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World's Oldest Dog

Our dog, Ivy, with her one puppy.
Mindy Norton
Mindy Norton
Our dog, Ivy, with her one puppy.

A couple of weeks ago, an old dog made news because he died.  It wasn’t an accident or illness that caused his death.  It was his age.  Bobi, a Portuguese dog who lived in a small village near Lisbon, was newsworthy because, at his death, he was more than thirty-one years old!  He was born in 1992, when his owner was only eight.  Earlier this year, Bobi made it into the Guinness World Records as not only the oldest living dog, but the oldest dog ever.

     So what was Bobi’s secret to longevity?  His owner says his dog was never on a leash or chain but roamed freely on their land and in their community.  His closest companions were four cats.

     As he aged, of course he walked a little slower, couldn’t see as well, and napped by the fire, but he was, by all accounts, a happy dog.

     We had a mixed terrier named Ivy we found sitting in the ivy beside our house one morning.  She lived to be about twenty years old, and was a happy and reasonably healthy dog.  Still, even after twenty years, we hated to say goodbye.  No matter how much we might prepare for it, we pet owners know someday we will have to say goodbye to our furry friends.  So what can you (as a pet owner) do to help your canine buddy live as long and as healthy as possible.

     To begin with, make sure your dog sees its veterinarian at least once a year for its vaccinations.  The vet should check your pet’s entire body, including its mouth, ears and teeth.

     Choose a high quality food for your pet that is formulated for its body weight and age.  And make sure it gets plenty of exercise.  You might walk slower with an old dog than you would with a youngster, but movement is good.  And if you dog is experiencing symptoms of arthritis, make accommodations to help it navigate easier around the house.

     And if you live with an old dog, you have a treasure to be cherished and enjoyed, especially when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.