Red Dog but no Mandolin

I'd been in Karratha for a couple of hours when I first heard of Red Dog. For those who do not know the legend of Red Dog, he was a Red Cloud Kelpie, similar to a sheepdog, but one with a desire to travel. He would hitch rides on buses, trucks and Utes all around Western Australia, spend a couple of weeks with a family and then move on to his next destination.

Red Dog became world famous when Louis de Berniere's — acclaimed author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin — visited Dampier on his travels in Australia and saw the bronze statue of Red Dog. The great thing for me is meeting people who have met Red Dog himself. Here in Dampier, several Rio Tinto Iron Ore miners have told me of their sightings of Red Dog.

It doesn't surprise me that Red Dog managed to travel so far and wide in Western Australia. The people I have met here in Dampier and Karratha have a real pioneering spirit and are always ready to lend a hand. He would never have had to look far for somewhere to rest or share a meal. The environment is harsh with temperatures reaching the high forties in the summer, sometimes tipping into the fifties. I can see why everyone looks out for each other and why they extended the same care to Red Dog himself.

So now I travel the same roads and towns as two legends did before me: Louis de Berniere and Red Dog. Not bad company, really.