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'World's Oldest Dog' Passes Away At 30

Apr 23, 2016 09:53 AM EDT
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Kelpie
A red-and-tan kelpie, a breed similar to Maggie.
(Photo : Boggas/Wikimedia Commons)

Here's hoping all dogs do go to Heaven.

Maggie, an Australian kelpie likely to be the world's oldest dog, recently died at her home in Victoria, Australia.

The dog was thought to be 30 years old, though there is no official paperwork on her real age.

Her owner Brian McLaren, a Woolsthorpe dairy farmer, confirmed the passing of his friend. He said he feels saddened by her death, but is "pleased she went the way she went," as reported by The Guardian.

Maggie the kelpie grew up with McLaren. He got her as an eight-week-old puppy 30 years ago.

In November last year, the furry dog became a media sensation. Australia's 7 News Perth featured Maggie in a video, which featured her as most likely the oldest dog in the world.

In the short clip, McLaren described the dog as his good friend who shadows him around the farm, where she is the only sheepdog among several cats.

"In my mind, it is possible," said veterinarian Dr. Jack Ayerbe in the video about her long life span. "But it's a really, really remarkable feat."

Dog years work differently than human years. According to the CalculatorCat website, a long-standing belief is that a dog year is equal to 7 human years. However, it is only a rough guide and can be quite inaccurate, since there are several factors in our doggie friends that must be considered, such as their size, breed and life expectancy.

The CalculatorCat website suggests a middle-ground approach based on studies that dogs develop quicker in the early stages of their lives. This method takes the dog's first two years, with a dog year equal to 10.5 human years. After that, every dog year is considered equal to 4 human years.

Using this calculator, Maggie is about 133 human years old, which is still quite a feat for many pets.

It is sad that Maggie, who is now peacefully sleeping under a marked grave under a pine tree, does not have any documentation to prove her real age. The Guinness Book of World Records says that the record for the oldest dog is currently held by Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, who passed away at age 29 in 1939.

Although pets may not live long with us, there are several health benefits associated with taking care of one. According to Animal Planet, studies show that owning a pet can help us become more social, make us feel less lonely and even help reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.

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