8 November 2021

Gundagai issues nationwide call to name Dog on the Tuckerbox's pups

| Edwina Mason
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Three bronze pup statues in Gundagai

Three bronze pups, created by sculptor Darien Pullen, will become part of Gundagai’s streetscape. Photo: Meridian Sculpture.

The Dog on the Tuckerbox – known locally around Gundagai as ‘Lucy’ – has delivered a litter of three pups and the call has gone out across Australia to name the trio.

Some would say that at age 89, Lucy is a bit long in the tooth for motherhood, but this litter is just the start of something quite new for Gundagai.

Hatched by the extremely innovative and hardworking Gundagai Main Street Art & Stories Committee, the hand-forged bronze sculptures establish a connection between the town and Lucy, who sits five miles (or 8km) north of Gundagai at Snake Gully.

Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai

The legendary Dog on the Tuckerbox near Gundagai. Photo: Meridian Sculpture.

Miriam Crane is the town’s tourism and economic development officer and she tells Region Media the Dog on the Tuckerbox always attracts interest and questions from visitors to Gundagai, rousing some locals to campaign for it to be relocated into the town.

“We get asked a lot about the dog in town and there’s been lots of talk about moving it, so the idea was we’d have the puppies in town and there would be a connection to the Dog on the Tuckerbox,” says Miriam.

The pups will adorn the town’s streetscape in a variety of poses reflective of the unique and small rural community.

One dog is sitting waiting for his master outside Lotts Family Hotel; another is chewing on a newspaper outside FoodWorks and Local Liquor Gundagai; and the third is enjoying a string of sausages on the path outside Smarts-Gundagai Butchery.

They have been created by sculptor Darien Pullen, who also completed the town’s central monument ‘The Great Rescue of 1852’ which recognises the heroic actions of a number of Wiradjuri men – including Yarri and Jacky Jacky – in saving many of the Gundagai townsfolk during the great flood of 1853.

“He [Darien] did a fabulous job with that, so we commissioned him again,” says Miriam.

The project has been funded by the NSW Government as part of Gundagai’s main street upgrade and beautification projects.

The plan is for more dogs to join their mates in years to come.

“If anyone has any ideas for poses, please let us know,” adds Miriam.

But for now, it’s puppy names Gundagai is seeking and Miriam says this is a nationwide call, with the competition already having been promoted into Canberra and Sydney, and as far north as Darwin.

'Selfie tuckerbox' at Snake Gully

Your dog can be immortalised via a selfie on a purpose-built tuckerbox at Snake Gully near ‘Lucy’, the original Dog on the Tuckerbox. Photo: Mel Honey.

“We think The Dog on the Tuckerbox is more of a national icon rather than a local icon, and certainly that’s been our experience with other things that have happened with the dog,” says Miriam.

“There’s a lot of interest from everyone in Australia.”

The pup-naming competition closes on Friday, 12 November 2021, with the winning names to be announced by Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council Mayor Abb McAllister at the Hair of the Dog Day, held at Gundagai Showground on 13 November.

The Hair of the Dog Day is a recovery event that follows the legendary annual Snake Gully Cup day on 12 November, both of which offer a full TAB race day program.

Submissions are already flowing in for pup names, says Miriam.

People wishing to submit names for consideration can do so by clicking here. You can also see more of Darien Pullen’s work here.

If you’re headed to Gundagai, go visit Lucy and use the new ‘selfie tuckerbox’ that was installed nearby last year so your dog can be immortalised, too.

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Three Gundagai sheep dogs have won The Australian National Sheep dog Trials which is amazing in itself. all bred and owned in Gundagai. The first by my father John Elliott with his dog Banjo the second and third dogs one the same title by his brother Tony Elliott with Snow Goose and recently 3rd time by Tonys dog ___ (you would have to check the name.) Wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate these famous dogs in Gundagai where they were born and bred. Dad and Uncle Tony put Gundagai in the history books in the sheep dog world. Would love to see the dogs and breeders recognised and remembered by naming these pups after these three Australian champions. Just a thought.

Tim Manwaring8:57 pm 12 Nov 21

As a born Gundagai Person whom is related to Tony Elliott. What a brilliant idea. To have these three puppy’s name after National Sheep dog’s.

Louise Lawler12:15 am 10 Nov 21

Gunn, Dee any Guy

Marie Cooper5:43 pm 08 Nov 21

I entered this the first day I heard of it. When names are chosen for the dogs, is it the first entry in to name the dogs name chosen that wins!!!

I think a Bruce Dennis memorial delivering the mail on horseback is something that Gundagai locals would welcome

Tim Manwaring9:04 pm 12 Nov 21

I also wonder how many born in Gundagai would like to see the the original Post Office building used again as The Post Office. Bruce Dennis on Horse great idea.

Leigh Bowden10:10 pm 06 Nov 21

One of our f
First Nations women wants a Wiradjuri name. I’m testing the link.

Valerie Hughes9:22 pm 06 Nov 21

Jack, Ellie and Bobbie for the puppies names

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