lives has made our lives better.
If you have a heart and some time, I recommend you head over to Bawa and look into adopting a little mutt. They make you smile. They make you laugh. They are soulful and simple. They are fun. And, ultimately, they make you less human and more dog. Which, knowing humans, is a welcome improvement.