Saturday 25th July 2009

I may have explained a little too well to Shadow the concept of what it means to get paid for working. She has started asking questions and to be fair has come up with some that I hadn’t thought of. Does a guide dog have the right to go on strike? Is it still a ‘wild cat’ strike if dogs are involved? I hadn’t thought at all about our rights to withdraw labour and what they might entail. I have been too busy worrying about securing basic payment for our efforts. I think a guide dog might fall into the same category as other emergency services and in that case would only withdraw labour in very extreme circumstances. You couldn’t walk out on the job when you’d got your human half way across the road and leave them stranded. Perhaps I should abandon the aim of securing our rights through democratic means and seek to call an all out strike of dogs everywhere. Would the country be brought to its knees if police dogs, sniffer dogs, guide dogs, sheep dogs and all the dogs acting in films and television were to stage a walkout? I know I am sadly deluded. At the end of the day it would make very little short term difference. You might see the odd stray sheep, but they’d soon bring in other species to fill our roles. I think at the end of the day, this is why our campaign for better wages is flawed. There will always be another animal willing to take our place. It’s a bit like the mobility of labour and work. With a global economy, as long as there is someone willing to have work outsourced to them at a lower rate or someone willing to move from another country to do the work more cheaply, then no one is going to pay the high salaries that have been paid in the past. It really is a dog’s life.