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  • "My springer spaniel, tarn, was 18 on her last birthday, which was October 31st and she is still mistaken for an 8 year old, we jokingly refer to her as the dog that god forgot!"
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The Advertiser Series: LONG LIFE: Shepherd-Whippet cross Sindy, with owner Dave Spence LONG LIFE: Shepherd-Whippet cross Sindy, with owner Dave Spence

ANIMAL lovers are being encouraged to give a dog a home, as a family that did just that wonder if they are now the proud owner of Darlington’s oldest pet dog.

When Dave Spence and his family rescued Sindy, a Shepherd-Whippet cross-breed, from Dogs Trust, in Sadberge, in March 1996, they were told signs indicated that she was at least a year old.

At any one time, Dogs Trust Sadberge cares for about 120 abandoned and unwanted dogs.

Mr Spence and his family decided to start counting Sindy’s age from the date they adopted her and now she is due to reach the grand old age of 18 next month - the equivalent of 126, if the old formula of multiplying a dog’s age by seven to calculate its true age, is applied.

The birthday became particularly significant in Sindy’s case when it was suggested, on her most recent visit to the vet, that she is the oldest dog on the books of the practice.

With dogs on average living to the age of 11, Sindy is certainly mature in her years by dog standards.

As an abandoned dog, she was rescued from roaming the streets by the Dog’s Trust.

:: To discuss rehoming a dog, call the charity’s Darlington Rehoming Centre on 01325-333114 or visit Hill House Farm, Sadberge DL2 1SL, between noon and 4pm any day except Tuesday.

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