The Official Writing Challenge
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This story kept me guessing. First I thought that Phin and Riley were two men, then I learned that Riley is a female. Then I thought they were a police force team. Then I thought they were both dogs. Very clever.
You kept me guessing, too. I loved the closeness of Riley with her guard dog and the way her prayer was answered.
02/01/14
This is a very creative approach,told from the dog's POV. I thought Phin was a man until you revealed his identity. Well told and a lovely tribute to those dogs that help people that way. Well done!
02/02/14
Very creative and sensitive approach to the topic, which kept me guessing for a while. I thought the dialogue was a tad strange - until I Phinally realised who was who - but you have captured a unique relationship very well. Great work.
I can only echo the comments presented. Very creative!
02/03/14
A great story told from a unique perspective.
Great job! I'll echo that I thought Riley was a male at first. One way to avoid the reader getting distracted by gender is to either pick an obvious-gender name or otherwise show the gender in the first or second sentence. Alternately, I've written short stories that never showed the gender, if it wasn't important.

I think you may have been able to get me on the twist if I hadn't recognized the dog's name. This story is fun but with a deep message. Way to go.
02/04/14
I am proud to boast that I never thought Riley was any other gender than she-mail.

I love this gripping story and was on the edge of my seat, while she was lying on the line. You painted Phin as being the adorable, faithful companion and helper in a very realistic way that sort of tugs at the heartstrings of dog lovers.

Overall, I say great story, spot on topic and well written. Woof!
02/04/14
I'm super impressed with what you were able to bring to the story in such few words. Well done.

My only 'red ink" is I wonder if in this sentence you meant wandering instead of wondering.


“Oohh, does that mean a blind person is wondering around?”

Other than that, I found it to be spot on.
02/05/14
Sweet story with an excellent ending. Nicely done.

God bless~
02/05/14
I can't believe how you pulled this wonderful story together with such a time constraint as you mentioned. You surprised me with the MC turning out to be a dog. I love it. Great work on this one!
02/05/14
Creative, captivating and delightful read! Great job!
02/06/14
I hadn't known you'd submitted an article, but when I saw your name and began reading, I had a huge smile on my face as I knew Phin was your dog. I was excited to see if you'd actually used him as the MC or just his name. Soon I knew and my heart was as excited to get to the end of this terrific story as it was to read the comments. I just knew there'd be folks who didn't know Phin was a dog and that made it all the more fun for me to read. You've done a great job with this powerful, but totally delightful, piece.
02/06/14
Congratulations to YOU, Shann, for placing 13th overall and 11th in your rank.-)
02/07/14
Congratulations, Shann, on ranking 13th. Good on you!