The short story “Robert and the Dog” by Ken Saro-Wiwa begins with Robert, a steward, who is content with his new employer, a young doctor. Unlike Robert’s previous employers, the doctor is polite and shows Robert respect and trust. In his turn, Robert feels fulfilled with his situation and with his authority over the doctor’s household.
After six months, the doctor’s wife joins her husband. Robert is initially wary, but the doctor’s wife treats him well, inquires about his family, and appreciates him, which makes Robert feel grateful. However, Robert soon begins to hold a grudge against Bingo, the family dog, who – in Robert’s eyes – is treated better than a human being. Bingo gets fed good food on a plate, sleeps on the couch and is cleaned and brushed regularly. When Bingo is even taken to the doctor, Robert begins to compare the dog with his own malnourished children, who do not benefit from the same level of care.
One day, the doctor tells Robert that he and his wife are going to go away on holiday for six weeks. He asks Robert to take care of the house and Bingo, and Robert accepts. The doctor provides enough tinned food and milk for the dog and gives Robert some money to buy bones for...