Julie, one of Minto’s owners and a Sammamish resident, emailed us the day I was assigned to responding to customer service inquiries. She was curious to know if there were are any other dogs in King County that were as old as her Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler), Minto. I was unable to find that data so I asked her if she’d like us to write a blog story and they sent me over all of the information. Here’s Minto’s story: 

This story is about an Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler) named Minto. He was born on February 23, 1997, he’s been living for 19 years (average life expectancy is 12-15yrs). After speaking to his human parents, I’m jealous because Minto has lived a more adventurous life than most of us and he’s got me thinking that I definitely need to get out more often!

This is what his humans told me about him (from Minto’s perspective, of course):

                I’ve always been very active and clever. When I was younger I had loads of energy and became quite good at catching the Frisbee and tennis ball. I used to go on many hikes in the Cascades, the best of which was completing the Washington State portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Every September we would do about 100 miles at a time, totaling 500 miles. On one occasion, my dog friend Max joined us! I saw lots of wildlife and enjoyed hearing the coyotes howl at night. 

                 I spent a year living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Getting there in an airplane was not fun but I sure enjoyed the cool weather and checking out the local sheep. The Dutch have great cheese, by the way! I should also mention that I’ve always been highly food motivated.

                It’s been a few years since we left Europe and returned to the US.  We have spent time taking road trips in the Volkswagen van and camping by the ocean. At this point I’ve become quite old— I’ve even picked up the nickname “ancient cattle dog”. Given my age, I need special care given to me by my humans: Julie, Douglas, and Julie’s mom, Joyce. They feed me the best food and are very gentle with me. I bark when I want something, like food or water or a trip outside so I can walk around — maybe I’ll see you around the neighborhood!

I don’t know if it’s the adventures, the healthy food, or just love from the attentive owners that helped Minto stay healthy this long, but it seems that it’s all of the above! If you’re looking to provide a warm, loving, forever home to a pet, visit our adoptable pets page to find your new best friend!

Submitted by: Emily Ruppert
Animal Care Technician

Update: Since the story was first written, we are sad to say that Minto has passed away. He died in his home with all his family around him and has a beautiful resting place. While the family is heartbroken, they have mentioned that this article serves as a tribute to Minto’s amazingly long life!