OAKLAND, Tenn. – A dog that recently turned 20 years old is believed to be the oldest living golden retriever in the world.
The retriever, named August or “Augie,” lives in Oakland, Tennessee, with her owners, Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt.
The Hetterscheidts adopted Augie when she was 14 from the Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada, which Jennifer co-founded before retiring and moving to Tennessee.
On April 24, the family celebrated Augie’s 20th birthday, a major milestone, because experts say the average golden retriever lives to be about 10 to 12 years old.
They went all out for the celebration, giving Augie a special carrot cake and having a banner made to wish her a happy birthday. She was also surrounded by the family’s three other retrievers, whose ages range between 7 and 10.
As Augie got older, Jennifer told the Today Show that she did a little research to see what the age was of the oldest golden retriever. She came across the GoldenHeart Golden Retriever Rescue’s website, which said the oldest was believed to be 19 years old. Jennifer then contacted the rescue to share Augie’s story.
On June 20, the Maryland-based rescue announced that “Augie is the oldest golden retriever in history!”
Augie’s owners say she’s surprisingly healthy. She can still move around well and enjoys daily walks, although she’s a bit shaky when she first gets up. She also has some kidney issues, but she’s on a special diet for that.
If you have a golden retriever, GoldenHeart offered five tips to help them live a long life: listen to your veterinarian, listen to your dog, feed your dog quality dog food, groom frequently, and exercise your dog regularly.