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The Last Dog . By Katherine Paterson. A science-fiction short story. What would happen if Earth had been destroyed by a nuclear explosion and only few hundreds of people have been saved but have to live in space ships? Would you get use to be encapsulated all the time in a spaceship?

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the last dog

The Last Dog

By Katherine Paterson

a science fiction short story
A science-fiction short story
  • What would happen if Earth had been destroyed by a nuclear explosion and only few hundreds of people have been saved but have to live in space ships?
  • Would you get use to be encapsulated all the time in a spaceship?
  • What equipment do you think will be necessary to get out of the spaceship?
  • What kind of food do you think people would eat?

The Last Dog

This story is about a boy named Brock, he lives in a dome on planet Earth hundreds of years in the future. Something terrible had happened on Earth and all had been destroyed, the air was poisonous and everybody had to live in huge domes where everything was computerized. Brock didn’t have a mother or any real human contact, everything was provided to him by carefully synchronized computers.

Brock had been reading some very old books that explain how life on earth was before the big disaster and he was curious to go outside so he planned to do some scientific research and asked for permission to go outside. Everybody else looked at him suspiciously but nobody refused to let him go. Everything was computerized so Brock never knew any human emotions; he needed a scanner to know how he was feeling. He also never attended school, all his learning happened through a computer, all his lessons were computerized.


Before leaving Brock had to check in with the main computer and verify that he had all necessary equipment to go outside. Brock had to wear a heavy and thick uniform, a helmet and oxygen tank and also had to get some water and food tables; there was no food in the future, just food tables. He finally was cleared and ready to start his adventure.

Brock was finally allowed to go outside and he started walking, at the beginning he could only see barren and deserted places but soon enough an strange noise caught his attention, it sounded like a waterfall, Brock found a little brook of water and next to it, there was some grass and few flowers, there was also a tree and some leaves. Brock had never seen this before so he was delighted, he collected few leaves and place them on her backpack for evidence of his searching. Then he heard a whining noise, it was a puppy, he was crying close to his mom who had died close to the brook.


Brock was fascinated, he thought all dogs were extinct so this was a huge discovery, Brock tried to touch the puppy but the puppy was scared, the puppy finally got close to Brock and started licking his glove first and then his hand. Brock decided to take the puppy with him back to the dome.

Once he got back to the dome, Brock had to report his findings; he gave up the leaves and then informed them about the dog. The scientists were confused; they thought all dogs were dead. Finally, they decided to send Brock and the dog (Brock had named the puppy Brog) to the quarantine unit for research purposes.

For few days, Brock did nothing but play with the dog and enjoy his company, but then he started wondering what would they do with the puppy


Brock overheard a conversation among the scientists who were thinking of cloning Brog and using him for more research; others did not agree and wanted to eliminate the dog because it would cost too much to keep him alive.

Brock knew then that he had to do something to save Brog life, in a desperate attempt, Brock bit Brog’s tail and the puppy bit him back. All the scientists were horrified and thought that the puppy had a severe case of rabies. Brock had been bitten so he probably got the disease too; they finally decided to expel both of them, Brock and the puppy named Brog.

Brock was a little bit scared but he would never let anybody or anything hurt his dog, he walked and walked and finally went back to the brook and for the first time in his life, he drank natural water.