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2019 - Shortlisted
Throughout the harsh climates of Western Australia, there is little need for a runt. Dogs need to be big and tough and must be able to handle any situation. Normally this dog would not be spared, if not for the tender nature of Elsie. The bond of a farm girl and unheard of ‘inside’ farm dog, is shattered by the darkness of war.
Dianne Wolfer’s ability to see through the eyes and heart of a dog makes a beautifully written story. Her details of the impact on the lives of people outside of Darwin is an intriguing read. The fascinating historical facts are always there for the reader to learn more throughout the engaging story of a faithful little dog. She has used the innocent mind of a dog to courageously help humans get through terrible times of war, by warming the hearts of the victims of human atrocities. Throughout the tough encounters with a terrible part of Australian history, the little runt never forgets the heart of Elsie — the girl who saved her life. This unwavering companionship of dogs has been used as a great reminder of a compassionate trait that we humans need for our own relationships.