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Dogs Trust’s Short Story Competition 2020-The 9-13 category Runner Ups

Yesterday we showed off the writing talents of our junior authors in our short story competition.

Today, we’re focusing on the older category, the 9-13 year olds. This was the more popular of the two categories, and we were almost overwhelmed with the talent displayed.

We managed to whittle them down to about 10 finalists, which then became four. And then there was one.

Below are our three runner ups. Three amazing stories that all could have been worthy winners. Enjoy.

Piper love a good tail



Our first runner up is a sweet story about the past, and about the history of the bond between human and dog. It was written by Ella (aged 11) who is from County Wicklow


The Rescue Dog

My dog and I were stuck inside on lockdown, but little did we know he was going to dig up the garden. It all started one day when me and my sister Jessica were out in the garden on the trampoline. Luka (my dog) started sniffing around the grass and all of a sudden, he started digging.  He wouldn’t stop, so that night at the dinner table we all tried to guess of what he could be trying to reach. I guessed a mole and Mom guessed frogs in the pipes, but we were all wrong. He kept digging throughout the next week and a few days later he hit something metal. My Dad and uncle Ray got shovels off my grandad and started digging. It took a couple of days, but they finally got it out. We brought it in and looked at it. It was a time capsule, so we opened it up and inside were pictures of a German shepherd and a girl of about twelve. There were also newspaper clippings and badges and another picture of the same dog but with a man this time. One of the pictures had writing on the back which said

“To my beloved Rocky you are my hero. You died doing what you loved most. Love your best friend, Jordan.”  

Jordan must have been the girl and Rocky must have been the dog. I wondered how Rocky died.

The man seemed to be her father. I looked at the newspaper clippings and they were stories of the dog and the dad… “em Michael was his name. It says here they were on a rescue team, oh cool! There is loads of stories here let’s read some.”  



Yes, that is right Kilmacanogue! Once again, the talented German shepherd has saved another life. Rocky and his owner Michael went with the rescue team up the Wicklow way to save an 18 year old girl (Sienna) and her little 9 year old brother (Darren) who were trapped under a tree while on a walk with their mother. But as always, Rocky and Michael came to the rescue. And of course, we can’t forget about Michael’s daughter and Rocky’s trainer and owner Jordan.2/4/1938

And that’s all from me, Ryan Trainer. Come back next week for more stories in the Saturday Times


“Wow Luka, that is so cool. I can’t believe you found this, and the date is so old let’s read another…”




A couple of days ago Rocky, Michael and Jordan all got invited to the president’s house for a medal awarding ceremony. Everyone is so excited and even Douglas Hyde can’t wait for their arrival. There are even people camping outside just to see the famous dog in person or should I say in pawerson. 16/4/1938

ahhh I crack myself up sometimes. This is me, Ryan Trainer coming to you with the latest, and I hope you will be reading the Saturday Times next week.


“So I wonder if they use to live here, what do you think Luka? That dog was so brave he deserved to get a medal… oh look at this it’s a really  old squeaky toy” (the minute I said that Luka grabbed it out of my hand) “Hey Luka, give that back, its not yours, plus this could be so old and the last people who owned it sound like heroes, here, come on boy, I will give you a treat instead, and then what do you say we look at some more pictures and stories and maybe we could do some research? Look at this picture it’s of the dog and the dad and the girl with the rescue team. Ok now what do you say we read one more story? Oh, this one looks interesting…”



Poor Rocky, R.I.P.  was saving someone on the Sugarloaf, but the minute he got to the person, an 82-year-old man called Tom, he slipped and was killed. Everyone chipped in to build a memorial on top of the Sugarloaf for Rocky (age 7) who has been working on the rescue force for 6 years. Anyone can visit the memorial and an author called Kevin Dale will be writing a book about him. We all loved Rockyeveryone did. 21/8/1944

Ryan Trainer signing off,  come back next week to the Saturday times


“Oh no, poor Rocky, that’s so sad. I have an idea, lets go up the Sugarloaf and we can visit Rocky’s memorial with flowers, and instead of putting the capsule back underground we can bury it up on sugarloaf, that’s what Jordan and Michael probably would have wanted!”

So later that day we went up to sugarloaf put flowers on the memorial and buried the capsule.

The End


Wow what a lovely story. I wonder if Rocky is a real dog? I tried to do a bit of research myself and couldn’t find anything about him online. Just goes to show you what a good writer Ella is, if Rocky is fictional, or lived in the past, Ella has brought him to life on the page. I also love that when you read the title, you assume the dog was resuced, but no, in this story it was the dog doing the rescuing. So clever. Well done Ella


Our second story is called “You Wouldn’t Understand”, and be warned, it is quite a sad one. It was written by the immensely talented Mira (12) from D7 Educate Together.


You Wouldn’t Understand


My dog and I were stuck inside on lockdown, but little did we know there was lots of fun to have inside. My dog is adorable, and so, so small. She is amazing. It might be me being selfish when I say I don’t want to share her with anyone else. But it’s true. I have a feeling that if I told anyone about her, she wouldn’t be special to me anymore.

 No-one knows about her. She is my secret. I wish we could go for a long walk in the park. Or play fetch in the garden. But we can’t because of Covid-19. And some other reasons too.

