''A Dog of Flanders'' is a 19th century children's novel, written by British author Creator/{{Ouida}} in 1872. It's the dramatic tale of a young Flemish boy, Nello, and his dog Patrasche.

Nello is a poor kid who becomes an orphan at the age of two when his mother dies in the Ardennes. His grandfather, Jehan Daas, takes him in, and Nello moves to a small village near Antwerp. One day, Nello finds a dog who was almost beaten to death and names him Patrasche. The animal recovers and proves his usefulness by helping Nello deliver milk to his grandfather's clients. Nello then falls in love with Aloise, daughter of Nicholas Cogez, a rich man in the village. He doesn't want his daughter to be seen with a pauper, so Nello tries to earn some money by entering a junior drawing contest.

Then, things turn out for the worse. He loses the contest, Nicholas accuses him of pyromania, and his grandfather dies, so he loses his place to stay. Nello and Patrasche wander lonely and sadly through the streets while the snow of Christmas Eve covers the landscape. Nello and his dog pass by the Cathedral of Antwerp and, since the boy admires painter Creator/PeterPaulRubens, he wants to see his famous painting "The Elevation of the Cross". Again tragedy strikes, because he has no money to pay for the entrance fee. So he leaves and later returns and discovers the church door is open. He enters and is able to see the painting with his own eyes. Next morning Nello and Patrasche are found, frozen to death in front of the painting.

Despite taking place in Belgium, the story was barely known in the country itself (the novel wasn't translated into Dutch until 1967). It is also largely forgotten in the UK. But in Japan, the book is a classic and a clear example of GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff. Countless Japanese children have read and cried over the sad tale of Nello and his dog. In fact: a large part of Japanese tourism to Antwerp is caused by this tale.

To please Japanese tourists, a small statue of Nello and Patrasche has been built in front of Antwerp's cathedral.

It was adapted as a part of ''Anime/WorldMasterpieceTheater'' in the Seventies.

[[http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/7766/pg7766.html Read it here.]]

!!This novel provides examples of:

* ABoyAndHisX: Dog
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: This story has been adapted to film or anime many times in Japan. Some versions absolutely didn't do any research for the story. Nello is portrayed as a Dutch boy wearing clogs in a landscape full of tulip fields, which can be found in the Netherlands, but not in Flanders.
* CanineCompanion: Patrasche accompanies Nello everywhere.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Nello never hurts anyone, takes care of the badly injured Patrasche and is innocent of the charge of pyromania made against him.
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: Nello did get to see Rubens' painting, together this his beloved dog, before they both died of hypothermia.
* DownerEnding: A small child and his dog freeze to death while looking at a painting.
* EngagementChallenge: Nello wants to win a contest so he'll have money to give to his sweetheart and be accepted by her father.
* FamousLastWords: Before freezing to death, Nello whispers to Pastrache's lifeless body: "We shall see His face—there... and He will not part us, I think."
* HeartwarmingOrphan: Nello.
* HomelessHero: After his grandfather dies Nello has no place to go.
* MissingMom: Dies when Nello is two.
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: On a meta level. The book was written by a British author and takes place in Belgium, but in both countries the novel fell into obscurity; only in Japan is it a widely-beloved classic.
* ParentalSubstitute: Nello's grandfather
* RaisedByGrandparents: Only one, the grandfather
* SnowMeansDeath: Nello freezes to his death.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Nello and Pastrache in both the 1959 and 1999 American films, as well as the 1997 anime film.
* StarvingArtist: Nello has talent for drawing, but is too poor to even afford materials.
* TogetherInDeath: Nello and Pastrache
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Nello again.