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A 30-year-old farm dog named Bobi has just been recognized by Guinness World Records as "the oldest dog living." The February 1, 2023, announcement came just two weeks after a 23-year-old Chihuahua named Spike received the title. Bobi also broke an almost century-old record for "the world's oldest dog ever." It had been held by Bluey, a female Australian cattle dog. She was 29 years and five months old when she died in 1939.
Bobi is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo. The Portuguese breed of livestock guardian dogs have an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. Bobi, who will turn 31 on May 11, 2023, has far outlived his peers. But originally, he was not supposed to live long at all.
Bobi and his three brothers were born in the rural village of Conqueiros in Portugal. The family already had several animals and could not afford more. They decided to bury the newborn puppies. Bobi's current owner, Leonel Costa, told the Guinness World Records that this was a common custom during that time.
“Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people who could not have more animals at home […] to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive,” Costa explained.
But days after the puppies had been taken, Bobi's mother, Gira, continued to visit the empty shed where they had been born. Costa and his brothers followed Gira one day and found that she still had one puppy left. The youngsters kept their discovery a secret for a few weeks. They hoped their parents would have a hard time rejecting the cute dog once his eyes were open. They were right, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Costa attributes Bobi's long life to plenty of exercise and a healthy diet of unseasoned human food. The elderly dog remains in good health, but his legs and eyesight have weakened. He spends his days resting by the fire and playing with his feline friends.
Resources: Guinness World Records, NPR.org