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The Dogs Trust Short Story Competition 2021; The Runner Ups


There are competitions, and then there are tournaments. The former is all jolly and lukewarm and full of gentle competitiveness. The later is a different animal. A tournament is full of fire, and gladiatorial talent battles, where skill is sky high and a place at the top is a rare thing. In light of this, the Education and Community team at Dogs Trust may be renaming our short story competition going forward, as the both the number and standard of entries we receive to this annual event continue to be epic.

We received over 120 in total. 120 wonderful stories, all starting off with the line “Finally, lockdown was over, so myself and my dog…”

You might say, surely that opener would be limiting?

In which case we would laugh−AHAHAHA, and say, “Sir, clearly you underestimate the imagination and scope of the children our team educate.”

We had stories set in outer space, stories set in a local zoo, some children took us to Texas, others to the Wild West.

We had funny stories, spooky stories, some (slightly disturbing to be honest) violent stories, and other stories that made us want to cry.

While many of us have not ventured very far in body this year, the level of creativity we received these past few weeks have shown us that many children have not let restrictions prevent their imaginations from travelling light years.

It was all fun and games and a joy to read until…we realised we had to pick a winner. Eek. We always forget about that part.

This was not easy, and the Education and Community officers found the task extremely hard. We persevered however, and on our blog post today we have picked the six runner ups for both competitions (three runner ups in the junior category, and three for the senior).

Stick around, and later this week, we’ll upload the two big winners.


But before we make this announcement, we strongly feel like being clear about one thing.

A competition is a necessary evil, and for our wonderful winners it will be a lovely feather to their cap, boost to their confidence and hopefully inspire them to keep on writing.

Unfortunately, there are so many wonderful stories that did not place, and we really don’t want these talented writers to lose faith. A competition is a great way to encourage young people to write, but the creation of all these amazing stories is the real gain of it all. Stories were not designed to be pitted against each other in some form of battle royal. We tell stories to entertain our families, friends, and ourselves, so if you did not win, don’t feel disheartened. Congratulate yourselves for your creation and keep writing.

Well done.


That being said…you want to read the runners up right? Let’s start with the Junior Selection.


Our first runner up story is called “The Puppy Holiday” and was written by Isabella who is 8. What we loved about this story was its unpredictability. At first you think we’re going to Puppyland (which sounds amazing, of course) but actually, there is another land within Puppyland where things really kick off.

Well done Isabella.


The Puppy Holiday


Finally, lockdown was over, so myself and my dog went on holiday to Puppyland.  We had to go on an aeroplane to get there.  We were going on a puppy-plane.  I let Trixie, my dog, sit beside the window.  Trixie seemed nervous, so I told her to lie down and have a nap.  When Trixie woke up, Trixie and I looked out the window and saw Puppyland.  I spotted the hotel we were staying in.  As soon as we got there it was bedtime. 


The next day when I was about to put my clothes on, Trixie ran into the big wardrobe in the bedroom.   ‘Trixie come back girl’’, I said.  Then I heard a tingling noise.  I think I should follow her I thought to myself.  As I stepped into the wardrobe, I got pulled in by a magical portal.  ‘Wow’ I said.  ‘Woof’ barked Trixie.  There were fairies and butterflies everywhere.  Trixie went off chasing a blue and pink butterfly.  ‘Stop Trixie’ I shouted.  But she would not stop until “Thump” and then I heard a whine. 


‘TRIXIE!!!’ I shouted.  ‘I’m coming for you’.  I found Trixie in a hole in the ground.  The hole was very deep, but it had moss and leaves in it, so that it cushioned her fall.  Thump! A tree fell on top of the dark hole.  ‘Trixie are you alright’ I said in a worried voice.  A quiet whine came from the hole to say yes.  ‘Hmmm’ I said ‘Maybe I could roll the tree away from the hole.  ‘Push’ I said as I tried to move the tree.  But it wouldn’t move.  If I can’t even move the tree, how am I supposed to get her out, I thought. 


Two fairies fluttered by us.  That gave me an idea.  I could call the forest for help.  ‘Forest, please help my dog get out of this hole, please!’ I shouted to the forest.  Then eight fairy puppies came to the rescue.  They were brown with golden wings.  They were very cute.  They took the tree off the hole then they lifted Trixie out.  ‘Trixie’ I said as I ran to pick her up and give her a big hug.  Then we said thank you to the fairy puppies and goodbye.  On our way back to the wardrobe, we said goodbye to the forest.  As we stepped back through the portal.  I said’ That seemed like a dream’ But it was not!

The End


Our next runner up is Cairenn, who’s story is simply called, “Cairenn’s story” and if you’re into your fantasy then this story is for you. We have mermaids, mermaid dogs, Lions, Dragons, and a rather frightning evil Overlord. That’s a lot to cram into 500 words. Well done Cairenn!


Cairenns’s Story

When lockdown was over me and my dog found a magic portal under my bed. Cautiously, we walked into the portal. "Argh!", I screamed as the portal closed behind me. My dog Summer barked and chased his mermaid tail!?! As I looked down my mermaid tail shimmered? Then I swam around, Summer and I saw a giant palace, Pad Palace. But all of a sudden everybody bowed down, the mermaid queen has returned.

"What?" I said confused. "You're Queen of the mermaids" a voice said. "I need a dress then!"             Magically a dress appeared, Summer magically became my Royal pet. We were the most powerful beings living in the world! But all of a sudden, Summer looked worried. Boom! An evil Overlord! Summer turned into a lion! I turned into a dragon! But Overlord took my power! Summer jumped up and bit Overlord. "Ok ok, I'll give her back her powers" said Overlord then ran away. "Oh thank you Summer" I cried. Summer beamed. At the break of dawn something woke us up. It was a gang of evil spirits! As I grabbed my magic necklace, I knew it was on. As Summer and I ran into battle, Summer growled "Grrr" and he barked "Woof, Woof".

Then Summer howled and a bunch of birds flew away. "Chirp"! But all of a sudden, a voice said " Here , I'll help. "Who are you?" I replied. "I am the Royal guard and I know this palace like the back of my hand". Summer growled. "Calm girl" I said. Summer ran off.    The guard captured me, "AAAH" I cried. Summer heard my cry. Summer did the howl again but this time a group of dogs appeared. Summer led then. She ventured on and so did the dogs.

Summer is a Golden Retriever so a big dog. When she found me she tried to fight but she was too weak. The other dogs joined in. They defeated him and guess what!?! It was the evil Overlord all along! Then the spirits came in. We fought side by side but the spirits multiplied. However, they were no match for us and we killed them. Then I woke up. Was this a dream I thought? Then Summer smiled and I saw my magic necklace. I guess it was real after all and Summer is the best dog ever.

The End


Our final runner up in the Junior category is called Luna’s adventure, and was written by Emily. This one takes us down under to the magical world of Oz. Not where the wizard lives, Oz as in Australia of course!. Well done Emily.


Luna’s adventure

Finally the lockdown was over and myself and my dog Luna went to Australia for a week. Luna was so excited, she had never been to Australia or even been on an airplane before. Five days later we got on a special dog airplane. We took some yummy treats for the journey. Luna fell asleep on my lap. Then the airplane landed. Luna and I were so excited, it was really hot in Australia. We got on the bus and the bus driver took us to our hotel.  We went to our room. It was very big. We quickly unpacked our stuff and went straight to the pool. Then we went and ate our dinner and afterwards watched a movie and fell asleep. 


When we woke up, we ate our breakfast and went on a tour of the desert. It was so hot. We saw kangaroos which were very good at jumping.  Then we went back to the hotel and went into a big swimming pool. It was a lot of fun. We then had dinner, Luna had delicious chicken and I had some nice pasta with 7-up. Later that night, we went to the disco. After the disco we went back to our hotel room.  Luna fell asleep and I watched a movie and fell asleep too. The next day, we woke up and went to the restaurant and had pancakes for breakfast with orange juice.  Luna had some special dog food. Then we went to the cinema and we saw the movie ‘Shrek’. Luna was hiding in my fancy bag, it was funny. I had some tasty popcorn. After the cinema we went to the park. We played fetch, went for a long walk and we had a lot of fun. We went back to our room and Luna had a nice bubbly bath and I had a nice hot shower. We both snuggled together and fell asleep. We dreamt of our amazing holiday and what we might do for our last few days.


