Dog Day Out

Venue: The Dog Oval at Centennial Park
Date: Sunday, 17 October 2021 • Time: 11am
What to bring: Treats, poo bags and water for your dog (and treats for yourself)

Michelle Painter SC

I t is a truth universally acknowledged that a barrister in possession of a good practice must be in want of a pet (with apologies to Jane Austen). And, without wishing to inflame the sensitivities of naysayers, and acknowledging that no correspondence will be entered into on the point, the best pet for a barrister is a dog. Any dog. Doesn’t matter what size or breed. Any dog is a good dog. And every dog, regardless of gender, is a ‘good boi’.

Mediterranean meal
Winston Bagley on his throne
Mediterranean meal
Lorenzo Hynes, thinking deep thoughts
Mediterranean meal
Harvey Koch surveying his kingdom
Dog by the computer
His Lordship, Alfie Tom Denning, Master of the Paws (aka Alfie Tao), finalising written submissions
Mediterranean meal
The floor’s newest canine member, Rex Davis, being just the cutest thing in the world
Mediterranean meal
Sonny Sykes, pondering the latest High Court decision
Mediterranean meal
Hugo White, juggling a career in law and a career as a top class model
Mediterranean meal
Zuki and Zeus Painter, looking on with some concern

Don’t take my word for it – the RSPCA reports that dog ownership bestows health benefits both physical (increased cardiovascular health, increased physical activity and fewer visits to the doctor are only a few of the reported benefits) and psychological (higher self esteem, less depression and better ability to cope with grief and other stressors, enhanced social connectiveness and social skills) on the owner. The Australian Companion Animal Council (no, I didn’t know there was such a thing either) says:

Pets are good for our health and good for the health of our communities. The tangible benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of pet owners have been confirmed by scientific research. Pets provide companionship, encourage exercise and increase social interaction. They give pleasure, teach responsibility, they love and are loved in return. Their owners are healthier and happier than non-owners.1

The only thing better than a happy barrister with a happy dog is a meeting of many happy barristers and all of their happy dogs. The NSW Bar Association Wellbeing Committee joins with Peanuts creator, Charles Schultz to affirm 'Happiness is a warm puppy'.

All barristers, judges, clerks, associates and other staff are invited to join in on the fun.