The Ringo is dead. Long live the Digger.
In a press-conference today, Prime Minister Val Shier announced to a hushed crowd of journalists that First Dog, Ringo, had passed away during the night.
Even amongst that hard-bitten group of veteran news-breakers, there was not a dry eye in the BrickHouse..
"It is my sad news to announce that Ringo, in the kindest euphemism I can summon, has gone to live on a farm on the Table-lands'," Ms Shier said. "He is in a better place, and the place is better for his presence. No words can capture our sorrow. Ringo was a wonderful companion and a capable administrator. He will be sadly missed."
The PM then went on to introduce the new First Dog, Digger (above), who will commence duties as early as tomorrow when he is expected to chair an Interdepartmental Commission Meeting before going for walkies with Minister Dame Libby Trickett later in the afternoon.
A private funeral will be held for Ringo early next week.