The Newest ‘Oldest Dog’
Veterinarian Reviewed on August 12, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Everyone remembers Chanel, the Daschund mix living in New York who celebrated her 21st birthday in May. According to Chanel’s owner, Guinness World Records named her the ‘World’s Oldest Living Dog’.
However, that could all change as another US dog has just celebrated a birthday milestone – his 26th birthday! Max, a Terrier mix, celebrated his birthday on 9 August at his home in New Iberia, Louisiana.
If you take in consideration Max’s age in dog years, he would be 182 years old! He even has his own original birth certificate from his veterinarian to prove it!
Max’s owner, 49 year old, Janelle Derouen, bought him from a local sugar cane farmer back in 1983.
“He was the only one in the litter that was brown and I liked the color so I took him home,” she remembered about the day she got him.
When Mrs. Derouen adopted Max, he was the runt of the litter of five puppies.
“Something drew me to him and we’ve been together ever since,” she says.
Since coming home with Mrs. Derouen, Max, and his house brother, Murphy, a four year old Pomeranian mix, have become beloved family members.
“My kids are all grown, I have five kids. Two sons, three daughters and 11 grandkids,” said Mrs. Derouen. “And now all the grandkids are playing with him.”
In fact, Mrs. Derouen and her husband, Billy, who is also 49 years old, threw a birthday party in honor of Max.
“We had a gift table set up. He had other little doggie friends over,” described Mrs. Derouen. “He was chewing on his little birthday cake that was made of cream cheese and peanut butter. He was thrilled.”
“Me and my husband [got] him his own little sofa bed. He has his own little couch now. We spoiled him just a little bit that once,’ she said.
Mrs. Derouen has explained that she and her husband do not spoil Max and Murphy.
“I never spoiled Max. I’ve never fed him anything but Kibbles and Bits and a few treats like those beefy doggy bones. We don’t give him any food from our table.”
Max has not had any major health problems. However, Max does have cataracts potentially starting as well as the beginning signs of arthritis. Max has been seen by the same veterinarian at the Robichaux Veterinary Clinic since he was born.
“The only time I had to bring him to the vet for something serious was for a tooth to be extracted. But that’s it. He is starting to get cataracts, a little arthritis, but otherwise he’s healthy,” stated Mrs. Derouen.
Mrs. Derouen, who works at a neurologist’s office as a patient services coordinator, has stated that although she is extremely happy that Max has lived for so long, she is unsure of how he is achieving such a nice, long life span.
“I’m still wondering. I don’t feed him any type of table food. He started on Puppy Chow as a puppy and has been eating Kibbles ‘n Bits for the last 15 years. He’s a very, very laid back dog. He likes to lie down, relax, nap, sleep a lot and keep life simple. He’ll play with the kids for a bit but if they bother him too long he’ll wander off. He doesn’t have any fancy toys, just a bit of rope and a regular squeaky ball,” said Mrs. Derouen.
Mrs. Derouen immediately contacted Guinness World Records after hearing about 21 year old, Daschund mix, Chanel. She has already supplied their representatives with a copy of Max’s original birth certificate as well as his health records from his veterinarian. Currently, Max and Mrs. Derouen are waiting to hear back from the Guinness World Records to see whether or not Max will be named as the “World’s Oldest Living Dog’.
However, it seems that Max may not be the only living dog older than Chanel. Apparently, other dog owners have stepped forward to claim the title for their dog. Guinness World Records has placed the following statement on their website:
“From all the attention Chanel’s birthday received as she was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest dog we have received emails from many of you saying your dog is older. Thank you very much for getting in touch with us.
The best thing to do if you think you have a dog that is older than Chanel is to submit your claim via the ‘Set a record’ link on our homepage. That way your claim will be processed in the official manner and if successful, your dog can be recognized as the world’s oldest. Guinness World Records are meant to be broken as they say so we can’t wait to hear from you. Good luck!”
Photo Credit: diveofficer
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan