ORIGINAL STORY: If all dogs go to heaven, the afterlife just received a much-loved, furry superstar.
Bobi, the world’s oldest dog, has died at the age of 31 years and 165 days.
In February, the Guinness World Records crowned the purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo from rural Portugal as both the oldest living dog and the oldest dog to ever live.
The record keeper announced Monday that Bobi died at his home in the village of Conqueiros on Saturday.
A veterinarian who met Bobi several times was first to announce the news of his death on social media.
“Is there ever enough time? I think not,” Dr. Karen Becker wrote in an emotional Facebook post. “Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.”
The veterinarian said Bobi’s owner, Leonel Costa, attributed the dog’s impressive 31-year lifespan to “good nutrition, constant contact with nature, freedom to discover his environment, consistent veterinary care, and love.”
Bobi’s life was an impressive one. Though he was known as a well-mannered and peaceful dog, his life didn’t start that way. Born to a hunting dog owned by the Costa family, Bobi narrowly escaped death as a puppy.
Leonel told Guinness in February when Bobi was born in May 1992, his father planned to kill the litter of four puppies, as the family already owned several animals that were housed on the farm property.
After the deed, eight-year-old Leonel and his siblings were devastated by the death of the puppies. One afternoon shortly afterward, the children followed Gira, the dog who birthed the litter, and discovered that Bobi had been saved from his grisly fate by hiding amid a pile of logs.
The siblings hid Bobi until he was old enough to open his eyes — which usually occurs between 10 and 14 days old — before telling their parents. The Costa parents weren’t pleased with the development but allowed Bobi to live, Leonel said.
Leonel has several theories to potentially explain why Bobi has lived so long, namely his peaceful, rural lifestyle.
Bobi has always been allowed to roam free and has never been chained or leashed. He also eats unseasoned “human food” and drinks a litre of water every day.
When Bobi celebrated his 31st birthday this year, a large party with over 100 guests was planned in his village to celebrate the internationally recognized pooch. Guinness reported local meats and fish were served to event attendees (and Bobi, surely). The world’s oldest dog even participated in a dance on his birthday.
The average lifespan of a dog is 10 to 13 years. For Bobi’s breed specifically, most Rafeiro do Alentejo live to be less than half Bobi’s age, with a lifespan between 12 to 14 years, according to Guinness.
Before Bobi, an Australian cattle dog named Bluey held the record for the oldest dog to ever live. Bluey, born in 1910, was 29 years and five months at the time of his death in 1939.
It is not yet clear which aged canine will succeed Bobi as the world’s oldest living dog.