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Ashley's Age

March 26, 1985

May I presume to correct The Times? In your article (March 16) regarding the death of Ashley Whippet, canine Frisbee champion, you say: "He was 13, or the human equivalent of 91." That 7-year theory is a fallacy, commonly accepted by the public and dog-food commercial and writers too lazy to do their homework. Many dogs live to the age of 20; how many 140-year-old humans do you know?

Here is the formula used by veterinarians and dog breeders: A 1-year-old dog corresponds to a 15-year-old human, a 2-year-old dog is 24 in human years; a 3-year-old dog is 28 in human years, and a 4-year-old dog equals 35 human years. After that, each year in a dog's life is equal to 5 human years. If you've ever owned a dog and noted its growth and development, you'll see that this makes sense.

Thus Ashley Whippet was the human equivalent of 77, not 91.

Anyhow, let us hope he leaped his way into canine heaven and is now catching halos instead of Frisbees.

HELEN R. WEINER

Granada Hills

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