The Newcastle Dog Olympics will be held at Islington Dog Park on Sunday, April 23

It’s that time again. The Olympics are here. The Newcastle Dog Olympics, that is. 

This is the event’s second year. We like this next part. It will include “athletic and non-athletic events for dogs of all sizes”.

How egalitarian. Liberty, equality, fraternity! 

There's lots of events like fetching frisbees, musical hoops, best trick and creative painting. What’s that? Creative painting? 

It’s true. Coloured paints will be available for the doggies to play with. 

For a second there, we imagined pooches with paint brushes in their mouths and tweed caps on their noggins.

“Paint their paws and have them walk onto their blank board to create a work of art,” an activity list said.

There's also a competition called “celebrity look-a-like”, where owners dress their dogs like “fabulous and famous” people. 

The organisers encourage “doggy fancy dress, wild colours and crazy hair-dos”.

It’s all for a good cause. The event raises money for the charity, Hunter Animal Watch. It takes place at Islington Dog Park on Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

Tassie Tiger Tales

As we recently reported, reader Christian Kropp told us he’d twice had encounters with the Tasmanian tiger, deep in the Barrington wilderness.

For the record, we believe Christian. What can we say. He sounded sincere. 

Academics reckon Tasmanian tigers have a 1 in 1.6 trillion chance of being alive.

Academics reckon Tasmanian tigers have a 1 in 1.6 trillion chance of being alive.

Anyhow, as we’ve said before, scientists say the Tasmanian tiger [also known as the thylacine] became extinct in Tasmania in 1936 and on the Australian mainland about 2000 years ago.

Now a report in New Scientist magazine said mathematical modelling done at the University of California suggested the probability of Tasmanian tigers still existing was 1 in 1.6 trillion. 

Christian’s sightings (the latest of which occurred five years ago) did occur deep in the Barrington wilderness in a World Heritage Area. This is a place the National Parks and Wildlife Service describes as an “ancient landscape”.

Could his sightings really be true? Stranger things have happened.

Can’t Buy Me Love

The average Australian would spend $3311 on an engagement ring, a survey says.

Aussies think $3311 is, on average, the right amount to spend on an engagement ring.

Aussies think $3311 is, on average, the right amount to spend on an engagement ring.

But the lawyers who did the survey warned that expensive rings don’t always buy happiness.

The survey of 1000 people found almost half of Australians think the cost of an engagement ring doesn’t matter.

Men were willing to spend an average of $3487 on a ring, while women thought $3111 was the right figure.

The survey was commissioned by Slater and Gordon Family Lawyers.

One of the firm’s lawyers Mona Emera said “you only have to look at celebrity couples to see that an expensive ring does not always buy happiness”.

“If James Packer had been part of our survey, there’s no doubt the $10 million, 35-carat diamond he bought Mariah Carey would have thrown off our results,” she said.

“But the average Australian couple can take comfort in the fact that even a $10 million ring doesn’t safeguard against relationship breakdown.

“In our experience, the relationships that are built on solid foundations are the ones that go the distance. There’s a reason ‘for richer or poorer’ is included in traditional marriage vows.”

We do wonder why lawyers would do a survey on engagement rings.

Hmmm. In their press release, they did provide legal answers to the question, “Who gets to keep the engagement ring if a couple breaks up?”.

Ahhh. Now we get it.