The Dog With Seven Names

dog cover

Australian edition

Click for Teaching Notes

Written by Dianne Wolfer
Published by Penguin Random House, 2018

Check out the cute entrants and winner of the Dress-up your Dog competition

Buy the paperback
Buy local: find your local bookstore
Or order online:
Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld | Readings | Collins

Chinese edition

Buy the ebook
Booktopia | Apple iBooks | Amazon Kindle | | Google Play | Kobo

Buy the Chinese translation
Dangdang     Tmall


A tiny dog, the runt of the litter, is born on a remote Pilbara cattle station. She shouldn’t have survived, but when Elsie finds, names and loves her, the pup becomes a cherished companion. Life is perfect … until War arrives.

With Japanese air raids moving closer, Elsie’s family leaves the station for safety in the south. But the small dog has to stay behind. After travelling far from home with drovers and a flying doctor, she becomes a hospital dog and experiences the impact of war on north-western Australia. She witnesses wonderful and terrible things and gives courage to many different humans.

But through all her adventures and many names, the little dog remembers Elsie, the girl who loved her best of all. Will she ever find her again?

Readers’ Feedback

I just finished reading The Dog with Seven Names and I loved it so much! The ending was so wonderful and so sad but it is the best book that I have ever read (coming a draw with the Shark Caller) and I am so grateful that I was one of the first people to read your book in my school. – Keely, IONA Presentation College.

The idea of a dog helping people in need at the time of war just intrigues me! I’d have to say Doc is my favourite character so far as he helps so many people who need help. – Olivia, Geelong.


To research The Dog with Seven Names I travelled to WA’s Pilbara and Kimberley regions. I wanted to visit the wrecks of WW2 flying boats in Roebuck Bay, Broome Museum, the old Port Hedland hospital sites, Dalgety House Museum as well as Marble bar and the bushland around the WW2 Corunna Downs Secret WWII Airfield. At each place I focused on sounds and smells, trying to imagine the area from a dog’s perspective. Here are some photos from Marble Bar and Corunna Downs: More details at For Teachers.

In Broome I visited the flying boat wrecks via hovercraft at extreme low tide and had a serendipitous meeting with Karen Hasselo,  the daughter of one of the WW2 Dutch pilots.

Researching a setting like this brings history to life for me and often sparks new ideas that I can weave into the story during subsequent drafts.

Book Week Costume Idea:

Here is Hugo dressed as ‘Flynn’ his favourite of Dog’s seven names.

flynn  189773853_1334128100314934_2118747972952344275_n - Copy


Reading Time What Dianne Wolfer has done in this new book, with aplomb and sensitivity, is to set the story of a loved dog against the little-known details of events in the Second World War in Western Australia. … A moving and educative book. Highly recommended.

Aussie Reviews Dianne Wolfer has a knack for delivering historical fiction in a form which is at once palatable, well researched, and engaging, doesn’t disappoint with this warm-hearted, loveable book.

Momo celebrating time to read If you enjoy reading Historical Fiction then this is a perfect book especially if you are a dog lover. There were many aspects of the impact of World War II on Australia that I did not know about. Luckily this book does contain a timeline and set of facts on the final pages.

Mt Alvernia College Book of the Week for Middle Year Readers.