A month ago in a remote village in Indonesia, we found a puppy who had been abandoned by her family in the middle of the rice fields.
It was raining heavily and we heard her cries from the darkness. Soaking wet with mud and covered in swollen red ant bites she appeared at our door.
The owner of our guesthouse gave her the name “Ni-kah” in Balinese which means “to appear out of nowhere”.
She was sick and starving. Her belly was massively swollen with worms and she had a high fever. We brought her inside and kept her warm, feeding her scraps of food we were able to find. We planned to leave the village a few days later but due to her condition we extended our stay and began nursing her back to health.
Nika is unlike any other dog we've met before. Bali’s indigenous dogs are some of the oldest breeds in the world and their DNA is made up of Australian Dingo, Chow Chow, and Akita. She’s really something special.
We never intended on keeping Nika but somehow she appeared in our lives and chose to stay there. Through our time here in Bali she has been by our side through countless earthquakes where we held each other close. She's been attacked by aggressive strays. She's dodged speeding motorbikes in the street and fallen into the deep trenches of rice terraces where she's almost drowned.
We visited overcrowded rescue centers, where we were told that she would be at a very high risk for exposure to Parvo, Distemper, Rabies & Skin disease. We began sponsoring her and had her completely vet checked, vaccinated & treated for the worms that made her belly swell.
At one rescue organization, surrounded by sick and seriously injured dogs, we were overcome with emotion when we were told that she would probably just end up back on the streets despite our efforts.
Typically, female dogs in Bali are dumped by their families simply because they are not considered as strong as male dogs.
We have learned that dogs (specifically with her markings) are brutally killed here and used in animal sacrifice.
We also know the threat of the dog meat trade which is sadly still practiced in Indonesia. Often stolen the dogs are first stuffed in metal cages and then tortured to death for their meat (believed to deliver spiritual or medicinal health benefits).
After weeks of our desperate search for her forever home we finally met a local man who wanted to adopt her. We went to his home and met his family and were over the moon when he said they would take her. Last week this man sent us an urgent message asking us to puppy-sit for him while he went out of town for a wedding. He showed up at our hotel with Nika shoved into a bag covered in her own feces. He said he didn’t know what happened. We have not heard from him since.
Though we are very grateful that he did not dump her somewhere, we were heartbroken to learn that he didn’t want her.
After this incident, it became very obvious just how difficult it would be to find Nika a good home in Bali. It is not uncommon for each and every local person you meet in Bali to have several dogs at home. Sadly, many are kept in small cages, chained up outside without water, or left to roam the streets to scavenge food from the garbage.
We found out that it is possible to send Nika to England but it will be very expensive. Since we have been traveling for over 9 months, and plan to end our trip in England (where Nathan is from) in 3 weeks, we have very little funds (and time!) to make this happen.
We feel uncomfortable asking for donations when there are so many needy causes in this world, but if you can give at all, no amount is too small.
It will cost approximately $5000 CAD to get Nika out of Bali.
Yes, you read that right.
The agency will provide overland transportation from Bali to Jakarta, exportation documents & services, and cargo shipment from Jakarta to London, England. This does not include a mandatory 90-day stay in Bali before travel at a “safe house” before she can travel to England or any other personal bills of ours.
It’s an extremely complicated and difficult process to export animals from Indonesia which is why we would have never considered it before all of this. This is Nika's last option. There are no other options for her.
Bali is home to thousands and thousands of needy dogs, and Nika is just one of them.
Can you help Nika get to England?
We will be fur-ever indebted to you.
With all our love from Bali,
Justine, Nathan & Nika