A sweet senior rescue dog has become the oldest golden retriever on record after celebrating her 20th birthday, far outliving the 10- to 12-year life expectancy for her breed.
August, or Augie, celebrated with a birthday banner to mark the occasion, a dog-friendly carrot cake, and snuggles with her adopted golden retriever siblings, Sherman, Belle, and Bruce.
“It’s official. Let it be known that … ‘August’ is the oldest known, oldest living Golden Retriever,” GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue posted on their Facebook page in honor of the senior pooch. “She turned 20 years old on April 24, 2020.”
Augie lives in Oakland, Tennessee, with her adoptive owners, Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt, who rescued Augie from Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Nevada when the senior dog was already 14 years old; Jennifer was working as director for the rescue center at the time.
“They are wonderful volunteers,” GoldHeart said of the couple to The Epoch Times, “supporting rescue for many years!”
Augie was placed in two homes that didn’t work out before ending up in her forever home with the Hetterscheidts. Jennifer and Steve knew that senior dogs have a harder time finding permanent homes than younger pups, but Augie stole their hearts.
The couple were pleasantly surprised by Augie’s adventurous spirit, despite her advanced age, and the family enjoyed many RVing trips across the United States together. Augie shares her home with her three canine companions, plus some cats, and one of her favorite pastimes is playing fetch in the pool.
“Of course being that old she has slowed down a lot,” Steve told Insider. “We have beds all around the house and we have a sofa and ottoman, and she’ll get up on the sofa and watch TV with us at night. She just likes to be a part of the group.”
Jennifer explained that while the 20-year-old pooch is a little shaky when she stands up, she still moves around with ease and enjoys a daily stroll around the couple’s backyard. A mixture of wet and dry dog food plus supplements for her kidneys and joints help alleviate her minor health ailments.
Golden retrievers are the third most popular dog breed in the United States, says the American Kennel Club. They are “serious workers” and make excellent search-and-rescue dogs or guides for the blind.
They also display a huge lust for life when not on duty and are known to be very affectionate. The breed often maintains a puppy-like nature long into adulthood.
Augie’s owners know how rewarding it can be to live with and care for a senior pet. “We care for them as long as we have them and love them forever,” said Jennifer, as Metro reported. Although oldest among specific breeds are not officially recorded just yet, Augie appears to be the 19th-oldest dog in the world, according to Guinness.
Steve attributes Augie’s impressive longevity to “good genes,” adding that she has been a “great addition to the family and she just keeps chugging along.”
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