“The Loaded Dog” was published in 1901 in Henry Lawson’s short story collection titled Joe Wilson and His Mates. Since publication, the story has continued to be one of the most popular of Lawson’s short stories due to the tale’s universally recognized humorous narrative situated within the less familiar setting of the Australian bush. That specificity of location makes the story unmistakably Australian, especially as a result of a liberal but not overbearing peppering of Australian jargon that helps bring the characters and their particular situation to life.
The manner in which Lawson introduces palpable action and distinguishes his characterization is perhaps reminiscent of Mark Twain to many readers. Like many of Twain’s more colorful and humorous stories, this short but eventful account has successfully been adapted into a dramatization for a one-man show performed across the country.