Dogs on strike, written by Adwoa Mansa Agyeman, is a story about the symbiotic relationship between humans and their pet dogs. Particularly, the story addressed how both humans and dogs need one another to survive in society.
Though a bit fictional in nature, with dogs talking in human language for instance, coupled with its pictorial nature, seems more likely to be particularly enjoyed by children. Nonetheless, adults would enjoy its playful but lesson-filled nature.
The story opens with young schoolboy, Joe, excited to get back home from school because he wants to put into practice what he has been taught in school; the law of gravity. A brief description of his street, Red Street, pictures a modern society where the houses, facing each other, had a wide street between them, a mailbox and a dog each. For a society that does not so much values dogs, this story teaches on one of the important roles dogs play to humans; warding thieves off.
The piece centres around dogs on Red Street who decide to teach their cruel owners a lesson for neglecting and maltreating them. ‘‘We all deserve to be appreciated! All the houses on this street have no walls but thieves are afraid to come by. They know we hardworking watch dogs will catch them. Yet, our owners treat us like we are nothing. Listen comrades, from now on, no one should bark, wag the tail or do guard duties. Pinky, don’t give birth again. We will do this till the humans learn to take good care of us!”
Just a day or two of man’s defending partner refusing to stand guard saw thieves on rampage on Red Street, starting with Joe’s home. The plot thickens when Joe’s father is threatened imprisonment by his boss when money won from a contract is stolen by thieves. Joe’s father is arrested and another house is robbed, bringing an outcry from the residents. A timely intervention by one of the robbed residents, Mama Doku, and a visit to the veterinary would bring a relief to both man and dog.
The use of self-explanatory and easy to understand English also makes the 33-page book very easy and interesting to read. One finishes reading without knowing and desires to read more.
Overall, the book is a great one for children of all ages, especially, and dog-loving adults also, as it creates a desire for more dogs to not only be bought but also treated well as man’s guardian pet.