Being greeted by a well groomed, feisty Pomeranian in a Bali Village bemuses most of our Sharing Bali guests. I’m not the average Bali dog. But here I am, after winning the equivalent of doglotto, a contributing member of Sharing Bali. Not only am I Karen’s protector and fitness “warm up dog”, I keep out the street dogs and most importantly have the job of cute, cuddly companion for guests who may be missing their canine friends.
Getting on to the blog team is a coup. I have my own category “Cantik Chats”. I didn’t wangle my own “about me” section so this first post is all about establishing my cred. Lets talk about my heritage. I may come from humble beginnings, born in the village of Bangli, but our breed has respect from royalty.
“The Pomeranian was not well known until about 1870, when The Kennel Club (England) first recognized the breed. In 1888, on a trip to France, Queen Victoria became enamored by a Pomeranian named Marco, and brought him back with her to England. As legend has it, Queen Victoria wanted her favorite dog, a Pom named Turi, to be with her when she died. Turi was with Victoria when she died in 1901.”
Like any good blogger I do my research. It’s always interesting to hear what Google has to say about oneself. A quick browse and I find that there are a lot of opinions about us Poms and a bit of a personality reality check for myself.
www.yourpurebredpuppy.com was a good source
The positive stuff first…
The Pomeranian is “buoyant in deportment… inquisitive by nature… cocky, commanding, and animated.” Vivacious and spirited, bold and brash, the typical Pomeranian thinks he’s “hot stuff.” He is a sharp-eyed busybody who must check out every sight, sound, and activity and preferably tell you what he thinks about it. He is delightfully alive and aware of everything going on around him.
The less positive stuff.. seems we have some issues…
Standoffish by nature, their natural caution can become suspiciousness. Pomeranians are not a submissive or sissyish breed. They have an independent mind of their own and can be manipulative. Fragility.You can seriously injure or kill a Pomeranian puppy by stepping on him or by sitting on him. A larger dog can grab a Pomeranian and break his neck with one quick shake.
We’ve had some close calls. As a young pup I escaped, chased after some ducks in the rice paddies and ended up buried in mud, sinking deeper with every move. I could have broken my legs trying to get out. The ducks had the last laugh. Pak Agus waded in to rescue me, handing me over to Karen. My eyes and nose were my only body parts not caked in mud. Dignity demolished. I’m a little wiser now and leave the ducks alone.
Petwave added some more insights:
Poms are notoriously difficult to train. They like to be the boss and don’t take kindly to someone telling them what to do. They are stubborn, bossy, manipulative and require gentle but firm leadership. They can charm the pants off even the most heard-hearted trainer. I know some humans with similar traits. Who wants to run with the pack? I find this description just a little harsh. We have character.
Pomeranians are not recommended for families with small children. They are possessive of their toys and food and can snap or bite toddlers who do not understand how to respect a dog’s boundaries. Ok so we don’t share our toys. But in my defence, its not much fun having your hair pulled or eyes poked at. I have made friends with a few kids thanks to Karen’s guidance, but enmasse they are hard to handle. I know I have to work on my tolerance.
Over-sheltered Pomeranians can become very high strung. Let him walk on a leash rather than tote him around in a bag and socialize him around people and other animals. I’m ok with being on a leash. Carried in a bag? I would be the talk of the village. Not cool. My preferred mode of transport is the front of the motorbike. My trips to Ubud or Payangan is my chance to check out what’s happening in other villages. I’ll share my seat with market shopping, and laundry bundles but I draw the line at live chickens. If they are coming on board I have to get on the back wedged between Agung and Karen, which is not so prestigious. I have been known to bark right in Agung’s ear as he is driving us home. Yes, I’m a little precious at times.
Pomeranians bark at everything and everybody and it can be difficult to train this tendency out of them. That’s what we do… accept that you cannot control every ounce of my being. You will be grateful the day I alert you to a danger. The average Bali dog can only dream about living life as I do. Much loved, well fed and at times pampered (my grooming sessions are the dog equivalent of the best spas in Bali). In return I am a watchdog extraordinaire for Karen, always on the alert, sounding the alarm if anything is even slightly amiss.
I like www.dummies.com attitude towards us. (This is a bit like cruising your horoscopes until you find something you like).
Ball of energy: Poms’ pistonlike legs move in a blur as they rush from one place to the next. I have to stay in shape; people on health and fitness retreats surround me. I eat clean food; ; I work out (play) and get enough sleep. Life’s good. Guests travel from all over the world to live like this for a week.
Cuddle-up pup: Poms enjoy cuddling in your lap and being spoiled, but only after they’ve had a chance to run around and be dogs. They tend to be very attached to their family, often choosing one member as their special person. Karen is my number 1, no doubt about it, but as she is often away or busy, I let Agung step in as a replacement. After all, he did find me in Bangli and bring me to dog paradise. Plus I get to hang out and watch tv with his kids when I have a sleepover at his place.
Perky and playful: Poms just want to have fun! This fun-loving fuzz ball is always eager to play a game. He won’t back down from a game of tug of war. Yep, guilty as charged. Playing is encouraged at Sharing Bali. I’ve seen the humans having the most fun with the four-way tug of war rope, and then there is crab soccer and bootcamp netball.
The little brainiac: Pomeranians are incredibly bright, although their independent nature means they often use their intelligence to get into mischief. I can be naughty at times but I do know when I have stepped over the line. When in disgrace I lower myself under the nearest chair and for once don’t make a sound. Secretly, I have overheard Karen say that she likes that I’m a bit naughty. She calls it spirit.
Bold and brash: One of the less-bright traits of Poms is forgetting their size.
I have been trained to stay away from my canine counterparts in the village. Sadly not every dog in Bali is cared for like myself. My vet report card is up to date with vaccinations and I’ve had the snip. Gold star stuff.
Can’t say the same for the village dogs so I am not allowed to hang out with them. I had some puppy mates for a while but unfortunately they gave me a dose of kennel cough resulting in a visit to the vet for painful injections.
Dog life is changing, but it’s tough out on the street, every dog for themselves. Government vaccination programs have reduced rabies cases, and thank goodness for organizations such as BAWA, a charity organization that cares for the health and welfare of animals.
The main reason I am kept on a lead is to keep me from chasing off the intruders. They are all 5 times my size and have street smarts. Karen knows I will come off second best despite my bravado.
Now that I have established my credentials, I am looking forward to posting. Please comment and share. I am inquisitive by nature after all.
Not convinced that us dogs are human like? Read Karen’s favourite book “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. Enzo is my hero.
“The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and–best of all–the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach to us about being human. I loved this book.” — Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants