Bobi is the oldest dog in the world, according to the Guinness World Records: he is 30 years and 270 days old (on Sunday, Feb 5).
When his dog Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, was born three decades ago in the rural village of Conqueiros in Leiria in Portugal, Leonel Costa was only eight years old.
Rafeiro do Alentejo are a breed of cattle guardian dogs with an estimated life expectancy of 12-14 years.
When Bobi celebrated his 30th birthday last year, Costa knew he had broken a record held by the Australian cattle dog Bluey who died in 1939 at 29 years and five months old.
Costa contacted the Guinness World of Records, sent all the paperwork and a almost a year later, Bobi officially became the oldest dog in the world.
“It’s a feeling of pride that we can’t explain,” Costa, who is now 38, told news agency Reuters, adding that many people didn’t believe that Bobi would be added to the Guinness World of Records, but “we knew Bobi’s age and we were sure that the exams would only prove what we already knew. And that was the case.”
The Guinness World Records said Bobi’s story was “miraculous.” When Bobi was born, Costa’s family had many animals and little money, so his father, a hunter, would bury newborn puppies instead of keeping them. Costa said that “unfortunately, at that time, it was considered normal by older people who could not have more animals at home” to kill the puppies.
But when Costa’s parents took the puppies away from their mother a day after they were born, they missed Bobi. Costa and his siblings found him a few days later and wanted to keep him. And now he’s the oldest dog, living far longer than expected.
Costa said that living in the countryside, close to nature is one of the boggest reasons that Bobi has lived so long. And the dog was never chained or improsend “That feeling of freedom has been an important factor. And of course our love and affection throughout his life has also helped,” he added.
Bobi has difficulty walking and spends most of his time hanging out in the backyard with his four cat friends. His eyesight has worsened; Costa often sees him hitting obstacles when he walks.
Costa hopes to spend many more years with his beloved dog and is thankful Bobi has put the remote village of Conqueiros in Portugal on the map.