The Dog, like most of Ball’s ‘Footrot Flats’ characters, was drawn from a variety of real-world exemplars along with aspects of Ball’s own personality. Ball initially based the Dog on Jumble, a fox terrier he had as a child, but as time went on he increasingly based Dog on Finn, a border collie he acquired in the early 1980s to help on the farm. Ball recalled in 1998, shortly after Finn’s death: ‘I gave Dog Finn’s courage and his “discretion”, his intelligence, his innocence, his honesty, his sneakiness, his loyalty and his weaknesses (when there was a scent of mutton or bitch in the air). But above all I gave him love. The Dog loved.’ (Dominion, 8 October 1998)
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