Magazine article Practical Literacy

The Dog with Seven Names

Magazine article Practical Literacy

The Dog with Seven Names

Article excerpt

The Dog with Seven Names

Dianne Wolfer (2018)

North Sydney: Random House

In October 1939 a small girl living on a remote cattle station in northern Western Australia is given the runt puppy of the litter to keep as a pet. The dog is named Princess and is a pampered and much-loved pooch. It is not long, however, before World War II comes to the doorstep and the family is evacuated south to safety. Princess cannot come so Dave, one of the station hands, agrees to take the dog with him as he droves a mob of cattle towards Port Headland. Dave calls Princess 'Dog' but not long into the trip, he is trapped by a falling tree and, with Dog at his side, he dies. The doctor who had tried to save Dave takes the dog with him in his aeroplane and she begins another life as 'Flynn' with a seven year old patient named Beth who has been gored by a steer. And so it goes that the dog is moved as wartime circumstances make everyone's life unpredictable and highly changeable.

Over the period covered in the story, the dog is cared for by different people and given seven different names. She experiences tender care and living hardship. She is loyal and always reliable. Throughout the story she remembers being Princess and wonders if her next adventure will lead her back to Elsie. By the time the two are reunited, in 1943, a great deal has happened and Australia has changed a lot.

Told in the first person, the reader gets to experience the dog's world view and shares her innocence of events going on at the time. …

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