Lovable terrier cross Ellie is 140 in doggy years - but is she Scotland's oldest dog?

Is lovable rescue dog Ellie Scotland's oldest dog?

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 1:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 1:22 pm
Ellie lives with Kenny and his partner Karen, who set up a dog walking business after she left veterinary school in 2017

After a ruff start to life, a small terrier cross is out to prove that rescue dogs can pawsitively become lifelong companions.

Wagging her way beyond her 140 birthday in doggy years (20 human years), Ellie has people wondering whether she is Scotland’s oldest four-legged friend.

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Ellie was adopted in 2002 by dog walker Kenny Sharpe, 44, after she was removed from a home on welfare grounds, with her previous owners allowing her to roam the streets with several other dogs found at the property in 2001.

She came into Scottish SPCA’s rescue centre in Balerno where Kenny was an assistant manager for 18 years and was accompanied by her sister and several of her newborn pups and after some love and patience she quickly settled in and won his heart

Kenny said: “She arrived with her pups and was very protective as she used to run up to the kennel bars barking if anyone approached them. Although once she was weaned off her pups, she became very friendly, playful and affectionate which is one of the reasons I took her home with me. She became a companion to my existing dog who sadly passed away in 2012.”

Ellie lives with Kenny and his partner Karen, who set up a dog walking business after she left veterinary school in 2017. They both share walking duties at ‘Karen’z Reservoir Dogs.’

Secret to Ellie's old age

Her old age is thought to be put down to her adventurous lifestyle in her youth as well as regular check ups at the vets and a loving home.

Ellie ventured out on hill walks and mountain climbs and spent summer holidays on the beach.

Kenny said: “She is one of the most obedient and faithful dogs I’ve ever known but once on Skye she wandered off into the chip shop in Portree.

“She was fed some chips and all sorts from the tourists before we caught up with her.”

Although Ellie continues to venture out on walks with her owners, she is slowing down and now takes regular naps.

Kenny said: “I would always recommend a rescue dog, you might not get a history but you will get a ton of affection from them, especially if they have had a horrendous background.”

Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, interim CEO at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said: “Taking on a dog or cat is a real commitment that must be considered carefully.

“Dogs and cats make wonderful companions. There’s plenty of research that shows that having a pet is beneficial to your health, lowering stress levels, keeping you active and improving mental wellbeing.

“Beyond the research and science just having a good friend to come home to every day is wonderfully uplifting.