Oldest Golden Retriever ever, 20-year-old August, goes viral

Oldest Golden Retriever. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Oldest Golden Retriever. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images) /

The oldest Golden Retriever on record turned 20 years old and went viral.

The oldest Golden Retriever on record has gone viral this week after a 20-year-old (!!!) dog named August went viral.

While this “oldest Golden Retriever” title has not been confirmed as an official Guinness World Record (as recently happened to the Oldest Great Dane), it’s still an amazing bit of dog news.

This likely happened because People Magazine ran a story about her, but has since been a recurring topic this week in the dog world, drawing comments from such high-profile accounts as WeRateDogs and The Golden Ratio.

August, better known as Augie, lives in the Memphis suburb of Oakland, Tennessee, with her pawrents Steve and Jennifer Hetterscheit, and her Golden siblings Belle, Bruce and Sherman, along with a few cat siblings.

“She can still move around well (although she’s a bit shaky when she first gets up) and enjoys daily walks around the yard,” Jennifer told Golden Hearts Retriever Rescue.

She celebrated the big day with a carrot cake, which sounds like a tasty treat.

Steve and Jennifer adopted her from a local rescue group when she was an already-elderly 14 years old, and have taken great loving care of her ever since, including road trips in the RV.

Golden Hearts reported that Augie was born on April 24, 2000, which would make her a whopping 115 years old when converted into dog years.

This is roughly double the typical lifespan of Golden Retrievers.

For comparison’s sake, that could be the equivalent of a human still being alive who was born two years after Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The sport of volleyball had been invented less than a decade before, and the legendary mystery novelist Agatha Christie was still a decade away from the beginning of her prolific writing career.

What was the world like in April 2000?

  • Everyone was relieved that Y2K didn’t become a colossal worldwide event, and Kurt Warner had led the St Louis Rams to a Super Bowl 34 victory a few months before. NSYNC’s No Strings Attached was the top-selling CD, and Britney Spears’ iconic “Oops…I Did It Again” was blaring on stations all over the radio dial.
  • In theaters, the romance Love and Basketball and the Natalie Portman drama Where the Heart Is were the top attractions, and George W Bush and Al Gore were busy campaigning before the election in November.
  • On TV, Beverly Hills 90210 and Boy Meets World were wrapping up their runs, while viewers would soon be introduced to Dora the Explorer, Even Stevens, Glmore Girls and Survivor.
  • Michelle Kwan was the world’s reigning ladies figure skating champion, and Harry Potter fans were anxiously awaiting the publication of the fourth book in the series, The Goblet of Fire. 
  • Within the past five years, the American Kennel Club had just recognized the Border Collie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Havanese as official breeds.

Yes, the world was a much different place in 2000, and we’re happy that Augie has lived a long and happy life as the world’s oldest Golden Retriever.

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