Learning From Wild Dogs.

On 29 December 2012, I visited the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary at Mossel Bay, Western Cape of South Africa.

As the Tourist Guide led a group of us from one section to another, he introduced various animals to us.

The purpose was to give us a better appreciation of these other fellow residents on planet Earth. We should understand the part they played in our ecology and value them.

I ended up having a much better knowledge of these animals. In particular, I am more appreciative of one particular species of animals.

In fact, it made a deep impression on me and the impression became a major learning experience.

It was to me the climax of the tour and it happened when we were learning about wild dogs (Lycaon pictus).

These fierce-looking animals looked like some of our domestic dogs and they have brown, black, white and yellowish-brown patches all over their body.

The wild dogs were taller and have ears that were larger and were round and black. They have bushy tails, the tips of which are mainly white.

The looks of wild dogs might not be attractive, at least to me. However, there was a quality about them which moved my heart.

Let me share with you this quality by repeating the story that was told to us by the Guide. Hopefully, by the time I finished, you will not think that they are as wild as we thought.

In fact, they are probably a lot less wild than some humans, especially in terms of some of their social behaviours.

By the way, I once went to a Zoo and it had a cage for the worst animal in the world. When you looked into the cage, guess what? You will find a mirror facing you. Lol!

Back to the wild dogs. These mammals lived and hunt as a pack.

Once they have identified the prey, they would be very focused on it. They would work together to pursue it in a long and open chase and would not give up until it becomes ‘wildlife sashimi’.

As a result, they have a success rate for a kill of about 80%. Lions despite their reputation as predators have a rate of only about 30%.

Wild dogs have one of the best stamina in the animal kingdom. Eventually, they will either outrun the prey or pursue it until it runs out of energy.

Usually, while giving chase, the younger and fitter wild dogs are better at closing the gap with the prey and they would snap at it. The prey would hemorrhage and would eventually have to stop running after losing an excessive amount of blood.

According to the Guide, “The wild dogs would share the feast with the older dogs. They would even regurgitate the flesh to make it easier for the older dogs to consume it.”

I found out later that they would also bring food to the sick or injured, pups, and wild dogs that stayed behind to look after the rest of the pack.

Instinctively, they seemed to remember that older and other wild dogs had looked after them before and they should return the favour.

Somehow, they also realised it was important for them to protect and look after the weaker wild dogs in their pack.

I witnessed this wonderful behaviour during a safari ten days earlier.

Our group was trailing a group of hyenas. They were stealthily pursuing a pack of wild dogs and notably, the puppies and older wild dogs.

Somehow the stronger wild dogs caught wind of the predators.

Instead of running away, they reorganized themselves and defended the weaker ones.

They did not allow the hyenas to take any advantage of them. After a protracted test of courage, action and perseverance, the hyenas gave up and left them alone.

The Guide related to us another story about the wild dogs living in the Sanctuary which touched me. He said, “We used to have one wild dog that was old, sick and dying away.

“Interestingly, the rest of the wild dogs would help to feed and clean it. They would also take turns to protect it.

“This is so unlike many of the other animals. For example, in the case of leopards or cheetahs, they would probably eat the dead or dying animal even though it is from the same breed.”

In my mind, I was thinking. The humans may not eat their own kind. However, they are capable of taking worst actions.

The Guide added, “Eventually, that sick dog passed away and we buried it near to the shelter of the wild dogs.

“Later, we were surprised to see one of them lying on top of the burial ground. It became a sad experience because that wild dog laid on it for about two weeks.

“We have since learned that if any of the wild dogs is dead, we will have to leave it alone. Somehow, the dogs would need time to ‘mourn’ over the dead and ‘grieve’ over the lost.

“These animals have a heart for their elderly and other members of their pack.”


I pondered over this experience on my flight back.

I wondered if after a good meal, the wild dogs would sit together on a cool part of the bushland and have the patience to listen to the older wild dogs as they shared stories from the past.

I wondered if the elderly would share wisdom crystallized from real-life battles and pass on their knowledge of practical living.

I wondered if the elderly would mentor and coach them so that they could have a better hunt and live a better life.

I wondered if they would tell the puppies how their parents had looked after them well. They should do the same when they grow up and thus, continue the cycle of life.

I also wondered about the human race. In particular, I could not help thinking that in our Asian culture, we have always been taught to respect and look after the elderly.

I wondered if the next generation would continue to support this practice. Would we end up doing as well as, if not better than the wild dogs?

What do you think?

P/S: Please don’t forget to look after this old and sometimes wild dog who wrote this note for you. Lol!


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my quotes to the mass media on current affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please do visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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