I know my friends would love to meet her. But they can’t. They wouldn’t understand. My family wouldn’t either. They probably wonder why I spend so long in my room. Staring at my laptop. I’ll never tell them why. That’s why they’re called secrets.

I can never take her to the park. It just wouldn’t work. She wouldn’t sniff around and play with other dogs. She’d just stay close to me. I wish I could teach her tricks. Or hug her when I’m feeling sad. But I can’t. You wouldn’t understand.

My parents are often worried. About why I’m always locked away in my bedroom. They finally decide I’m just missing my friends. They’ll never understand.

My parents tell me enough is enough. That I can’t stay locked away. They take away my laptop and my tiny furry dog.

They set up calls and meetings with my friends. I pretend I’m happy. But I’m not.

Maybe I should tell them. Maybe they’d understand.

But maybe they wouldn’t. I won’t. I can’t. I can’t take that risk.

They decide that they’re right. They smile at me as if they’ve won.

It’s infuriating.

I know they haven’t won.

But I act defeated. No more than usual.

They look at me triumphantly whenever I walk by.

I look at the ground and try not to cry. Why did I think they’d ever understand.

They finally give back my laptop. I know they’re trying to trick me.

They watch waiting. For me to do something to get my laptop taken again.

This time I’m ready. I’m not too social. Just the right amount. I eat with them, I talk, I laugh. And when I’m meant to go to sleep, I sneak my laptop in with me. I watch the screen. Don’t sleep a wink. And in the morning I’m exhausted.

My parents make me go in the garden. To get some fresh air.

I sit outside for 10 minutes. Waiting to be let back in.

They don’t plan on letting me in anytime soon. Lucky for me it starts to rain.

They tell me to play a board game. But first I run upstairs. I say I’m wet I must get changed. They allow me.

I pull open my laptop and scroll onto google chrome. All my tabs have been deleted. I glare downstairs. I type as fast as I can. Very slow.

And there she is, my dog.

She’s mine.

I know she is.

We’ve been through so much.

My mother walks in the door. Knocking but not waiting for my response.

She looks at the laptop and laughs out loud at the screen open on the Dogs Trust website. Why didn’t you tell me, darling. Is this all you’ve been worried about?

A few weeks later

My mother comes back in the afternoon.

   With her she carries a kennel.

At last.

My dog.

The End



Isn’t that just beautiful? I’m not crying, you’re crying! But in all seriousness, that was such a well written story. Almost like a poem. Well done Mira.


Our final runner up in our competition is something totally different. Fasten your seatbelts readers because this one is WILD. It is called “Attack from the Alien Birds”, and was written by Zihang (11) from Dublin

Attack from the Alien Birds

 My dog and I were stuck inside on lockdown, but little did we know that alien birds from Mars had started stealing our planet’s instant noodles! And my dog’s name is conveniently called “Instant Noodles”. The alien birds were now going to steal instant noodles from my house! If the alien birds did that, my dog would get permanent depression. I heard the news from the D.I.N.P.A, also known as Dog’s Instant Noodles Protection Agency. When I heard this terrible news, I started researching what could stop the alien birds from Mars, but had no luck. Instant Noodles was scared because he really liked instant noodles and he didn’t want them to be taken away. I used some wires and batteries from my science play set and built an electro gun.


Shortly after that, I saw a spaceship land on my front yard and the bird aliens from Mars came out. The birds were the size of a human and were green. They also had three eyes. We hid in the living room. The alien birds were taking a while. I decided to go to my freezer and got some celery ice cream that we had made earlier. Instant Noodles and I love celery ice cream. The alien birds were making plans outside. They were taking forever! I decided to watch some TV to pass the time. I was in the middle of an episode when…



The alien birds busted into my house! Instant Noodles was scared and opened the living room door and started attacking the alien birds. The alien birds ran upstairs and my dog chased after them. I took my electro gun and went upstairs. Instant Noodles was trying to break open the door that the aliens had locked. I used my electro gun and shot the door open. I was about to shoot the aliens when I remembered that the electro gun only had one use. So I had just wasted my electro gun on a stupid door. Instant Noodles attacked the aliens though. The aliens broke through a window and went back to the spaceship. We were celebrating as we thought we won. We went down to the living room to finish our celery ice cream. Then tons of alien birds broke through the living room window! They had super cool weapons and even my Instant Noodles couldn’t beat them. With fright, I dropped my ice cream onto the aliens.




And with that the alien bird disappeared. We went to the kitchen and got more celery ice cream. Instant Noodles chewed the ice cream and then spit it out at the alien birds while I made more celery ice cream. The aliens started disappearing one by one until there were only about three or four left.


“We are sorry for trying to steal your instant noodles” said one of the aliens.

“We were just very hungry” another alien explained.

“What have you got to say about this, doggo?” I said.

“Ruff Ruff!” woofed Instant Noodles.

“That’s what I thought as well” I said as I threw celery ice cream onto the last alien birds.


So Instant Noodles and I enjoyed the instant noodles by ourselves.


The End


Wow...Not much else to say really? When we opened up this competition we never expected to read a story about alien birds that love instant noodles but are allergic to celery ice cream. But we're so glad that is what we ended up with. Well done Zihang!



And that is all our runner ups.

So that means tomorrow’s blog…is our winning stories. Stay tuned!