Red dog tales find fresh new audience

Red Dog author Nancy Gillespie.
Red Dog author Nancy Gillespie.

The true story of Red, a kelpie cross who travelled the Pilbara, is internationally known from its adaptation by author Louis de Berni�res, which led to the making of a blockbuster movie.

A Landsdale business reprinted 10,000 copies of Mrs Gillespie’s original tales.

‘In 1983, we sent the books for printing in England and sold all 2000 copies within 18 months,’ she said.

‘This is the first print since then and we’ve sold 3000 to 4000 or more in 12 months.’

As one of the few people who met and cared for Red, Nancy has fond memories of the dog that belonged to no one but himself.

‘I miss him. He wasn’t the saint everybody made him out to be ” he could be a pain in the arse sometimes, like the time he sat in the middle of the road and wouldn’t move until I took him to Dampier,’ Mrs Gillespie said.

‘He was very patient. We lived in a caravan and one of my kids was very sick and he came and sat on the bed for days.’

Although there are some differences between Nancy’s true collection of stories and the adaptations, she said it felt good to have Red’s memory preserved and treasured by people today.

Mrs Gillespie will sell copies of her book for $10 at the City of Wanneroo’s outdoor screening of Red Dog on February 1.

To go on the wait-list for the booked-out event, visit www. wanneroo.wa.gov.au/Lifestyle/Events.

Copies of Red Dog can be purchased from www.better antenna.com.au.