It all started when Botica’s Bunch were having a delightful chat with a couple of new faces on Nine’s latest show, Desert Vet.

Dr Rick and Louisa Fenny star in the show, which follows them across outback WA as they treat some of the most diverse range of animals from places like Karratha, Shark Bay and Marble Bar.

We’ll get to meet camels, whale sharks, dogs that have trodden on stonefish and a tiny pet gecko…. who has depression.

“Was that a tricky diagnosis?” Lisa asked.

Dr Louisa said that the gecko’s owner said the reptile was “depressed”, to which she agreed.

“It actually was [depressed],” Dr Louisa said.

“It wasn’t wandering around its enclosure as normal, it was just perched in one corner of the enclosure, not eating and drinking much, so it wasn’t a happy gecko…”


“…listening to a lot of Radiohead,” Lisa chimed in.

Dr Louisa said that they realised the enclosure was too hot for the gecko, so they gave it’s cage a makeover.

But it wasn’t until Dr Rick began to talk about his experience with treating animals of the outback… when he dropped in probably the most famous of them all.

Guys, Dr Rick was Red Dog’s vet.

The Red Dog.

Like the actual Red Dog.


This guy:

“Yep,” Dr Rick said.

“I’ve known the real Red Dog – the original Red Dog – through his life and through his death… I’ve also met all the dogs that have played him in the movies.”

Gobsmacked, Fred asked him if Red Dog ever, you know, just hopped into his car.


“Yep, quite often,” Dr Rick said.

“I was one of many people who’s houses and cars he decided to ‘own’.”

“I could be driving along in the middle of nowhere, usually on the road between Tom Price and Karratha,

“And, out of the bush, would come this dog. He’d just run out, say ‘I know you’ and I’d pull up and he’d jump in and off we’d go and then, often in the middle of nowhere he’d just give me a look, and I got to know his look, which meant ‘let me out’, and off he’d go and do his secret dog’s business.”

“Oh, he’s a free spirit,” Lisa said, to which Dr Rick agreed.

Dr Rick also confirmed that this particular road – the one between Tom Price and Karratha – will be called ‘Red Dog Highway’.


Hit PLAY below to hear the full chat

Desert Vet will premiere on Channel Nine at 8.40pm on Wednesday night.