“The Loaded Dog” is about a mischievous retriever called Tommy.
Bush miners Dave, Jim, and Andy are sinking a shaft at Stony Creek in search of gold. Andy and Dave are fishing enthusiasts but the fish are not biting at this time of year. So they devise a unique method of catching fish by blowing them up with an explosive cartridge. The three men own a young retriever dog named Tommy, “an overgrown pup… a big foolish, four-footed mate.” When the dog picks up the explosive cartridge in its mouth and runs around the campfire, lighting the fuse, the three miners run from the “loaded dog”.
Tommy of course thinks it is all a game and playfully chases the miners who try everything in their power to get away from him and the hissing explosive cartridge. When Dave seeks refuge in the local pub, the dog bounds in after him, causing the Bushmen inside to scatter. Tommy comes across a “vicious yellow mongrel cattle-dog sulking and nursing his nastiness,” who takes the cartridge away from Tommy. The other dogs are curious and gather around the explosive cartridge as the fuse burns away.
The cartridge explodes, blowing apart the nasty yellow cattle-dog, and scattering the other dogs. For half an hour the Bushmen who witnessed the spectacle are laughing hysterically. Dave decides to apologise later when things settle down a bit and leaves for his camp with Tommy trotting after him “smiling his broadest, longest, and reddest smile of amicability, and apparently satisfied for one afternoon with the fun he’d had.”‘