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Shire of Ashburton unveils Red Dog sculpture, honouring the Pilbara’s most famous hitch-hiker

Sam JonesPilbara News
The Red Dog sculpture in Paraburdoo
Camera IconThe Red Dog sculpture in Paraburdoo Credit: L.E`s PHOTOGRAPHY

The beloved kelpie who wandered and hitchhiked his way around the Pilbara in the 1970s and was immortalised in film now has a new honour, with a sculpture depicting the Pilbara legend unveiled in Paraburdoo.

The unveiling marked the culmination of a project which began in 2018 with a request made to the Shire of Ashburton council by a former student at Paraburdoo Primary School, Holly Dutch.

According to Australia’s Northwest tourism agency, Red Dog was originally named Tally Ho and became a fixture at local mining projects, travelling on company buses and iron ore trains.

After his final human companion died, Red Dog took to wandering the Pilbara and was cared for by locals, including the Karratha vet.

The statue’s preparations began in 2019, but its completion was hampered by various roadblocks, including COVID-19 lockdowns and bushfires down south. Smith Sculptures was commissioned to create the statue, and the company worked with Red Dog’s vet, Doctor Rick Fenny, and Holly herself.

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A statement by the Shire of Ashburton said the statue was a testament to the sense of camaraderie, cooperation, and community spirit that characterises the Pilbara, making it a wonderful place to call home.

It comes after, in 2020, the Karratha-Tom Price Road was renamed the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway, honouring the Pilbara’s most famous pooch.

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