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Children’s pet story and picture competition winners announced

PUBLISHED: 14:44 09 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:48 09 August 2020

Hector the Beagle, who uses a wheelchair to help him get around. Victoria Haddon has written a new book about his adventures. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Hector the Beagle, who uses a wheelchair to help him get around. Victoria Haddon has written a new book about his adventures. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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Norwich dog-on-wheels Hector has already inspired his owner to write a book. Now there are some imaginative new stories by children.

Hector by Evie TurnerHector by Evie Turner

A competition to paint a picture or write a story inspired by Norwich dog-on-wheels Hector kept children busy during lockdown.

And the winners are:

Evie Turner, aged 11, of Judges Walk, Norwich, whose fine drawing of Hector was accompanied by information about the beagle and his wheelchair.

And Evie King, aged nine, of North Walsham, for her amusing story of a sneaky, solo, sausage-flavoured excursion.

Hector the Beagle, who uses a wheelchair to help him get around. Victoria Haddon has written a new book about his adventures. Picture: Neil DidsburyHector the Beagle, who uses a wheelchair to help him get around. Victoria Haddon has written a new book about his adventures. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Hector’s owner, Victoria Haddon, of Norwich, came up with the idea of a competition when she was walking him during lockdown.

“I was thinking about all the children at home, how to encourage them to read and how challenging it must be for parents. I wondered about doing something that would encourage reading, provide some entertainment at home and at the same time raise some funds for charity,” said Victoria.

Hector was born with disabled front legs and gets around by propelling a custom-made wheelchair with his back legs. “Hector’s story is largely about succeeding in the face of adversity,” said Victoria.

She is raising money for charity by donating profits from sales of her book about Hector and his adventures, Hector’s Wheels, with pictures by Norwich illustrator Sophia Fletcher. It is available from Victoria at victoria.haddon66@outlook.com for £8.49 (including p&p) - £3 of that goes to the Norfolk Covid-19 Response Fund.

Evie Turner  Picture: familyEvie Turner Picture: family

Some of the new competition entry stories see Hector and his beagle brother Reggie compete in races, play with frisbees and eat sausages.

The two winners will each receive a family ticket to Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, courtesy of Norfolk Musuems Service, plus the chance to meet Hector himself.

*Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is now open daily. Tickets must be booked in advance. museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Evie King Picture: familyEvie King Picture: family

Here is nine-year-old Evie King’s winning story, Hector and the Sausage Adventure.

You may also want to watch:

The back gate was open, I didn’t know why, I didn’t know how, but it was. Oh, and by the way, my name is Hector, Hector the dog, and my back gate was open the day this all started. I was about to bark but I knew all my owners would say to that was: “Hector, stop barking!” and besides, they would probably just shut the gate and tell me to stop barking even when I had!

Then, realising my owners had gone inside to watch TV, I took a deep breath and stepped outside the gate. It was weird, I had never been outside the garden without a lead on before. All these different smells but one undoubtedly overpowered the others, a sausagey one that must have come from a deliciously meaty sausage!

My wheels were speeding me up but I was still getting impatient to get to the sausage! I whizzed past lorries, vans and cars until I skidded to a halt in front of a man sitting on a park bench with his mouth wide open and the sausage in his hands. I didn’t bother with puppy dog eyes, I jumped up and greedily snatched the sausage. The man shouted after me but I whizzed away before he could catch up with me. Just because I have wheels, nothing is stopping me from getting a sausage.

When I got home, I realised I was just in time for tea. As I walked into the living room my owners said, “Oh Hector, there you are! We thought you might have been out in the garden!” However, they wondered why my breath smelled of sausage!

And here are extracts from some of the other great stories - many of them from the children of Swanton Abbott Primary School.

Corbin Bolt, aged nine, of Badersfield, wrote about Hector visiting “the little school upon the hill.”

“The school is overlooked by the beautiful, historical, flint church. Hector is there for a visit, he is a very special dog. He is joyful, spirited and a loveable dog. Did I mention he has to use a wheelchair?” In Corbin’s story Hector is so excited he breaks his wheelchair, but the children come to his rescue.

Adam Micheli, aged nine, of Badersfield, wrote Hector’s Race about Hector triumphing at Silverstone. The action-packed tale includes: “The green light flashed up, he screeched off the start line and accelerated into the distance. A cloud of dust shot up from his tyres. The man looked on with wide-eyed astonishment: ‘Never in my life have I seen a dog go that fast!’ As quick as a flash Hector was back, hardly out of breath. ‘That’s one amazing dog and an amazing lap time,” said the man. Victoria patted Hector proudly, ‘We know he’s amazing. He also raises lots of money for charity.’”

Hector and the Dog Race, by Elvis Jackson, aged nine, of North Walsham, includes a village fete dog race. “All the dogs trotted to the starting line. There were big dogs, small dogs, buff dogs, slim dogs and chubby dogs.” Disaster almost strikes but Hector triumphs, helped by Reggie. “With a swoosh of power, Reggie pushed Hector all the way to the finishing line. Hector came first with Reggie coming a close second.”

Hector by Poppy Brzeczek, aged nine, of Swanton Abbot school, calls its hero “kind and heart warming” and talks about him going to hospitals to cheer up patients – and to the vet when he needs an operation himself.

Ellen Turner, aged eight, of North Walsham, wrote about an adventure in the park. Hector and Reggie were playing with a frisbee in the park when: “Hector was curiously distracted. This delicious smell wafted through the air. Utterly joyous he followed his nose” … and found a little boy willing to share his lunch.


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