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Chanel (20) Is NOT the World's Oldest Pooch
Australian cattle dog Bluey lived 29 years 5 months and 7 days!
Eric Shackle (shack)     Email Article  Print Article 
Published 2009-03-07 11:11 (KST)   
Bluey was declared Victoria's oldest dog in the late 1930s and lived on to win the world title.
©2009 Rochester Historical Society
The 100th birthday of Bluey, a famous Australian cattle dog born on June 7, 1910, will be celebrated next year by people living in Rochester, a country town 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of Melbourne, Victoria, not far from last month's disastrous bushfires.

Bluey worked among sheep and cattle for 20 years, and survived until Nov. 14, 1939, when he was put down. He had lived for 29 years, five months and seven days, on a diet of kangaroos and emus. He was the world's oldest dog, a record that has never been beaten.

John Harley, top dog of the Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society, told OhmyNews "We know about Bluey, in fact the daughter of the man who owned it is still with us and a regular attender of the Anglican church. No doubt there will be some sort of celebration for the oldest dog's centenary."

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He said that William Hall, of Rochester, was Bluey's first owner. When William Hall died, his son Les looked after the dog. On the other hand, Wikipedia says Bluey's owner was named Esma Hall, who lived to be 103. It's not known whether she too ate kangaroo and emu meat.

While Rochester prepares for Bluey's centenary, a 20-year-old wire-haired dachshund called Chanel, living in Port Jefferson Station, a hamlet in Suffolk County, New York, has mistakenly been hailed as the world's oldest living dog. She has set the canine world barking mad... and, despite the error, is rapidly becoming a world-famous bitch.

Two British national newspapers, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun, and America's NBC radio and TV network fell for the story, but their readers, listeners and viewers promptly named many other dogs who are (or were) older than Chanel.

"This dog's age is no big deal," JT Cro growled on The Sun website. "My grandparents had a dog before they passed away, 33 years old in human years and in remarkably good health. I am certain he could of gone another 10 maybe 15 years before he would of died, however he was put down once my grandparents died. They loved their dogs very much, most of the dogs they had lasted 25-30 years."

Chanel's bid for fame began on Dec. 17, 2008, with a story in her local newspaper, the Times Beacon Record, published on the North Shore of Long Island, New York. "Is this dachshund the oldest dog in the world?" Lee Lutz asked, adding:

Chanel, a blond, wire-haired dachshund who calls Port Jefferson Station home, is famous -- or soon will be if her owners' expectation becomes reality in 2009. The Shaughnessy family has been told by the publisher of "Guinness World Records" that Chanel will be listed in next year's edition as the oldest known dog in the world.

Born on May 8, 1988, Chanel is over 20 years old and going strong, according to Denice Shaughnessy, a retired Army veteran who now works in the principal's office of the Rocky Point Middle School.

"She's pretty healthy," said Shaughnessy, "cataracts, a little, but OK." The Shaughnessys adopted Chanel in Virginia at 6 weeks old, and the German-breed dachshund spent almost six years in the country of its origin when the family was stationed in Europe in the early 1990s.

Slow forward to Feb. 23, when Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid giant The Sun (circulation 3 million+) published a sensational story under screaming headlines: "Oldest dog is Chanel No 20":

The Daily Telegraph published the story with a more restrained headline: "World's oldest dog needs jumper and goggles."

Next day, Chanel skipped back to America, where media outlets gleefully seized on the London furphy [false report], without checking the facts. "World's oldest dog is 20, needs glasses,"NBC outlets reported in California, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

The story prompted The Daily Doxie ("your source for free daily dachshund photos, past dachshund pictures, dachshund resources, and more") to publish this article:
"Breaking: The strange story of the Dachshund who would be the world's oldest dog."

Last time this story was in the headlines the competition noted that there appeared to be something fishy going on. First of all, in the past, the holders of the world's oldest dog title have all been in their late twenties. What's more, there are plenty of comments here at the Daily Doxie from people who have 18- and 19- year-old wiener dogs, so they don't appear that unusual.

Is it really possible, then, that there are no dogs between the ages of 20 and 29 who could claim the crown? And how come there's no official announcement from Guinness World Records?
Guinness requires a dog's age to be documented, which bars many animals older than Chanel from the record book. At 20, Chanel is only as old as a 93-year-old human. Forget that old wive's tale of a dog's age beine one seventh of a human's. It's not always true. See "How old is your dog?"

In recent years, dozens of venerable pooches have been nominated for the proud title of The World's Oldest Dog. Here are just a few:
Bramble, in Bridgewater, Somerset, celebrated her 27th birthday in 2002, making her Britain's oldest living dog and a contender for the oldest dog in the world. Her owner, Anne Heritage, 43, is a vegan and has brought up her pet on the same diet regime she herself follows. "She has a big bowl of rice, lentils and organic vegetables every evening," says Ms. Heritage.

Jerry. A 26-year-old mongrel living with an Aboriginal family in Australia's Outback has the potential to become the world's oldest living dog, a newspaper reported Sunday. Jerry, an Australian cattle dog-bull terrier cross, will next month turn 27 - the equivalent of 189 years for a human - said Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals veterinarian Honey Nelson...

Jerry's owner, Waddie Harris - an Aboriginal tribal leader in New South Wales state's Wilcannia town, put Jerry's longevity down to his high-protein diet of Outback wildlife. "Jerry has grown up on kangaroo, rabbit and emu as well as scraps off the table," the newspaper quoted Harris as saying. - Associated Press, July 11, 2004.

Jip celebrated his 25th birthday -- his age in human terms is 175 -- last Thursday and incredulous owners Marilyn and John Regan, of West Lane, think he could be the world's oldest living dog.

Mrs Regan, 64, said: "He's already outlived two of our other dogs and a cat. He's going to outlive us all at this rate." ...The Regans acquired Jip through Airedale Vets after his owner abandoned him at the age of six. In his younger days he was treated to leisurely walks around the Clough, but now he much prefers to be ferried around like his royal counterparts at Buckingham Palace. Mrs Regan said: "He loves riding around in the car with John. Whenever he grabs the keys you can see his ears prick up." - Bradford (UK) Telegraph and Argus Sept. 23, 2005.





FOOTNOTE: Then there's Hercules, said to be the world's largest living dog. "The Hercules English Mastiff is a real dog, but most of the images you see of him are not," says Kelly Roper. But that's another story.
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Eric Shackle

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