CONQUEIROS, Portugal - The world's oldest dog recently celebrated his 31st birthday, according to Guinness World Records.
Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of Portuguese dog, celebrated during a party Saturday at his home in the Portuguese village of Conqueiros, where has lived his entire life.
More than 100 people attended the "very traditional" Portuguese party, owner Leonel Costa said.
Local meats and fish were served to up to 100 guests, with extra for Bobi, who only eats human food. A dance troupe also performed with Bobi participating in one of their routines.
Costa has owned several old-age dogs in the past, including Bobi’s mother, Gira, who lived to age 18. However, Costa said he never imagined any of his dogs would reach their 30s.
"We see situations like this as a normal result of the life that they have, but Bobi is one of a kind," Costa said.
One of the biggest contributing factors to Bobi’s longevity is the "calm, peaceful environment" in which he lives, according to Costa.
Throughout his life, Bobi has freely roamed the forests surrounding the Costa house. He has never been chained or leashed.
The "very sociable" dog was never lonely because he grew up surrounded by many other animals, Costa said.
Now in his senior years, Bobi finds it difficult to walk, so he prefers to hang out at home in the yard. His eyesight has gotten worse, meaning he often bumps into things when he walks. Just like old-age humans, Bobi sleeps a lot.
He immediately lies down in bed after eating, although on cold days he chooses to nap by the fire, his owner said.
Bobi’s birth date has been confirmed by the Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria, which registered Bobi in 1992.
His age also has been verified by a pet database authorized by the Portuguese government.
Costa, now 38, was just 8 years old when Bobi was born. For him, Bobi is a living reminder of the past, he said.
"Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world," Costa said. "Bobi represents those generations."