Sadly Murray Ball, Uncle Dog’s drawer and writer (creator) of his stories passed away this week.  Goodbye me old mate and may your travels in that big paddock in the clouds be an awesome one.

Link to tribute on ABC


Illustration / Guy Body



I was chatting with an old uncle of mine on FidoNet (as you do) the other day. My uncle is a retired border collie sheep dog who lives with his also retired Humans Wal and Cheeky in Raupo. It’s a small farm town in New Zealand’s Te Urewera region on the eastern side of the North Island.

Uncle Dog has one issue (actually he has many but today this one will do) that I should clarify before I tell you more about him and his story. There are no known photographs of him so any pictures you see are highly accurate depictions drawn by a very special and talented New Zealand cartoonist, Murray Ball. It turns out my Uncle used to be rather famous in his day, even starred in his own movie. Sadly in recent years everyone has forgotten him and he is feeling a bit sad and neglected, not world famous like me. Some of his background story can be found at this link by a nice blogger by the name of Bob Temuka from a few years ago.

The Footrot Flats farm, where Uncle Dog worked before he retired with his Humans Wal and Cheeky Footrot, is not far from his home in Raupo. Wal and Uncle Dog visit the farm as often as they can to keep an eye on things. You see Wal cannot fully let go running his beloved Footrot Flats and this can be the cause of some friction between him and his son wee-Wal. Indeed Uncle Dog has a similar issue with his son Junior too! As you may have guessed then Uncle Dog and Wal are not always welcome back at the farm.

footrot2  Me using Uncle Dogs memoirs to refresh my memory on Uncle Dog and his adventures back in the day…

Now about the names, first of all Uncle Dog’s name is not really Dog but he won’t disclose his real name due to the embarrassment of growing up in his Aunt Dollies cats home. If you ask me I think Uncle Dog’s real name is Puddy-Tat, if so then yep you wouldn’t be spreading that around now would you! Stick to Dog Uncle Dog.

Uncle Dog’s son does have a proper name given to him by his mum Jess but everyone just calls him Junior which he really hates.

Wal’s son is obviously named after Wal himself: Wallace Cadwallader Footrot The Second in fact! But that would be a mouthful wouldn’t it? So he just gets called wee-Wal.

Border Collie Footrot Flats WeirdJune06   After this’s blog on some local wild pig issues interfering with me sleep I remember some advice from Uncle Dog about pigs: “Yummy when bacon, rapid exit stage right when breathin”

Sorry its been a while since I updated this page. It is very hard to follow Murray Ball, this stuff was his baby and right now with our move to Australia I don’t have as much time as I would like to devote to the ideas. Definitely more soon though…


5 thoughts on “Footrot Flats, The Next Generation

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