Pandawa (Panda for short)
Here is the story of our Rescue Bali Dog Panda, it is pretty detailed and long so we hope your comfortable.
Panda’s story starts in Bali. Starting our 6-month adventure exploring south east Asia, Bali was our first location. Feeding our obsession for animals, stopping at every opportunity to meet and stroke them.
We were staying at a home-stay in Uluwatu. Plan for the day was (our favorite activity) jump on a scooter and explore the amazing beaches south Bali has to offer.
On route to our final destination of the day, Pandawa Beach. Driving on the vast empty road, puzzled why we were the only people on it as we heard so much about this beach. Passing all the famous huts parked on the side of the road offering food and bottle fuel. Rachel then shouted to stop while pointing at the most adorable little puppy, we had to immediately turn around to go see him.
Parked the scooter outside of the hut, greeting the locals this gorgeous snow white creature came running to greet us. So happy and full of energy, no hesitation came to Rachel expecting cuddles (which he most certainly got). We then noticed this poor feller has got a huge gash on his side.
Trying to understand what happened to him, we asked the shop owners. They were just kids and with the language barrier we managed to roughly understand that he didn’t belong to them and had just started coming there as they would feed him scraps as much as they could. We asked if there was a mother or any other puppies, but he came alone. They didn’t know anything about how he had acquired his wound. Without hesitation Rachel and I looked at each other and knew we needed to help him. They were happy with us to take him to the vet as there was nothing they could do for him and they didn’t know where he had come from. So, we scooped him up into our backpack, used our towels in there to prop him up as he was too small to fit in the bag, we headed back. In the half an hour return to our home-stay he was ever so calm; didn’t make a move it was like he knew we was there to help him.
Returning to our home stay to research local vets. We decided on Sunset Vet Kuta https://www.sunsetvetbali.com/ , which was around an hour away which we thought was too risky to take him on the scooter so we took a taxi.
Arriving at Sunset Vet, the staff were amazing they were ever so helpful. We needed to register the puppy, the receptionist asked us what was the puppies name. At that point we didn’t have a name for him, then Rachel said we got him from Pandawa beach then we both looked at each other and said Panda. We waited around 20 minutes before a vet was available but Panda would just cuddle up in Rachel’s arms. The vet called Pandas name, after examining the vet said the gash on his side has become infected and if we didn’t pick him up when we did, he wouldn’t have made it through the night. He needed antibiotics before the infection spread.
As we had a flight booked to Flores the next day we had to leave Panda at the vets while he got his treatment.
As we were on the flight, we both had the same feeling that it must have been a sign that we were driving past at that time and saw Panda, that we couldn’t just leave his journey there.
While continuing with our travels we have been in contact with a few animal shelters to take care of him while we weigh up our options. We managed to get in touch with a fantastic shelter in Ubud called Barc. https://barc4balidogs.org/ . Barc is a none profit organisation that provides adoption, foster for Bali dogs. We were in contact with Nele who helped us out so much with Panda and cannot thank her enough.
After doing a lot of research and asking various people who have experienced taking a dog out of Bali we soon realised it is going to be more complicated than we thought (read our blog on how we did it).
Leaving Flores to go to Java then Malaysia we decided to stop off at Bali on the way to see how Panda was doing.
He was doing great and was looked after well by the staff. His wound was on the heal and looked healthy. At this point we still weren’t 100% on what we wanted to do. On route to Malaysia we decided that no matter the trouble we are going to bring him home to the UK. After a lot of research, we realised that to bring him home he would need to stay in Bali for at least 3 months as he would need rabies tests. Also, there was going to be a lengthy process as it is illegal to take dogs out of Bali, we decided to keep him at Barc and carry on our travels.
Thinking that the end of our trip would work out perfectly time wise to be able to bring him home with us, we got some bad news. Panda failed his rabies antibodies test, which we later found out that the was too young for the test at the time he didn’t naturally produce enough antibodies. The vets thought he was a lot older than he was. When we found out he was going to need another 3 months in Bali as he would require another rabies jab and to retake the tests, we decided to cut our trip there and rent a place in Ubud to take care of him ourselves.
Ended up staying with a local family who had a home-stay of there land and rented it out for a month. The locals were as always amazing and loved that we were taking care of a Bali dog. The location was great he had his daily walk through rice paddies making friends on the way.
Due to our funds running out as our only source of income was our savings, we had to leave Panda back with Barc and come home. It took a while but Panda was ready to make his adventure to his forever home in the UK. After looking into varies airlines we realised that due to the UK having rules about bringing live cargo in, we had to fly Panda to Amsterdam and drive him back. So that is what we did, getting on the Euro tunnel, driving through France and Belgium we ended in Amsterdam. We ended up staying a few days in Amsterdam as Rachel’s mum flew to go and get Panda. Few days later he arrived.
As approaching the airport we were anxious and excited to see him, what if he didn’t recognised us? What if we lost that bond with him? As soon as he saw us all those worries went away, he was so excited wagging his tail, he knew he was coming home. A well-travelled dog - from Bali to Jakarta, flight to Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur, drive through Holland, Belgium and France, and Eurotunnel train to the UK.
After the long journey we arrived, Panda instantly knew he was home.
That is Panda’s story.