There’s a new top dog now.
Just two weeks after announcing Spike, a Chihuahua from Ohio, as the world’s “oldest dog living,” Guinness World Records discovered an older dog in Portugal that would break the record.
Bobi, born May 11, 1992, is not just the oldest dog living — he’s also the oldest dog ever.
Guinness World Records certified Bobi — who is 30 years and 266 days old as of February 1, 2023 — as the new record holder.
The previous oldest dog ever was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived to be 29 years and 5 months old. He lived from 1910 to 1939 — meaning Bobi broke an almost century-old record.
Bobi’s birth date has been confirmed by Serviço Medico-Veterinário do Município de Leiria (Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria), as well as SIAC, a pet database authorized by the Portuguese government.
Bobi’s human, Leonel Costa, never even thought his dog could be the oldest dog living, let alone the oldest dog ever.
“I never thought of registering Bobi to break the record because fortunately our animals have always lasted for many years,” Costa told Guinness. “We see situations like this as a normal result of the life that they have, but Bobi is one of a kind.”
The pooch is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, which is a breed of livestock watchdog with an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, according to American Kennel Club.
Bobi has spent his whole life in the rural village of Conqueiros, in Leiria, Portugal, with the Costa family.
He was born as one of four male puppies in an outbuilding where the family stored wood — but the family already had a lot of animals at home.
“I was eight years old,” Costa, who is now 38, said. “My father was a hunter, and we always had many dogs.”
Costa’s father decided they couldn’t have any more animals around, and his parents took the puppies out of the room the day after they were born while the pups’ mom, Gira, was not in there.
“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.
Costa remembered that he and his brothers were distraught after the puppies were taken — but they had noticed Gira — who lived to be 18 — kept returning to the outbuilding where she gave birth.
“We found the situation strange, because if the animals were no longer there, why would she go there?!” he recalled.
They followed Gira once and discovered that while their parents were gathering the puppies, they unknowingly left one behind.
Bobi, who blended in with the wood as a puppy, became a secret between Costa and his brothers.
“We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Costa said. “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.”
Newborn puppies typically take one to two weeks to open their eyes, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
Once the secret of Bobi’s existence was out to Costa’s family, it was too late — he had opened his eyes and was part of the family.
“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,” Costa admitted.
Costa said that only Bobi could speak to his secret to a long life — if he could talk.
However, he does think that one of the biggest factors to his longevity is being in a “calm, peaceful environment” away from the cities.
Bobi has spent his long life roaming around the forests and farmland that the Costa family lives on and has never been chained up or put on a leash.
But with Bobi’s age came fewer adventures for the free roamer.
He spends a lot of time hanging out in the Costa’s backyard with his cat friends since he now has trouble walking and seeing. He also rests more, lying in bed after meals and sitting by the fire.
Bobi also has quite the diet, which mainly consists of “human food.”
“What we ate, they ate too,” Costa said, and added that he believes it contributed to the dog’s long lifespan. “Between a can of animal food or a piece of meat, Bobi doesn’t hesitate and chooses our food.”
Bobi has regular vet appointments and has always had positive results for his advanced age.
There was only “one big scare” health-wise with the dog back in 2018 when he was hospitalized for suddenly collapsing due to difficulties breathing.
Since he grew up around lots of other animals, Bobi is described as a “very sociable” dog.
He is the “last of a long generation of animals” in the Costa family, and serves as a reminder to them of all the relatives he’s lost over the years.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.