Sophie Cobbs celebrated her 20th birthday this month.
What’s so notable about that?
Sophie’s a dog.
The Shetland sheepdog, also called a sheltie, lives in Omaha with her humans, Aaron and Robyn Cobbs. They adopted Sophie from a friend when she was 6 weeks old.
“That’s a good long life for a dog,” said Pam Wiese, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Humane Society.
Wiese said sometimes smaller dogs can live up to 17 or 18 years. But 20 is more commonly the age of a senior cat than a senior dog.
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“It’s a wonderful testament to good genetics in the dog and good care from owners,” Wiese said.
Sophie, now gray in the face, weighs 15 to 20 pounds and stands about a foot tall. The typical lifespan for her breed is 12 to 14 years.
The veterinarian’s office that treats Sophie said its file listed her at 19 years old. The family said she celebrated her birthday Oct. 10.
Contrary to popular belief, the American Kennel Club says dogs don’t age at a rate of seven human years to one dog year. The organization offers its own conversion chart to calculate a dog’s age in human years. It caps at 16, which means that Sophie’s age translates to being well over 80 years old.
For being 20, Sophie’s still in pretty good shape, Aaron Cobbs said. She’s slower than she was in her prime, and her hearing isn’t so sharp, but she can still see.
“She’s always been healthy,” Cobbs said.
In her old age, Sophie’s gotten a little grumpy, Cobbs said. She isn’t so fond of being picked up or petted these days.
Cobbs said Sophie was playful in her younger days and enjoyed chasing critters through the yard. She also was protective. Sophie used to follow Robyn like a shadow. Now she prefers to stay in one spot.
One of his favorite memories of Sophie is when the dog gave kisses as a young pup. Cobbs said his wife would pick the dog up, holding Sophie close to her chest, and would ask for kisses. Sophie would lay her head around Robyn’s neck.