It’s true that dogs don’t live as long as humans, but some are blessed with good long lives that defy all the odds and expectations.
That’s certainly true for Bobi, who narrowly escaped death as a puppy and went on to become not just the oldest dog in the world, but the oldest in history.
Sadly, it was announced recently that Bobi has died at the age of 31.
Bobi’s death was announced on Facebook by veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, who said he passed at 31 years and 163 days.
“Is there ever enough time? I think not,” she wrote. Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.”
Bobi was verified by Guinness World Records as both the oldest living dog and oldest dog ever in February, shattering a decades-old record last set by Bluey, a 29-year-old dog who died in 1939.
Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of livestock guardian dog. He lived with owner Leonel Costa and his family in Leiria, Portugal.
Remarkably, Bobi almost didn’t survive his infancy. Leonel’s father was a hunter, so they had many dogs in the house growing up, he recalled to Guinness. But when dog Gira gave birth to four puppies, the parents wanted to put them down as they already had too many dogs.
Leonel says it was common among older people to bury unwanted animals in a hole, and that was the fate for most of the newborn pups — except for Bobi, who had somehow evaded being caught and was still being cared for by his mother.
Eight-year-old Leonel and his siblings kept the puppy a secret for weeks, knowing their parents wouldn’t kill the dog if he was older. “We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Leonel told Guinness.
He couldn’t have known at the time that he’d still have the same dog three decades later.
Earlier this year, Leonel said that Bobi was still holding up fairly well despite his unprecedented age, saying his eyesight was worsening and he rests more but was otherwise healthy.
Leonel doesn’t know exactly what led Bobi to live so long, but says it may be the love and care he received: he got to spend his days eating “human food,” and getting to roam free around his house, a “calm, peaceful” environment far from the city.
According to Dr. Becker, Leonel said the “recipe” was “good nutrition, constant contact with nature, freedom to discover his environment, consistent veterinary care, and love.”
“Bobi knows he’s deeply loved,” Leonel said.
Rest in peace to the incredible Bobi, who overcame all the odds and became the oldest dog in history
Though he had an incredibly long time on this earth, it’s never enough, and our hearts are with his loved ones during their grief.
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