Thursday, March 12, 2009

World's Oldest Dog - from Cooper

As I surfed the net this morning with Mum, I found this article about the world's oldest dog. I am now 11 years old so I will need to pace myself to make it to 21.

March 12, 2009

PORT JEFFERSON STATION, N.Y. -- She's 20 in human years, or 140 in dog years, making Chanel the Daschund the oldest living dog, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Chanel, who turns 21 in May, was awarded the honor last spring.

"She's the oldest dog we have ever seen," said the dog's veterinarian Phillip Zangara, of the Roosevelt Animal Hospital in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. "She is defying every odd right now. I'm surprised at just about everything about her."

As an elderly lady, Chanel lives a low-key existence; she rarely leaves her owners' suburban Long Island home, let alone tiled kitchen, and struggles with getting around on her own.

She suffers from cataracts, as well as poor hearing; recently, her body mass has begun to deteriorate. Yet Chanel's physical ailments are relatively minute, given her advanced age.

"She's an old lady," explained one of her owners, Karl Shaughnessy, 44, a former New York City police officer. "You treat her like you would treat your grandmother. You have to treat her that way. You keep her sweater on at nighttime."

Aside from the occasional ear infection along the way, Chanel remains as healthy as could be, with Zangara signing off on her vital organs as in perfect condition.

"She has the body of a 6-year-old," Zangara said.

Shaughnessy's wife, Denice, adopted Chanel from an animal shelter in Virginia when she was just 6-weeks-old. Denice, then 30, was serving as a court reporter in the Army. She rescued Chanel for her 12-year-old daughter, but the dog quickly took to Denice, instead.

Chanel has always been athletic, Denice Shaughnessy says, recalling how they used to run three-to-four miles a day together.Nearly 21 years later, Shaughnessy and Chanel still enjoy walks around the neighborhood -- but now, Chanel often has to be carried.

"We don't have to take her outside to 'go,' and we don't take her out at all in the wintertime," Shaughnessy said. "We try to protect her as much as we can."

By most standards, Chanel has led a typical, canine life -- albeit perhaps one that is a little pampered. She feasts on both dry and wet dog food, but also relishes in people food; the Shaughnessys tend to boil chicken, or whole wheat pasta for her, with a little bit of butter, when the mood strikes. "Up until a year or so ago, she would eat table food," Karl Shaughnessy said. "Baloney, liverwurst or ham, whatever she felt like chewing on. Now, she won't do the ham, but she will eat the liverwurst. She is pretty finicky.

"This dog is a real work of art," he concluded.

In the summertime, because of her cataracts, Chanel is outfitted with a pair of "doggles," or tinted goggles designed for dogs, when she puts around the backyard. When it is especially sunny, Chanel will also don a small sun visor around her furry head.She still has "a calm disposition," Denice Shaughnessy says, though as the dog has gotten older, she has proved less tolerant of people infringing on her personal space.

Most Daschunds live to be around 14 to 16, the vet approximated. He said that the smaller the dog, the longer the life, but that general rule of thumb only partially explains Chanel's longevity; she is, after all, nearly 30 pounds.

"Good genes" and quality home care are the only two factors that could partially account for Chanel's long life.

In September, a Labrador mix named Bella died at the age of 29; and in 2003, a dog named Butch lived until he was 28. The oldest dog ever recorded was Bluey, a sheepdog from Australia, who lived to be 29.


Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi cooper, dozer, dottie and nancy!
what a great story!

i loved it!
:) melissa

Totally Timmy said...

Ahh great story. I don't know if I could handle Timmy in his old age. He's such a baby.


Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

The South Korean citizen reporters' journal OhmyNewsInternational has published a story I wrote about the world's oldest dog, an Australian sheepdog which lived in Rochester, Victoria (130 miles north of Melbourne).


You are welcome to copy it.

Cheers, Eric.

[Eric Shackle is a retired Australian journalist whose hobby is searching the Internet and writing about it. He is a featured writer for the South Korean citizen reporters' journal OhmyNewsInternational
He is also copy editor of Anu Garg's Seattle-based A Word A Day newsletter, which is e-mailed five days a week to more than 700,000 wordlovers in 200 countries.]

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

Wow, great story about Chanel! Thanks for sharing it with us, Cooper! I hope I can get to live that long myself...*crosses paws*


ocmist said...

WOW!! That is pretty old... We've had 2 that have lived to be 17 and my mom had one that lived that long, but, unfortunately, most don't, and a little part of me goes with them (I've had so many over the years...) Still, I know I would have a HARD time living without at least one dog, and I know that love grows as you give it away, so I'll never run out.

I feel so bad for some people that refuse to get another dog because they hurt so badly when their loved one passed. I truly feel that "having loved and lost is WAY BETTER than never having loved at all... or again!!!) They hurt themselves, and refuse to allow another dog that needs their love a chance at a wonderful life.