It’s not every day that a world record is broken, but that’s exactly what happened when Bobi, a 30-year-old livestock guardian dog from Portugal, was declared the world’s oldest living dog. Bobi has beaten the previous record of 29 years and 5 months, held by Bluey, an Australian cattle dog born in 1910. He has achieved this incredible feat by evading death when he was born and living a long, peaceful life.
Bobi was born, along with three other male puppies, in the rural village of Conqueiros in Portugal. At the time, the family who owned them already had a number of animals and decided they could not take care of any more. It was common for people to bury newborn puppies they could not keep, but Bobi’s owner, Leonel Costa, 38, noticed something strange. Bobi’s mother, Gira, continued to return to the shed where her puppies were born, despite it being empty. One day, Costa and his brothers decided to follow Gira and soon discovered that Bobi was alive, still in the shed.
Costa believes his father possibly overlooked Bobi because his brown fur coat camouflaged him in the shed. Costa and his siblings decided to keep Bobi a secret for a few weeks, just until Bobi was old enough that his eyes would open and Costa’s parents would not have the heart to turn him away.
Bobi has gone on to live a long, peaceful life. Costa said Bobi has never been chained or leashed, but instead is allowed to roam free in forests and farmland that surrounded Costa’s family home. He has always eaten unseasoned human food, which Costa thinks has contributed to Bobi’s longevity. At 30 years old, Bobi has difficulty walking and his eyesight has worsened, according to Costas. But the elderly dog continues to enjoy each day, resting, spending time with feline friends and relaxing by the fire when it gets chilly.
Costa was stunned to learn that his dog beat two world records, but he has always considered Bobi special. “Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents,” he said. “Bobi represents those generations.”
Bobi’s story is an incredible reminder of the power of love and determination. He has beaten the odds to become the world’s oldest living dog, and his story will continue to be an inspiration to all.