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Bobi, the world's oldest dog ever, dies at 31

Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog, poses for a photo with his Guinness World Record certificates for the oldest dog, at his home in Conqueiros, central Portugal, on May 20.
Jorge Jeronimo
/
AP
Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog, poses for a photo with his Guinness World Record certificates for the oldest dog, at his home in Conqueiros, central Portugal, on May 20.

The world is saying goodbye to a very good boy.

Bobi, the 31-year-old Portuguese pooch recognized as the world's oldest dog ever, died on Friday.

Guinness World Records, which announced Bobi's death on its website, said it was "saddened" to learn of his passing.

A purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo livestock guard dog with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, Bobi was named earlier this year as not only the oldest living dog but also the oldest hound in recorded history.

He lived to be a record-smashing 31 years and 165 days old.

But Bobi's ultimately long life was nearly cut short as a puppy.

According to his owner, Leonel Costa, Bobi was part of a litter of four puppies born in 1992 that Costa's parents decided not to keep because the family already had enough animals.

"Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people [...] to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive," he told Guinness.

By chance, when Costa's parents came for the puppies they failed to take the brown-and-white Bobi, who was hidden in a wood pile. Costa and his brothers kept Bobi a secret from their parents until the dog was too old to be put down.

Bobi's longevity was due to several factors, Costa said, including the "calm, peaceful" environment of their home in central Portugal's Conqueiros, where Bobi had free roam of the surrounding countryside and spent time in the backyard with his "feline friends."

Bobi also exclusively ate human food that had been soaked in water to wash away any seasoning.

In February, Guinness announced that Bobi was in fact the oldest living dog just two weeks after bestowing the honor on Spike, a 23-year-old Chihuahua mix from Ohio.

NPR asked Guinness who is now the oldest living dog after Bobi's death but didn't immediately hear back.

Bobi's advanced age also meant that he became the oldest dog in recorded history, taking the mantle from the previous record-holder, Bluey, an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 after living 29 years and five months.

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