A Chihuahua in Camden, Ohio, is truly top dog with Guinness World Records ― at least where age is concerned.
Spike has just been declared the “world’s oldest living dog” by the records adjudicating authority, which logged his age at 23 years and 7 days back in December.
Pebbles, a toy fox terrier that previously held the record, died in October, five months before her 23rd birthday.
Spike’s owner, Rita Kimball, said she never expected her beloved pet would become a canine Methuselah when he first joined the family 13 years ago. He was scrounging around the parking lot of a local grocery store when he decided to adopt the Kimballs.
“We went out to the car and he followed us and he jumped right in ... It was meant to be,” she told Dayton CBS affiliate WHIO-TV.
From the looks of it, Spike’s early years were tough, Kimball told Guinness World Records.
“He had been shaved up his back, had blood stains around his neck from a chain or rope, and looked pretty rough,” she said. “The clerk in the grocery told us he had been there for three days, and they were feeding him scraps.”
A vet determined the little dog was already 10 years old by the time the Kimballs found him.
Rita Kimball told Guinness she named him “Spike” because “he had the attitude of a big dog.”
“He is friendly but since he’s almost blind and hard of hearing, he gets testy at times and just wants to be left alone,” she said.
Despite his advanced age, Spike remains active and often takes walks with Kimball around the farm.
“He visits with the animals in the barn: cows, horses, and barn cats,” she said.
“When he was younger, he tried intimidating the cows and horses by barking and trying to chase them. Now they just stare at him and don’t even move.”
Kimball said she had no idea Spike was a record-setter until she saw Jimmy Fallon talk about Pebbles on his show and realized her pooch was possibly older.
“Most of our family knew that Spike was old, but didn’t know he had a shot at being the oldest in the world,” Kimball told Guinness World Records. “Now that he is a record holder, they see him as a celebrity.”