- It was reported that Bobi’s age had been verified by a government database
- However it was discovered that Bobi had been registered on the system in 2022
In October last year, the world mourned and celebrated the death and incredibly long life of Bobi, the world’s record-breaking oldest dog, or so it seemed.
Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo died in his home in the village of Conqueiros, located near the west coast of Portugal.
The Guinness World Record holder died at the reported age of 31 years and 165 days old and was universally celebrated as the oldest hound to have ever lived as he racked up the equivalent of 200 human years before passing on.
However, vets have now voiced their doubts about Bobi’s legitimate age whilst others have begun asking why there are pictures of Bobi supposedly in his younger years with white paws when the dog had brown ones in his latter years.
All of this suspicion has led to the Guinness World Record announcing that they have temporarily suspended Bobi’s crown of the officially oldest pooch for the time being whilst an investigation is ongoing.
A spokeswoman for the Guinness World Records said: ‘While our review is ongoing we have decided to temporarily pause both the record titles for the “oldest dog living” and the “oldest dog ever” – just until all of our findings are in place.’
It was widely reported that the pooch’s age had been officially verified by a Portuguese government database.
However, an investigation led by Wired magazine discovered that Bobi had been registered on the system in 2022, just a year prior to his death.
Bobi’s owner, Leonel Costa stated that the dog had been born in 1992 when Leonel was just eight years old.
Costa tells of how his parents had too many animals and that they had no choice but to put the litter of puppies down before Bobi apparently escaped.
Costa claims that he and his brothers kept the dog’s existence a secret from their parents until the pup was eventually discovered and became a part of the family.
Costa attributed Bobi’s long life to his diet which consisted of unseasoned human food as well as the dog’s freedom to roam unleashed through the forests and farmland.
Despite this claim, an official for the database said that there was ‘no registration or data that can confirm or deny this.’
This potential scandal has blown the whole conversation of dog records out of the water.
On paper, it looks as if the next oldest dog to claim the title would go to a 24-year-old Chihuahua named Spike, from Ohio.
Spike’s owner, Rita Kimball had previously provided the Guinness World Records with vet records and bills that show the dog to have been born in 1999.
The owner has also provided the Guinness World Records with pictures of the dog ageing through his long life.
This would mean that Spike has the chance to ‘paw back’ the title which he briefly held in early 2023 at the then-age of 23 years and seven days old before Bobi pipped him to it.
However, Kimball does acknowledge that she has not owned Spike since birth as she discovered him in a car park in 2009 before taking him to his forever home.
A vet then assessed the Chihuahua and predicted his age to be about ten years old.
The Guinness World Records told Kimball: ‘We are reviewing how we verify animal age records at the moment.’
The organisation then requested that she should arrange for a second vet to assess the dog to confirm his age.
Bobi’s death was announced on social media on 23 October by a veterinarian who met Bobi several times.
Dr Karen Becker wrote: ‘Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.’
On the very same day, Kimball wrote to the organisation to ask what she needed to do to find out whether Spike, who is still alive, had regained the title of the world’s oldest dog.
As for now, the Guinness World Record’s review of Bobi’s title will continue with Bobi’s legitimacy to the title cast under a cloud of suspicion.