In 1998, Louis de Bernieres—acclaimed author of Corelli’s Mandolin—came upon a bronze statue in a town on Australia’s northwestern coast and was immediately compelled to know more about “Red Dog.” He did not have to go far: everyone for hundreds of miles in every direction seemed to have a story about Red Dog. He was a Red Cloud Kelpie, a breed of sheepdog known for its energy and cleverness. But Red Dog was a kind of ultra-Kelpie, energetic and clever enough for an entire breed in himself.
Dubbed a “professional traveler” rather than a stray, Red Dog established his own transportation system, hitchhiking between far-flung towns and female dogs in cars whose engine noises he’d memorized and whose drivers he’d charmed. The call of the wild was matched by the call of the supper dish; Red Dog’s appetite was as legendary as his exploits. Everyone wanted to adopt him (one group of workers made him a member of their union), but Red Dog would be adopted by—or, more precisely, he would adopt—only one man: a bus driver whose love life quickly began to suffer and who never quite recovered from Red Dog’s relentlessly affectionate presence.
Independent, clever, sly, stubborn, courageous and foolhardy, impatient with boredom and the boring, Red Dog endeared himself to (almost) everyone who crossed his path. These funny, surprising, and touching stories of his life are certain to endear him to every reader.
About Louis de Bernieres
Louis de Bernières is the author of, among other novels, Corelli’s Mandolin, A Partisan’s Daughter, Birds Without Wings, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord and The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts. Selected by Granta as… More about Louis de Bernieres