All birthdays are special, but rarely do they make history. But that isn’t the case for this golden retriever in Oakland, Tennessee, who just celebrated hers last April 24.
August—affectionately known as Augie—has been declared as the world’s oldest golden retriever. Although she celebrated her milestone birthday two months ago, it was only last week that it was confirmed that she’s the oldest dog of her breed.
This sugar-faced beauty was taken to the Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada and adopted by Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt in 2014. She was already 14 years old at the time, well past the average 10-12 year lifespan of a golden retriever.
Jennifer, who co-founded the rescue in 2002, said that Augie was a “forever foster.” She was working as the intake director when the pup was brought in the shelter. After she retired, they moved to Oakland, where they currently reside.
As for the oldest golden retriever title, Augie almost didn’t get it. There was another golden retriever who was a few months older than her but passed away before turning 20.
“As she got older, when she was around 17 or 18 years old, we started searching for the oldest golden retriever, just casually,” Jennifer said. “When she hit 19, I came across Goldheart Golden Retriever Rescue, and on their FAQ, it said one golden retriever had just passed away, just under the age of 20.”
Jennifer reached out to the Goldheart Golden Retriever Rescue shortly before Augie turned 20. When she finally hit 20, they waited for a couple more months before contacting the rescue again to say that they now have the oldest goldie. Steve also checked the Guinness World Records, but they don’t categorize dogs by breed. According to their ranking, Augie is the 19th oldest dog in the world.
“We just did internet searches for months trying to find an older golden retriever, and we just couldn’t,” Jennifer said.
On June 20, the rescue shared a Facebook post celebrating Augie’s record-breaking birthday. As seen in photos, Augie was treated to a dog-friendly carrot cake during her special day.
Thankfully, the pooch is still in good health despite her advanced age and battle with early-stage kidney failure.
“When we got her from the rescue, she was in the early stages of kidney failure,” according to Jennifer. “At that time, she was at stage one out of four. With repeated annual bloodwork, she’s became a two out of four, but she’s still staying at stage two.”
Augie now eats a mix of wet and dry Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d and takes some supplements for her joints and kidneys. According to Jennifer, the dog also gets SQ fluids twice a week, which has helped increase her energy quite a bit.
The kidney issues don’t affect Augie’s everyday life. She still goes on walks and plays fetch in the family pool – two activities that she both loves.
“She’s got some lumps and bumps, some skin tags, but she can move so fast when you open the refrigerator door,” Jennifer joked.
Although the dog is “a little wobbly” upon waking up in the morning, she still walks well and loves doing so around their property. Probably what keeps this dog energetic is her great company at home. Besides his loving parents, Augie lives with one cat and three other golden retrievers named Sherman, Belle, and Bruce, whose ages range from seven and 10. Augie just loves playing with all of them.
“She’s happy doing something, she’s happy doing nothing,” Jennifer described the dog. “She’s showing her age, she’s slowing down, but she’s got gusto, this old girl.”
May you have more birthdays to celebrate, Augie!