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Captain Canine's Summer Competitive Colouring Extravaganza 2019*

As regular readers of this blog will know, this summer the Education and Community Officers visited nearly 100 hundred libraries, delivering our Understanding Dogs Workshop. And at the end of every workshop we asked attendees to enter our colouring competition.

We gave them a black and white image of our safety mascot, Captain Canine, and asked them to fill in the white space with whatever they wanted. Give him a bright uniform. Give him a background, maybe even draw some friends beside him. We wanted creativity, imagination, and lots and lots of colour. And boy, did you guys take the brief. Entrants got their parents or guardians to post their pictures to our Facebook page, and it has been inundated with amazing art all summer long.

A blank Captain Canine, awaiting some artistic expression


The fun part (for us) was looking at the page every day and enjoying all your art. But the hard part came later. Once the summer ended, it was time to pick a winner.

So, what we decided to do, was have each of our education officers nominate their favourite image. And from that pool of finalists, we’d then pick an overall winner.

So, below are the finalists…


Domhnall’s Nomination

Well we asked for colour, and this entry from Eliya, age 6 certainly has that. Look at that rainbow shirt, he certainly will be easy to spot flying high in the sky, but as much as Domhnall loved Captain’s technicolour jersey, the reason this picture made the cut is due to Captain’s friend flying alongside him. Good art should always have a story attached to it, and this picture tells a gorgeous tale. The dog flying beside Captain in this poster is Eliya’s own dog, Rocky, who joined the Dunphy family two years ago. Domhnall also appreciated the lovely border Eliya added to frame her gorgeous image. Well done Eliya.

Audrey’s Nomination

Well all love dogs on the education team-obviously. We wouldn’t be very good at our jobs otherwise. But we’re only human, and naturally we all have soft spots for our own dogs. So the artist behind this poster, Bethan, was very clever by including the Mighty Madraí in her entry.

We have Magic right at the front, and Odie standinging in the corner, then Ollie is sitting proud on a cloud right beside Captain, while Ted is soaring up high in the sky. But we suspect it is the lovely Lucy, floating above Captain’s cape that made Audrey fall in love with this poster. Lucy, is of course Audrey’s education dog, but we all loved seeing our own dogs drawn so well in this super entry. Well done Bethan.


Paul's nomination

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, oh no it’s Superman…oh wait no, it’s a dog.

This entry by Sophie, who we are shocked to hear is only six, is Paul’s nomination. Sophie drew a city landscape for Captain to fly over. Paul loved the detail in the buildings; they even have smoke escaping their chimneys, as Captain flies around, looking for children to educate in Dog Safety. Sophie even created a lovely font, to spell out “Captain Canine”. Amazing work Sophie. Well done.


Dawn's nomination

A rainbow curtain unfolds, and releases a constellation of hearts and stars, and from the ether, Captain Canine soars in all his glory. This super dramatic entry from Lauren, aged five (wow, we can’t believe how young you are Lauren), caught Dawn’s eye and is her nomination. It’s like a Las Vegas show, where Captain is the star, and really, that’s the way it should be for all our dogs, right? Well done Lauren.


Maeve's nomination

We were all a little bit stunned when we saw this glorious entry from an artist whose name we don’t know yet. Due to the mystery behind the artist, and the incredible skill shown, we suspect it may be Banksy. Like Banksy, this poster needs lots of examination. Is…that…the Dogs Trust rehoming centre Captain is flying above?

Why yes, yes it is. It is a bird’s eye view (or Captain Canine’s eye view) of our amazing facility in Dublin where all our dogs are rehomed. But we’re not just blown away by Banksy’s idea, but by the detail. Look at the shading of the field, and of the centre’s roof. Even Captain himself looks like he could front a professional Marvel or DC comic. Wow, well done mystery artist. (we’re currently contacting the entrant, but we do know that they are a boy, and that they are 12 years of age. We’ll update the post once we know)


Aoife's nomination

And our final finalist, is Aoife’s favourite entry by Mj in Kilrush. We all had to look at this entry for a few seconds before realising something was different…we couldn’t quite put our finger on it, until Aoife suddenly said, “He’s facing the other direction”. Yup. You see, Mj didn’t simply colour in the sheet we provided. No, no. She drew her own picture of Captain, facing the other way (because, why not), and added some more dogs of her own. And if that doesn’t get points for ingenuity, well we don’t know what does. Well done Mj.


 And so, there are our six finalists. But…there can be only one winner…or can there?

Well, the education team got very heated at this. We nearly came to blows trying to decide. Honestly, it’s a miracle we’re all still working as a team, but then the answer became clear to us. Perhaps we didn’t have to settle on just ONE winner. Perhaps there could be a tie? A draw? Call it even stevens and settle on a stale mate.


So, we decided that not only ONE poster would win, but TWO!!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we have been so spoilt for aesthetic delights this summer that we have two winners for our summer competition.

The first is our entry from Bethan, who clearly did her research on our website and included our amazing education dogs in her entry. And the second is by our mystery Banksy artist, who we know will someday be working at Pixar.

As a bonus prize, both posters will become our Profile Pictures for Our Dogs Trust Education Social media. Bethan's poster will be on our Twitter page, and Banksy's will be on our Facebook  page.


Well done guys, you have both won a Dogs Trust school bag. We will be in contact with you very soon. And as for our other finalist, please don’t be upset, you did so well, and we will be sending you Dogs Trust Pencil cases for your amazing placement.


And as for the other entries who did not make it this year, please don’t feel bad. As you can see, the standard was very high, and there were more than a few posters that were so so close to being chosen as a finalist. In fact, to ensure your art doesn’t go to waste, we made this beautiful collage of all our entries. Well done everyone.