We woke up and I had a nice fry and Luna had some dog breakfast. Then we went on a walk on the beach. I was walking along looking at the sea. Suddenly, I noticed Luna was missing. I looked everywhere for her. I looked all over the town, the beach, the park and even back in the desert. Sadly I still couldn't find her. I went back to the hotel very sad but kept looking. I looked in the garden of the hotel but she wasn’t there. Then I went to the swimming pool. Suddenly I spotted her swimming in the pool. “I lost you Luna, I was very worried about you”, I said while I hugged her. I was so happy to have her back. She agreed she would never leave my side again. We had a lovely dinner, a nice shower and watched a brilliant movie called Harry Potter and chatted about our amazing adventure in Australia.


The End



And that wraps up the runners up for our Junior writers, but our winner still has to be revealed. Keep an eye on our blog this week, as we’ll be posting the winning stories soon.

And now on to our Senoir category where competition got really tough. Our first runner up story is called Iosis and Ra, which any history buffs reading this will know are Egyption Gods. This story was written by Emily, and clearly Emily knows her Egyption mythology and put it to great use in this Indiana Jones style adventure, though it does end on a cliff hanger? Are we going to get a sequel? Well done Emily.


Iosis and Ra


Finally, lockdown was over so myself and my dog Iosis [pronounced e-isis] went hiking. As we walked, I eyed Iosis. I loved the way he put one paw after another with his head held high in that trademark Iosis way. Iosis had always had a proud kind of personality, right from the start. I got Iosis on my tenth birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise, but Iosis was too bubbly to be silent for that long and we knew that dogs aren’t really meant to be given as presents. Iosis is all grown up now, in human years he would be five.

Iosis was a magnificent German shepherd. Eventually, we reached the mountain we had always wanted to explore. “Come on Iosis!” “Last one’s a rotten egg!” It was like Iosis had trained himself to think:” RUN!!!!!!” Anytime he heard those words because he would start running as fast as possible, should those words leave my tongue. We passed a cave that didn’t look particularly inviting. And yet my gut was drawing me inside. The cave dark and damp, and Iosis sniffed the air curiously. When we reached the back of the cave, to my surprise, we find the most unlikely thing you would find in Ireland, Hieroglyphics.

My eyes must be playing tricks on me. I pinch myself, just to be sure I was not dreaming. Nope, I'm awake. All of a sudden, I feel a tremendous urge to reach out and touch them. Our eyes are blinded by a bright flash. And then I get the strangest sensation. It felt like time itself was pulling me one way and then another, then I was flipped and falling, forever falling, down down down. I landed flat on my face on the burning hot sand. I get up, brushing sand off my knees. I gasp. Iosis! Iosis was there beside me, looking very dazed. Poor boy, I mutter, stroking his head. I take out my water bottle and his transportable bowl and give him a drink. I look around, to get some idea of where we are. All I see I sand and strange looking buildings. They look an awful lot like the houses the ancient Egyptians constructed using mud, papyrus, and bricks. I learned about them last week in school. Oh dear. This might sound mad, but so is everything else I’ve said. I may have some idea of where we are. We are in ancient Egypt. I’ve always believed nothing was impossible, but I’ve never actually witnessed something others would say is impossible, so, as you can imagine, I was gob smacked. A boy stops in front of us and stares at my glittery top and jeans. I notice that he is wearing strange clothing. He wore a piece of linen wrapped around his waist, sort of like a kilt. We are definitely in ancient Egypt. A much more troubling thought entered my head. How would we get home?

The End?


Our next story is called Canine-Covid, and was written by Dylan. This one flips the perspective, and tells us from the point of view of the dog, which always tickles us pink. After a year of worry about covid, this was such a nice story to read, putting a funny spin on the awful year we’ve all had. Well done Dylan.


Canine Covid

Finally lockdown was over so myself and my dog had escaped… sorry, I meant myself and my owner... I often get confused about who's the boss in this relationship... Let’s start over “Hi I’m Bonzo and I’m a tail wagging, treat devouring Bernese mountain dog.”


It’s the year 2028 and canine covid is finally under control! It’s been two years full of misery, what one might call doggy hell! We dogs had to wear extremely itchy masks, we were only allowed to walk at an allotted time and were forced to wear uncomfortable nappy bags on our butts. Which was definitely not easy (so embarrassing!)


