Dianne’s Books > May 18, 2021

Pilbara Dogs

May 18, 2021
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It’s wonderful to be back in the Pilbara, the setting for my anthropomorphic novel, The Dog with Seven Names. I’m here to give presentations at the Port Hedland Library and St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary but I’ve also been researching a new novel about a cyclone, one that features a different animal, the horse. More about that in a later post …

Whilst drafting The Dog with Seven Names I often watched my own dog, Harry, to try and understand the different ways that he interpreted our world. Consequently this story explores WA’s WWII history using sound and smell more than sight. How wonderful then to be able to bring Harry to the Pilbara setting for this novel. Here he is at the Red Dog statue in Dampier. On the weekend a local indicated the general area where this famous dog is buried, something I hadn’t known.

We’ve also travelled to Port Hedland and today I revisited the old hospital where my fictitious Dog of Many Names lived during the war years. Years ago, the dilapidated hospital was lovingly restored as a café. Sadly it now seems to be closed, however I was again able to walk onto the wide verandahs, imagining more fully the places where my characters recovered after WWII bombing raids. There are so many untapped stories in the Pilbara and I’m excited to be here talking to locals about ways to record not only the human experiences but also to explore the fascinating animal stories of this region.


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