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The Legend of Red Dog has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of people world-wide. Books, plays and a blockbuster movie have captured the life and times of this Red Kelpie and statues built in his honour.

Red Dog was born in Paraburdoo in 1971. He was taken to Dampier when his family moved there when he was 18 months of age but he disliked being contained.

He became attached to a local worker, John Stazzonelli, who drove a bus for Hamersley Iron in which he would take Red Dog on his travels. After John died in a tragic accident Red Dog continued his nomadic life, hitching rides from countless people.

His travels ranged from the vast reaches of North Western Australia all the way to metropolitan Perth.

Red Dog became such a famous personality throughout the Pilbara that people of all backgrounds in the widespread community were drawn to this solitary figure, waiting patiently and trustingly at the roadside for a lift. Many people temporarily adopted him, taking him home for a feed but , this independent dog never stayed and before long was out on the road again, continuing his travels, known to many but owned by none.

Some of his best mates lived in the single men’s quarters in Dampier and he often hung out at Dampier Salt and Hamersley Railway workshops. He even caught the train to Tom Price and Paraburdoo and returned by the road now called “Manuwarra Red Dog Highway”

The Roebourne vet, Rick Fenny, became his medical carer and one of his many friends, but Red Dog’s wandering nature sadly led to his death as a consequence of ingesting a poison bait on 21 November 1979.

Rick took him for his last ride and buried him in a bush grave, now marked by a plaque near Cossack.

The folklore of Red Dog continues to grow as the years pass, along with his reputation as a lovable rogue, known as the Pilbara Wanderer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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