An Australian farm hound, thought to be the oldest dog in the world, died peacefully in her sleep over the weekend, it’s been reported. Maggie, a kelpie, was aged 30, which is the equivalent of 133 in human years.
Kelpies are Australian working dogs, bred from collies and dingos for the tough conditions faced on cattle farms Downunder, where they are often seen running for hours on end, shepherding cattle and sheep in the unforgiving Aussie sun. Maggie might have been spared the most brutal rigours of such a life, because, although she lived out her days on a farm, it was a dairy business in the green embrace of Victoria, rather than a cattle station in the dusty outback.
She was owned by Victorian dairy farmer Brian McLaren, who told the Weekly Times that she’d led a full and active life until she passed away in her basket on Sunday.
‘She was still going along nicely last week; she was walking from the dairy to the office and growling at the cats and all that sort of thing,’ said McLaren. ‘She just went downhill in two days and I said yesterday morning when I went home for lunch, ‘She hasn’t got long now… I’m sad, but I’m pleased she went the way she went.’
Maggie’s exact age isn’t known, because McLaren mislaid the dog’s paperwork when she was a puppy, but he knows his son Liam was four years old when they got her, and he is now 34. If this proves correct, Maggie will have outlived the previous holder of the world’s oldest dog record, also held by an Australian hound, a cattle dog called Bluey who died in 1939 aged 29 years and 5 months.