Exploring the friendship between dogs and people, the audiobook The Stars and the Dogs was written and illustrated by US-based Japanese author Yumi McDonald. Mrs. McDonald was born in Tokyo and currently resides in Connecticut, U.S. The Stars and the Dogs is a two-part series approximately 30 minutes long and is available to stream on YouTube.
The story is about a family and their two dogs. The family has an Akita dog, and one day they welcome a stray dog they believe to be an Akita dog. It turns out to be a Jindo dog from South Korea. The family visits both of their hometowns, including the Old Dog Shrine in Odate City, Akita.
It took Mrs. McDonald about six months to complete the audiobook. She used sumie (ink wash painting) to illustrate the story. The current video has Japanese subtitles, and she plans to provide English and Korean to reach a wider audience. McDonald hopes to publish The Stars and the Dogs as a physical book someday.
Mrs. McDonald has written books about Hachiko and delivered speeches about the bond between Helen Keller and her Akita dog. “The appeal of Akita dogs is that they have this dignified manner and strong loyalty, similar to samurai,” the author stated. “I hope that when people listen to the audiobook, they will take a moment and wonder about Akita dogs.”