He says, ‘Pip and I were closely bonded and did everything together. He set me on my pathway, inevitably to become a vet, teaching me about animal and human behaviour, love loss, responsibility, caring and practical lessons in pet ownership.’
About his bond with Red Dog – the talisman of the Pilbara, he says:
‘I was his vet for much of his life and was tasked with putting him down. Laying the last shovelful of dirt on his grave was a poignant moment in my own life.’
Rick needed to think, reflect on what had happened, what led him to be sitting alone on a rock mourning the death of a special dog. He knew he had to write his story about Red Dog and the special bond they shared. The more he thought about where to start, it became clear that he needed to go back to where it all began, reflect on where he came from, go right back to the beginning. In this first book he returns to his early years in Mahogany Creek and Albany with his first red kelpie, Pip.
The reader is invited to share the unique experience of a boy progressing through the formative and manhood years with his special canine friend. It takes us firstly into an era when life was simple and carefree for a young child on a small holding in the Perth Hills, caring for the farm animals and helping with the orchard. With his family’s move to Albany, we journey into an idyllic life for a boy growing up in a coastal town. There are adventures around every corner for Rick, with Pip always by his side, and getting in on the action.