Learning From Wild Dogs

by Patrick Liew on October 15, 2019

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 other fellow residents on planet Earth.
Understand the part that they playin our ecology and to appreciate and value them.
At the end of the tour, I had not only a better knowledge of the animals, I became a more enlightened person.
In particular, I became more appreciative of one particular species of animals.
In fact, it made such a deep impression on me that it became a major learning experience in my life.
To me, the climax of the tour was learning about wild dogs (Lycaon pictus).
These fierce-looking animals looked like some of our domestic dogs except that they were taller and have ears that were larger and were generally round and black.
They have brown, black, white and yellowish-brown patches all over their body.
And 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 wild animals.
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 would find a mirror facing you.
Back to the wild dogs.
These mammals lived and hunted as a pack.
Once they have identified a prey, they would be very focused on it.
Worked 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 aggressive predators have a rate of only about 30%.
Wild dogs have one of the best stamina in the animal kingdom.
Eventually, they would either outrun a prey or pursue it until the prey ran 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 then 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 wild dogs, pups, and wild dogs that stayed behind to look after the rest of the pack.
Instinctively, they seemed to remember that the 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, including 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 any member of their pack.
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.”
At that point, I thought about humans.
Humans may not eat their own kind.
However, they are capable of taking worst actions against each other.
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 was mourning for the dead.”
“It  laid on the burial ground 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 grieve over one of their own.”
“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 older wild dogs sharing their stories from the past.
I wondered if the elderly wild dogs would share wisdom crystallized from real-life battles and pass on their knowledge of practical living to the younger generation.
I wondered if the elderly wild dogs would mentor and coach the young so that they could improve their hunting skills and live a better life.
I wondered if they would remind the puppies how their parents had looked after them well.
They should also look after the older wild dogs 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 about 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 they end up doing better than the wild dogs?
What do you think?

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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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Many people may not know that I did not carry a credit card for a long time.

Years ago, as a result of mentoring a group of people on the discipline of creating wealth, I experimented with the idea of not carrying a credit card again.


1. Be mindful about money.

When you start to use cash, you can become more conscious about spending money.

Be more mindful about reality of daily financial transactions.

When money is spent, it’s gone – forever.

Over time, when you become more money-conscientious, you will become more careful about your spending behavior and habits.

Be more wary about not wasting hard-earned money.

2. Appreciate value of money.

By using cash, you can be more aware of what you can get with your current amount of warm tender – not cold hard – cash.

In the same way, you may realise what you cannot get with your money.

And realize that it’s so important to save for awhile so that you can get many good things in life.

For example, investing in quality education so that you can be better positioned and prepared for success.

3. Develop financial discipline and habits.

When you appreciate the value of money and the good it can do for you, your loved ones, and society as a whole, you will become more motivated to earn more money.

Learn to explore more and better ways to generate a higher income and ongoing profits.

Develop a habit of saving money.

Once you start this wonderful habit, you will want to save more money.

Realise that you don’t need to spend as much money as you thought.

You don’t have to follow other people’s spending habits.

Many of them don’t know how to manage their finance, let alone know how to achieve financial freedom.

You will learn how to spend less money and still be able to live well.

For example, I have learned to go to factory outlets and sales to buy good products but at a substantial discount.

Earning more, spending less, and saving more money are basic but vital habits to become rich and wealthy.

4. Become a wiser consumer.

When you use cash to buy something, you will need to ask for its price.

You will have to take money out from your wallet and collect back the change if necessary.

When you save your loose change, you will realise every cent that you save can add up to a lot of money.

In addition, you will also become more mindful of the price of your purchase.

Soon, you will discover that prices of goods are not pegged scientifically and they are not absolute.

You can always get better buys and better bargains in different ways and places.

You may also realise that you don’t need the “stuffs” and “toys” that are being merchandised, advertised and promoted to consumers like us.

Stop yourself from impulsive buying.

You will not be easily misled by salespersons and cheated by con men who knows how to win your heart and mind.

You will learn to make better buying decisions and live a more effective life.

And be a wiser consumer.

5. Build a more sustainable reservoir of positive emotion.

You may discover that the outcome of buying something is in the hope of an emotional gain.

Such emotion is transient and frequently not sustainable.

Fact is, there are other ways and perhaps even better ways to enjoy positive emotions without having to spend money.

You will learn to appreciate and value relationships, experiences, and memories more than whatever you can buy in a shop.

Some of the best things in life as they say are free.

Sad to say, we often choose to spend unnecessarily and pursue materialism and affluence.

The great things in life include learning to appreciate beauty around us, being grateful about daily blessing, and meditating about goodness of life.

It also includes spending quality time with family and friends, going for a nice walk, or recording your reflection on a hand phone like what I’m doing right now.

You will learn to major on the majors.

And like Steven Covey would say, put first things first.

6. Live simply.

When you spend less money, you will have less baggages to carry in your life.

Learn to live simply.

Then, you will realise that you don’t need to live lavishly to live a happy life.

Simplicity is one of the keys to unlock the door to a life of happiness and well being.

Using cash can lead you to appreciate the more important and finer things in life.

7. Cultivate discipline of delayed gratification.

Spending money is the most expensive way to live life.

Learn to say no and cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Appreciate the value and discipline of delayed gratification.

It may be hard to practice delayed gratification in an ‘instant fixes’ society.

Most people are looking for easy ways, short cuts, get-rich-quick schemes, and on-demand pleasures.

Delayed gratification requires self-control, discipline and perseverance.

These are also traits that are common in many successful people.

When I studied these people, I found they are masters in controlling their urges for immediate gratification.

They do it through self-restraint, training, and constant practice.

They know that success requires self-mastery, determination and hard work.

They practiced these disciplines in their daily life.

People who exercised more self-control in fulfilling their wants became more positive, self-motivated, and resilient in achieving their goals.

As a result, they became more successful in life.

8. Be an effective negotiator.

When you use cash, you will have a greater tendency to ask for a discount and bargain for a better deal.

As you take a firmer grip of your financial position and have a better control over your expenses, you will be more conscious of better buys.

Seek for advice and look out for a better way to acquire things.

You will find out if you can get a better returns for your money and a lower interest rate when you need financing.

Learn the art and science of bargaining and negotiation.

The pull and push of negotiation can be fun and exciting.

Besides, it is also an important skill to develop and apply to be an achiever in life.

9. Develop long term vision and goals.

As you realise what money can do for your life and for others, you will be compelled to develop long term vision and goals.

You will not be satisfied with fleeting pleasures and short term gains.

In time, you will be able to afford better things in life.

You and your family can live in comfort and security, even as you give more of yourself to the world.

You will have more resources to give back and live a more purposeful and meaningful life.

With sound vision and goals, you will be more mindful of how you should deploy and channel your resources.

Learn to move in the right direction and achieve better outcomes.

10. Avoid unhealthy credit and debts.

Last but not least, you will never be trapped by evil clutches of financial hell as you get into an unhealthy habit of saying, “Charge it to the card.”

Credit card debts has become one of the biggest reasons for bankruptcy and financial ruins.

When you use cash, you will never live beyond your means.

Never have to worry about paying high interest rates to credit card companies.

Or about being unwittingly overcharged and living with recurring payments.

You will not have to suffer auto-renewals of purchases that you don’t need and want.

By using cash, you can develop money-consciousness.

It will prevent you from suffering financially or going broke.

Without money-consciousness, even if you are rich, you may not be able to keep your money and grow it over time.


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

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

Follow me on:


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/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn


My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

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