Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chanel (20) is NOT the World's Oldest Pooch

This story was first published by OhmyNewsInternational. To read their version, with interesting illustrations and live links, please cut and paste this address:

Australian cattle dog Bluey lived 29 years 5 months and 7 days!

The 100th birthday of Bluey, a famous Australian cattle dog born on Jun 7, 1910, will be celebrated next year by people living in Rochester, a country town 130 miles (209km) north of Melbourne, Victoria, not far from last month's disastrous bushfires.

Bluey worked among sheep and cattle for 20 years, and survived until November 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."

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.

Incidentally,when Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore in bed, she famously replied, "Why, Chanel No. 5, of course."

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 February 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, Jul 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 Sep 23, 2005.

Titch. The tiny terrier has already clocked up 19 years and turns 20 in September, making him a whopping 140 years old if he was human. - Coventry (UK) Telegraph, Feb.26, 2009.

Derek the Mongrel, at the age of 19, the equivalent of 133 in dog years - is still going strong, according to a report ... The dog is the much-loved pet of Jill Molnar, from Scunthorpe, who adopted him after he kept chasing her daughter's young sons. While he could be the oldest dog in the area, a Papillon named Fred made it to 29... - Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, (UK), April 16, 2008.

Tip, the 29-year-old collie is the world's oldest dog, claims Ann Elliott, of Canterbury, who found him as a pup on a rubbish dump. - London Daily Mirror, Jan 17, 2004.

Bella. A dog believed to be the oldest in the world has died, aged 29 years. Bella, a Labrador cross, was bought by David Richardson from the RSPCA, 26 years ago when she was three years old. She had lived with Mr Richardson, 76, and his partner Daisy, 81, since 1982 in Clay Cross, Derbyshire. But she was put down on Saturday following a heart attack while on holiday with the couple. - London Daily Telegraph, Sep 8, 2008.

Skye, our border collie, will be 20 years old on March 1. Do you think she could be the oldest dog in Scotland? James Logan, Prestonpans, East Lothian. - Daily Record (Glasgow), Feb 1, 2007.

Cindy. Britain's oldest dog is a 24-year-old Jack Russell called Cindy. The secret to its long life is tea and walking eight miles a day. - Daily Mirror (London); July 26, 2002

Butch. 'His name is Butch. He's a beagle. His title is etched in official Guinness World Records certification and he earned it by living for 27 years...189 in human years... His eyes, however, are bright and his tail still wags. He still begs for petting, and as with all beagles, food is a major holiday to celebrate often. On regular occasions he lets loose and does a bit of running about the house...' -Charlottesville, Virginia Daily Progress, Nov 4, 2002. [Butch died in 2003, aged 28].

Beagle. I have a Beagle and he is 17 years old now. I kiss him many times every day and tell him "Mommy loves you. Stay with Mommy, Okay?". He gets fresh carrots for snack for many years. My husband told me that is why he still hears good and sees good. - Lilianne, in a forum message.

FOOTNOTE Then there's Hercules, said to be the world's heaaviest 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.


1 comment:

Dumdad said...

Hi Eric,

So is emu and kangaroo meat the secret to (nearly) eternal life?!

Thanks for the link about the Greyhound reporter who left Fleet Street.