September 2007


African Dog Is Subject Of New Book

Editor’s Note: “Tales of an African Dog,” a true story by Jean E. Straatmeyer and published by Trafford Publishing, is now available to the public on line at  All profits from the sale of this book will be given to care for orphans in Malawi, Africa.

Crystal Beach, Texas — “Alaska Malawi,” a dog born in Africa in the country of Malawi is adopted by Americans who eventually take him back with them to the State of Alaska. Tales of an African Dog chronicles the first year this African hound lives in the home of Americans while learning an entirely new life style.

When Straatmeyer and her husband volunteered in Malawi, Africa for a year, they were robbed shortly after arriving.  What was needed was a dog — for safety.  They adopted “Alaska Malawi,” a puppy who became much more than just a security system for them. 

He became part of the family and made the long trip to Alaska to stay with them.

Straatmeyer was encouraged to write her dog’s story from his own viewpoint, outlining the many changes and new experiences he went through in his short life. Although the book is written at a third or fourth grade level, it illustrates to all readers some of the diversity in customs, traditions, and geography between America and Africa. 

This half-wild dog has many escapades trying to cope in a completely strange environment while he gets comfortable with his new family.  No longer does he forage for his own food in the garbage pit.  No longer will he fear people.  No longer must he endlessly scratch his flea bites. 

Of course, he can no longer run wild and free with other dogs, but he quickly bonds with his new family where he finds lots of love and care.

“Alaska’s” first year of growing up in Malawi shows the Malawian life style, culture and topography.  His adventures include having his first bath, going to the veterinarian, slipping through the fence to play with a pretty girl dog, eating forbidden chicken, getting dipped for fleas and visiting Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa.

In addition to it being a fun and instructional book for all ages, it is a valuable instrument for adoptive or foster families as a teaching tool on the topic of changes children must make when they are introduced to a new home.

Anyone interested in acquiring this new book may order it from