LISBON (Reuters) – Bobi, the world’s oldest dog, has died aged 31 in Portugal, Guinness World Records said on Monday.
A purebred Rafeiro Alentejano who spent his entire life in a village in central Portugal, Bobi lived for 31 years and 165 days, breaking a record held since 1939 by an Australian cattle-dog that died at 29 years and five months.
“Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough for those who loved him,” said Karen Becker, a veterinarian who met Bobi several times and who was the first to announce his death on social media. “Godspeed, Bobi.”
He was declared the world’s oldest dog in February this year.
Bobi’s breed, which traditionally has been used as sheepdogs, usually has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
His owner Leonel Costa attributed his longevity to a number of factors, including living in peace in the countryside, never having been chained up or kept on a leash, and always eating “human food”.
At the time Bobi was born, Costa’s family had many animals and little money so his father, a hunter, generally buried newborn puppies rather than keep them.
But Bobi hid among a pile of firewood. Costa and his siblings found him a few days later and kept him a secret until the puppy opened his eyes.
“We knew that when he opened his eyes, my parents wouldn’t be able to bury him,” Costa told Reuters earlier this year.
Prior to his death, Bobi still loved walks but had become less adventurous. His fur was thinning, his eyesight had worsened and he needed to rest more than he used to.
Guinness World Records previously described Bobi’s story as “miraculous” and said on Monday that “he will be sorely missed”. More than 100 people showed up at his 31st birthday party in May, it added.
(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Charlie Devereux and Alison Williams)