According to Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest dog recently celebrated his 31st birthday. Rafeiro do Alentejo, a purebred Bobi Portuguese dog breed, celebrated with a party on Saturday at his home in the village of Conqueiros, Portugal, where he spent his whole life. Owner Leonel Costa said more than 100 people attended the “very traditional” Portuguese party. Local meat and fish were served to up to 100 guests, with extra for Bobi, who ate only human food. A dance troupe also performed with Bobi and participated in one of the routines.
Costa has had several senior dogs, including Gila, Bobi’s mother, who lived to be 18. “We see situations like this as the normal outcome of their lives, but Bobi is a one-of-a-kind person,” Costa said. One of the biggest factors in Bobi’s longevity is a “calm and peaceful environment.” According to Costa, Bobi lives there. All his life, Bobi has roamed freely in the woods surrounding Costa’s home. He was never chained or led. The “very social” dog grew up surrounded by many other animals, so he was never alone.
Now, senior Bobi finds it difficult to walk, so he prefers to hang out outside the house in the garden. His eyesight is getting worse, and he often bumps into things when he walks. Like old people, Bobi sleeps a lot. According to his owner, Bobi lays down in bed immediately after eating, but prefers to nap by the fire on cold days.
Bobi’s date of birth was confirmed by the Leiria City Veterinary Department, which registered Bobi in 1992. Costa, now 38, was just eight years old when Bobi was born. For him, Bobi is like a living memory of the past, he said. “Bobbi is a special person because looking at him reminds me of people like my father, my brother and myself who were part of our family but unfortunately are no longer with us. That’s why,” Costa said. “These are grandparents who have passed on. Bobi represents that generation.”