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World's Oldest Golden Retriever Celebrates Her 20th Birthday

World's Oldest Golden Retriever Celebrates Her 20th Birthday

Here's a dose of heartwarming good news for you - a golden retriever has been celebrating her 20th birthday, making her the world's oldest of her kind.

If you're not fully up to speed with why this makes her such a remarkable doggo, it basically means she's reached almost double the average life expectancy of her breed. Lovely stuff.

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August the Golden Retriever - known affectionately as Augie - actually celebrated her milestone birthday back in April, but news of the event has only just been made public.

Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue
Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue

The average life expectancy for Golden Retrievers is 10 to 12 years, but Goldheart Golden Retrievers Rescue in Tennessee - who had previously helped find a home for Augie - confirmed she'd almost doubled that, sharing the news on its Facebook page just a few days ago.

Along with some photos of Augie looking absolutely adorable on her special day, staff wrote: "At 20 years old, she's just about doubled the expected lifespan for golden retrievers and she's still kicking.

"She's lived so long largely because she's got great genetics, but also her owner, Jennifer, has done a great job of taking care of her and ensuring that they have a good relationship with Augie's vet."

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Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue
Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue

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And over on the shelter's website, they added: "At 20 years old, Augie is the oldest golden retriever in history!

"There are many accounts of 17 or 18-year-old goldens, and even a few stories about 19-year-old goldens, but Augie is the first golden retriever to ever reach the big two-oh."

Augie was born on 24 April 2000 and had two previous homes - apparently through no fault of her own - before settling with owners Jennifer and Stever Hetterscheidt in Oakland, California, who took her in at the ripe old age of 14. And wouldn't you just do the same?

August celebrated her 20th birthday with her owners, as well as a special cake and a big banner. She was even dressed up in a very chic scarf to make the occasion that bit more special and stylish.

Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue
Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue

While her owners say the pooch can be a little shaky when she first stands up, she's still mobile, and enjoys walks around her garden.

And while most people who want dogs choose to look after puppies, Jennifer said she and Steve, who have toured the US in their RV with Augie, found an immense amount of joy caring for an elderly dog.

"We care for them as long as we have them, and love them forever," said the couple, who have also adopted three retriever siblings to help keep Augie company. No, YOU'RE crying.

Happy birthday, Augie!

Featured Image Credit: GoldHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue

Topics: Dog, Feels, US News

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]