A dog in Portugal has been named the world’s oldest ever by the Guinness World Records – beating an almost century-old record.
Bobi, purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo – a breed which normally has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years – is 30 years old.
The previous owner of the oldest dog ever recorded belonged to an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey, who lived to be 29 years and five months old.
As of February 1 this year, Bobi is 30 years and 266 days old.
The Portuguese pooch registered with Serviço Medico-Veterinário do Município de Leiria (Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria) in 1992, who confirmed Bobi’s birth date.
His age has also been verified by SIAC, a pet database authorised by the Portuguese government and managed by the SNMV (Sindicato Nacional dos Médicos Veterinários; National Union of Veterinarians).
He has lived his whole life with the Costa family in the rural village of Conqueiros, in Leiria, Portugal.
Bobi was born as one of four male pups, in an outbuilding where the Costa family stored wood.
“He drinks a lot of water – about one litre per day – making him urinate several times…”Leonel Costa, Bobi’s owner
His owner Leonel Costa, who is 38, said: “I was eight years old.
“My father was a hunter, and we always had many dogs.”
Due to the number of animals they already owned, Leonel’s father decided that they couldn’t keep the newborn puppies.
“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,” he explained.
The day after the puppies were born, Leonel’s parents entered the room and quickly took them whilst their mother, Gira, was absent.
However, they didn’t realise that they had left one behind.
Leonel recalls that he and his brothers were very sad over the following days, however, they noticed that Gira continued to visit the outbuilding where her puppies were born.
“Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world. Bobi represents those generations.”Leonel Costa, Bobi’s owner
They decided to follow Gira on one of her trips, where they discovered Bobi.
Luckily, he had evaded the same fate as his siblings as he was disguised amongst all the wood.
It was then that Leonel and his brothers decided to keep Bobi’s existence a secret.
“We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Leonel said, “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.”
It usually takes one to two weeks for newborn puppies to open their eyes for the first time; they can only do so once their central nervous system has developed and their eyes have fully formed.
When Leonel’s parents eventually discovered Bobi, it was too late – the young pup had already opened his eyes and Bobi became part of the family.
Leonel thinks that one of the biggest contributing factors to his old age is the “calm, peaceful environment” Bobi lives in, “far from the cities.”
Bobi has never been attached to a leash, and has always enjoyed free roam of the forests and farmland surrounding the Costa family house.
Leonel describes Bobi as “very sociable” as he grew up with many other animals.
While his old age has made him less adventurous and walking has become difficult, he mostly spends his time hanging out in the backyard with his four feline friends.
As for his diet, Bobi has always eaten ‘human food’, and Leonel soaks his food in water before serving it to the pets to remove the seasonings.
Healthwise, the dog has enjoyed a relatively trouble-free life, although he gave Leonel “one big scare” in 2018 when he was hospitalised after suddenly collapsing due to breathing difficulty, but he pulled through and vets have said he is “doing well for his advanced age”.
Bobi’s eyesight has worsened over the years and Leonel often notices him colliding with obstacles when he walks.
Now, Bobi rests more than used to, and he likes to lie in bed after meals. On colder days he prefers to relax by the fire.
Leonel said that Bobi comes from a family of long-living pets, as his mother Gira lived to the age of 18 and another one of their dogs, Chicote, lived to be 22.
His crowning comes just two weeks after Guinness World Records named another dog, Spike the Chihuahua, as the oldest living dog – at 23 years old.
The records have now been updated naming Bobi as the oldest living dog, and the oldest dog ever.
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