If you’re in need of some wholesome good news today, let us present to you August – the world’s oldest living golden retriever.
August was fostered at the grand old age of 14 by Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt, from Tennessee. When they rescued her, they weren’t sure how long she’d live; 14 in human years is the equivalent to around 78 in medium breed dog years. So August was pretty old when she found her forever home.
Six years later, she’s been busy celebrating her 20th birthday and aside from a few minor health issues, she’s hale and hearty.
She hasn’t been officially verified yet, but according to the Guinness World Records, August might be the 19th oldest dog in the world. And GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue, a rescue centre that has shared her story, has claimed that she’s the ‘oldest known, oldest living golden retriever’.
August ended up at The Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada after her original carer fell on hard times and had to move into a shelter where dogs weren’t allowed. The Hetterscheidts told Insider that they agreed to foster August thinking that it’d only be for a short amount of time, given her age.
But after two years, it was clear that August was going nowhere – and the couple decided to adopt her.
So, what’s August’s secret to long-term health?
Steve tells Insider that August and the family’s other three golden retrievers eat a normal diet but that August’s longevity is down to ‘good genes’.
‘Seeing as how she was 14 when we got her, and we don’t really know what they were feeding her before, we really think that it’s just attributed to good genes,’ he explains.
‘Golden retrievers normally only live to be 10 or 12 years old and are very prone to cancer.’
August has some mild kidney failure but thanks to a little extra TLC, she’s stayed at stage 2 (the most serious form is stage 4) for a number of years. She may be a slow but Steve says that she still loves getting in on the action – whether that’s jumping into pools or settling down for a night in front of the box with the rest of her family.
Britain’s oldest dog, Charlie the Jack Russell, died in 2018 at 23, while Maggie, a Kelpie, was thought to be the world’s oldest dog. She passed away in her basket aged 30 (133 in dog years) in Australia in 2016.
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