The world’s oldest dog has been crowned a record-breaker at 30 years and 268 days old, toppling the previous winner Spike who was announced just two weeks ago at the age of 23. Spike the little Chihuahua has achieved a great age, but has been beaten by almost 10 years by Bobi, who almost lost his life at just a few days old.
Born into a hunting family that didn’t have space for more animals, Bobi’s siblings were scooped up from the outhouse where their mother had given birth and killed. However, Leonel Costa, who was a child at the time, noticed that Bobi’s mother kept going to the outhouse.
It seemed Costa’s parents had missed one of the puppies that was hiding among some wood. So, Costa and his brother hatched a plan to hide the dog until the opportune time.
“We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” he told Guinness World Records. “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.”
A fortnight later, the pup’s nervous system had developed enough for Bobi to open his eyes, and while Costa’s plan had worked, his parents were less elated. “I confess that when they found out that we already knew, they screamed a lot and punished us, but it was worth it and for a good reason!”
It seems Bobi took his second chance at life and really ran with it, going on to be the Guinness World Record holder for oldest living dog on record. The last dog to come close, an Australian cattle dog, turned 29 back in 1939.
Bobi is a Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed that normally only lives for around 12 to 14 years. As for how he’s managed to last so long, it seems Bobi’s recipe for long life is being free to roam, socializing with other animals, and enjoying a very human-like diet (washed to get rid of the seasoning).
“What we ate, they ate too,” Costa explained. “Between a can of animal food or a piece of meat, Bobi doesn’t hesitate and chooses our food.”
At present, a start-up is trying to extend the life expectancy of dogs by developing anti-aging pills that could see more pooches live for as long as Bobi. For now, it seems the crown is safely his.