The oldest dog in the world, a Portuguese dog named Bobi, died on Saturday at the age of 31 years and 165 days, Guinness World Records (GWR) announced.
“Although he survived all the dogs in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough for those who loved him,” Veterinarian Karen Becker, who met Bobi several times, wrote on Facebook. “good Luck, Bobi… you have taught the world everything that you should teach.”
On February 1, when he was 30 years and 266 days old, Bobi was crowned the oldest dog in the world by GWR, breaking a record that has stood for almost a century. The former holder of the title, an Australian peak dog named Bluey, was born in 1910 and lived for 29 years and 5 months.
Bobi lived with a family in Conqueiros, a small Portuguese village, for more than three decades. But the dog almost did not survive childhood, Leonel Costa, its owner, told GWR in February.
Costa was only eight years old when Bobi’s litter was born in the family shed in 1992. Costa’s father, a hunter, decided that the family already had too many animals, so they could not keep the puppies.
“Unfortunately, it was then considered normal by the elderly who could not have more animals at home… burying the animals in a hole so that they don’t survive,” Costa told GWR.
The day after she was born, Costa’s father quickly entered the wood shed and stole the puppies while the dog Gira was outside. Over the next few days, Costa and his brothers were devastated. But then they noticed that Gira continued to visit the stable, even though her puppies were apparently no longer there. Curious, the brothers followed her and discovered a single small puppy hidden safely in a log. They kept the puppy Bobi a secret from his parents until we opened his eyes.
“We knew my parents wouldn’t bury him again if the dog opened his eyes,” Costa told GWR.
Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro from the Alentejo, a breed often used to guard property and livestock. These dogs usually live in the middle of 12 and 14 years, but Bobi survived twice as long — and even longer.
“It’s really an unusual thing,” Erik Olstad, a veterinarian at The University of California, Davis, told the Washington Post’s Andrea Salcedo in February. “Owners will always ask me‘ ‘how can I keep my dog alive for as long as possible?”This is a loaded question because there are so many variants that go into life expectancy.”
Costa attributed Bobi’s long life to his diet of unseasoned human food, his freedom to roam the forests and farmlands near his home, and the serene countryside in which he grew up.