A LASSIE lookalike could prove to be the one of the oldest examples of her breed in the country, having lived for almost two decades.
Prize-winning Mold rough collie Babs – who is the same breed as famous TV star pooch Lassie – is nearing her 20th birthday.
Rough collies are usually lucky if they live past 15.
Glamorous Babs – a dog show veteran – was taken in from a rescue centre eight years ago by Mold resident Chris Dromgoole.
The seasoned canine has scooped first prize in the veteran class of every Mold Rescue Dog Show since.
Now proud owner Mr Dromgoole believes the collie could be set to break the age barrier record when she welcomes in her third decade in the new year.
“She is a constant companion,” said Mr Dromgoole, who lives on Milford Street.
“She often accompanies me to the shops and she is in very good condition. Her coat is very good.
“She is going a bit deaf, but she has plenty of cups and medallions from the dog shows.”
Mr Dromgoole said his research revealed found that Babs could be Britain’s oldest Rough Collie.
“Working collie dogs had lived quite a bit longer but Babs is a film-star – being a Lassie dog,” he said.
“For them to reach this age is very rare.
“The vet couldn’t believe it when I told him and even had to check his records.”
Chris first met Babs when he went to the Capricorn Animal Rescue Centre in Mold the best part of a decade ago. Recalling his first encounter with his beloved dog, Mr Dromgoole said: “I told them I was coming and they had me paired up even before I got there.
“As soon as I saw her I wanted to take her home there and then.
“Babs had been at the rescue centre for five months because she was more than 10-years-old then.
“People generally want younger dogs when they go there.
“She had belonged to an old chap who needed to go to a home, but the lifespan for these dogs is normally about 12 to 15 years.”
Sheila Stewart, of Capricorn Animal Rescue, said: “For a rough collie to live to this age is unusual but Babs is in fabulous condition.
“We still see Chris and Babs quite often at our dog shows. She was an old dog when we had her and it is nice to know she has been so well looked after.”
Babs will celebrate her 20th birthday in February.
A spokesman for The Kennel Club said: “Twenty is an absolutely fantastic age for this type of dog.
“Obviously the owner is doing the right things for the breed.
“We don’t keep records of how long particular dogs live for. But certainly for it to reach 20 would be a remarkable achievement.”
Babs does however still has some way to go before being labelled the world’s oldest ever dog.
Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, holds the Guinness world record for the oldest dog.
She lived to the age of 29 years and five months.