Little did Rita Kimball know that when she found an abandoned chihuahua in a car park in Ohio, US, that he’d become a record breaker. But Spike became just that as Guinness World Records issued the award of world’s oldest dog to her four-legged friend in December.
The new record-holder was 23 years and 43-days-old as of December 7. Standing at just nine inches tall and weighing just 12.9 pounds, Spike is currently the oldest man’s best friend in existence.
Spike has an incredibly difficult beginning to life that led to his forever family rescuing him at the age of 10-years-old. He had suffered greatly and all he wanted was a loving home and to be taken care of.
Speaking to Guinness World Records, owner Rita explained: “He had been shaved up his back, had blood stains around his neck from a chain or rope, and looked pretty rough. The clerk in the grocery told us he had been there for three days, and they were feeding him scraps.”
The doggo’s previous owner was unknown so Rita decided to take Spike back home to her small farm with her. His name was inspired by the cartoon dog known for its size and aggressiveness.
“My dog seemed to be the opposite; he was small and friendly, so I thought it just seemed to fit him. Spike was a name for a large dog. My guy was small, but he had the attitude of a big dog,” said Rita.
“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. Most of our family knew that Spike was old but didn’t know he had a shot at being the oldest in the world, now that he is a record holder, they see him as a celebrity.”
What is the secret to Spike making it to 23-years-old?
- Wakes up between 7am to 7.30am - sometimes starting the day with some tasty breakfast.
- Loves regular walks during summer weekends with his owner Rita in their rural hometown.
- A nap on the porch after his morning stroll.
- Loves a nice bath on Sunday afternoons.
- Spike’s favourite food is braunschweiger with cheese and sometimes indulges in Doritos as a treat.
- Playing cat and mouse with the family cat Foxxy and searching for his toy around the house.
Rita’s advice to dog owners for their furry friends to have a long and happy life is a healthy diet, room to roam and be free and regular daily exercise. Most notably and obviously - plenty of love and affection.