It’s been hard I must admit. I lost my good friend and neighbour Jet, a fifteen-year-old collie on her last legs to this deadly disease. Which came to Ireland during the reintroduction of wolves to this country. RUFF! RUFF! RUFF! Not to be repeated in human language.


At long last, two days ago, I got my second dose of the vaccine. It was painful, but it is all worth it because today I am going to the new Pet Preserve. It’s a large, enclosed area, with small pools, sprinklers, ramps, tunnels, jumps and squirrels...lots of squirrels. All designed so that you can leave us dogs off the leash safely...did I mention squirrels….


When Jenny (my owner) came outside with a lead and a harness in her hands, my tail was wagging so fast I nearly lifted off the ground. She put on my harness, then clipped on my lead and we set off down the old bumpy roads to the Pet Preserve...maskless...what a feeling!


It felt like forever but when we finally arrived, all of my dog buddies were already there, including Molly, Gigi, and Oscar. Jenny sensed how eager I was to play and unclipped my lead. I ran down the hill to where my buddies were waiting and when I reached them I welcomed a lot of butt sniffing and play fighting and more butt sniffing...was this dog park heaven or what! A quick look out for squirrels and I was off…


I was overjoyed that lockdown was finally over and even happier to be able to see my friends again. As the sun was going down and it was time to go, I wasn’t too sad though, because I knew that I would see them all again tomorrow…

The End


And our final runner up story is “What My Dog Sees” by Sadie. Another story from the dog’s perspective and Sadie really explored what dogs must think of us when we try to teach them new things. Her hilarious point of view really stood out. Sadie also sent us in a photo of her muse; her gorgeous dog Roscoe, which we’ve included here. Thanks Sadie, and well done.


What My Dog Sees

Lockdown was finally over so me and my dog…Wait scratch that…hang on…it was me and my HUMAN decided to go out on a walk. So, my human put a leash on me so I could control her on the walk. We got into the car on sunny summer day (with the air con on to keep me nice and cool) and we drove down to the coast. As I got out of my car I knew it was “GO TIME”. People kept commenting on me, saying my fur was so soft and silky. I even got pats on my head. I guess being handsome does have its advantages in life. My human met another one of her kind and communicated with mouth sounds. She also had a dog and he said that his human takes all the credit by saying that THEY take him on walks…it’s the other way around human!!!!>:3!!! Anyway, around five dog hours later we got back into the car and went to a park! Jeez, my human must have a lot of energy to go to the coast, communicate with other humans for house and NOW the park?

Come on humans! Give your dog a break!!! While I was in the middle of saying “give your dog a break, she pulls a sphere shaped thing, and WOW does she love that thing because she just showed it to me over and over shouting “Ball!”

After, showing me her favourite object, she THROWS IT!!!

Being the handsome kind dog I am, I go retrieve this item for her AND oh man, I got tummy rubs, pats on my head, and even a TREAT…just for that! So, I’m enjoying my treat, waiting for my human to stop playing with the object and then SHE THROWS IT AGAIN!!!! I race after it because I think she’s losing her mind, and I decided then that we should go home.

We got home and I ran to my glorious food bowl and sat in my KING bed with the most AMAZING OBJECT EVER!!! Even better than the sphere shaped thing−my human shoe! Oh man, this object is DA BEST, but for some reason my human doesn’t agree and takes it away, but I wasn’t worried, I always manage to get it back. She said “No” as if she controls me and gives me her favourite object, the sphere thing..Hmmmmm OH OH I GET IT NOW!

I give her my favourite object and she gives me hers. I guess that’s how humans talk. By saying “No” she actually means “Let’s trade our favourite objects”. Wow, you learn something new everyday when spending time with humans. I will keep this in mind and tell other dogs what to do in future. I see this sphere object thing and look at my human wondering what she see in it? I see her with my favourite object having so much fun putting it on. Since I am a handsome responsible dog I take a nap and let her have it.

The Doggy End.

Based on pet dogo Roscoe.


And there you have it folks. Well done to all the runner ups.

We have emailed everyone who has won but we haven’t heard back from everyone yet, so if you’ve seen your story printed but haven’t heard back from us yet, send us an email at [email protected] and we can arrange your prize to be sent out.