The World’s Oldest Dog

Happy belated birthday to TobyKeith, a chihuahua who lives in Florida. The pooch turned 21 on January 9 and was recently confirmed to be the oldest dog in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.

21 is remarkably old for a dog–even small breed dogs, which tend to live longer than the larger breeds. If you are trying to figure out what TobyKeith would be in “human years,” note that the American Veterinary Medical Association urges an analysis that is more precise than the old “7 dog years for every human year” rule of thumb (which would put TobyKeith at a mere 147 in human years). The AVMA now takes the position that a dog’s first year equals 15 human years, a dog’s second year equals nine human years, and every year after that equals five human years. By that calculation, TobyKeith comes in at 119 human years. Either way, TobyKeith has reached a ripe old age.

TobyKeith’s human pal, Gisela Shore, adopted him from a shelter when he was a puppy and has lived with him ever since. She’s a lucky person. Anyone who has shared a home with a dog inevitably wishes their canine friends could have a lived, and enriched the household, for a little bit longer. Having a dog that has survived for the age of 21 is a great gift.

Ms. Shore says TobyKeith’s awesome longevity is attributable to good genetics, a healthy diet, and a loving home. That’s a pretty good recipe for longevity for anyone, dog or human. And, as the photo above reveals, apparently being dressed in embarrassing outfits isn’t a barrier to a long life–although, judging from the expression on TobyKeith’s face, he doesn’t particularly care for it.