Lifestyle & Culture

On your marks, get set, sit!

Sophie Austin met Newcastle’s most cute and clever at the 2017 Dog Olympics to write the “fluff piece” of all fluff pieces.

There aren’t many things in life better than dogs.

Well, except maybe hundreds of dogs, all ready for pats and praise and butt-sniffing opportunities.

On Sunday the 23rd, Newcastle’s fluffiest and finest took over Islington Park for the 2017 Dog Olympics. The greens were spotted with man’s best friend of all sizes; from German Shepherds to Pomeranians, Border Collies to the well loved Pug. Stalls were filled with doggie treats (Bone Appetit!), pet safety information, toys and dog lovers alike. But the show was stolen by the main event, the games, and for just $2, anyone’s dog could be the next gold medal Olympian.

Take Rocko the Fearless for example, who scored impressively in the Best Tricks category for his obedient routine.


Or these proud winners, who took out the title for Fastest Fetch. In the lead is Panda, the reigning champion for a second year.


Even without a podium to put their paws on, every dog was a winner. Fellow Yak Shea Evans and I were lucky enough to catch up with a few of Newcastle’s cutest. Here are our favourites:


Name: Snap
Age: 3 years
Breed: Pomeranian
Rating: 14 out of 10. Very fluffy.


Name: Isla
Age: 8 years
Breed: Golden Retriever cross Labrador
Rating: 15 out of 10.  Always gives her best.


Name: Ofrilla
Age: 13 years
Breed: Standard Poodle
Rating: 15 out of 10. Flared pants, or fur?


Name: Dakota
Age:6 years
Breed: Belgian Shepherd
Rating: 14 out of 10. Amazing paw-five.


Name: Buster
Breed: Australian Shepherd
Rating: 16 out of 10. Fashion knows no species.


Name: Codie
Age: 5 years
Breed: Silver Border Collie
Rating: 14 out of 10. Ready for many pats.


Name: Mia
Age: 23 weeks
Breed: Golden Retriever
Rating: 17 out of 10. Hula princess of Islington Park.

Also at the event was Dog Rescue Newcastle, a not for profit organisation who aims to find forever homes for abandoned dogs. The organisation prioritises saving dogs and cats who are facing “death row” in local pounds to give them a second chance.

They have over sixty dogs and twenty cats available for adoption, all ready to fill that empty, pet-spaced hole in your life.

Even while spectators were jumped on, dribbled on and went home smelling like one of the pack, there’s no denying the day was a roaring (or barking?) success. Congratulations to all the winners of the games, and good luck to all those preparing their pets for next year!

To adopt from Dog Rescue Newcastle, please visit them on

All photos by Sophie Austin. Special thanks to Shea Evans and Chloe Wratten for quality dog scouting.

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