It’s true that dogs don’t live as long as people do, but many are still blessed with good long lives — and a rare few even achieve the rare milestone of reaching their 20s.
And some even get the distinction of being the oldest dog in the world. The official record was most recently held by a toy fox terrier named Pebbles.
But sadly, Pebbles passed away on October 3: “Pebbles lived a long and happy life full of love,” her family said in a press release.
We’ll miss Pebbles, but her passing means a new dog has claimed the title of the world’s oldest dog — or reclaimed it, as it were.
That dog is 21-year-old Chihuahua TobyKeith, who was first declared the world’s oldest living dog last April.
However, his reign was short-lived: after the Chihuahua’s story went viral, Pebbles’ owners realized they had an even older dog, and Pebbles was verified as the oldest in May.
“Bobby was sitting on the couch and friends and family started texting and calling about a story they saw about a 21-year-old dog getting the record,” Pebble’s owner Julie told Guinness World Records. “When I saw TobyKeith’s story all over the news, I applied.”
But with Pebbles’ passing, TobyKeith has now reclaimed the title for himself, as confirmed by Guinness World Records.
“We send our sincerest condolences to Pebbles’ family,” Kylie Galloway of Guinness World Records North America told USA Today. “I can confirm that TobyKeith currently holds the Guinness World Records title for the oldest dog living.”
TobyKeith’s owner, Gisela Shore of Greenacres, Florida, reportedly expressed her condolences to Pebble’s owners: “It was sad news,” she told USA Today.
It’s a bittersweet moment, but she says that TobyKeith is happy to have his record back, telling the outlet her dog was “back on his throne.”
TobyKeith is now 21 ¾ years old, but will hopefully hang on to the title for a while yet: the owner says she recently took him to the vet and, despite his old age, he is “in perfect health.”
He’s also living the good life: the owner told USA Today that TobyKeith enjoys sunbathing in the yard, going for car rides and trips to the park, and even getting the occasional pedicure. He enjoys foods like brown rice, vegetables and chicken mixed with dog kibble, and carrots as a treat.
Things weren’t always so happy for TobyKeith: Gisela first took in the now-record-holding Chihuahua as a rescue 21 years ago after he was surrendered to a shelter by his elderly owners.
“The woman told me that she was in very bad health and she just couldn’t take care of the puppy,” Gisela told Today last year. “Her husband had just been diagnosed with cancer. She was too overwhelmed. She had the puppy in a box and he was itty-bitty, maybe 2 pounds max.”
“After hearing her story, I said, ‘OK, I’ll take him.’ So I took him — and it was love at first sight.”
The owner says her little rescue dog has gotten her through many ups and downs over their two decades together.
She told Today that she named the dog TobyKeith after the country star, thinking it would be funny to name the tiny Chihuahua after the 6’3″ singer.
While TobyKeith is “back on his throne,” he still has a long way to go before setting the all-time record: according to Guinness, the oldest dog ever, based on reliable age records, was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived an astounding 29 years and five months.
Rest in peace to Pebbles, and congrats to TobyKeith on once again being the oldest dog in the world! Wishing you many great years ahead!
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