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As of December 7, 2022, a Chihuahua from Ohio was officially recognized as the oldest living dog in the world at 23 years and 43 days old.
Spike, who is named after the well-known Tom and Jerry cartoon character, is just 9 inches (22.86 cm) and 12.9 pounds tall (5.85 kg).
Spike’s owner, Rita Kimball, had no idea that Spike, a tiny Chihuahua she had rescued in the parking lot of a grocery store in Camden, Ohio, would grow up to be her pet and eventually become the oldest dog alive. When Rita and her family found him, he was already 10 years old.
Rita recalled, “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.”
Rita made the choice to bring Spike home to join the rest of the herd on her farm because she didn’t know who Spike belonged to.
“When we left the store and entered the parking lot, he followed,” said Rita.
Spike surprisingly behaves calmly, defying the stereotype of the breed.
“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,” Rita said to Guinness World Records.
Spike starts his day between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Sometimes he’ll eat breakfast right away or at times he’ll fast for a bit. On summer weekends, he goes for walks with his owner in their rural hometown. Spike returns home after his morning walk to relax on the porch and prepare for the day ahead as Rita gets herself a cup of coffee.
Spike normally looks forward to Saturday evening baths after a long week of farm work. He occasionally enjoys braunschweiger with cheese for dinner and occasionally treats himself to his favorite chips. Spike also enjoys playing cat and mouse with the housecat Foxxy.
However, the dog gets testy at times and just wants to be left alone, according to Rita, because he is nearly blind and hard of hearing.
Rita learned about Pebbles, the former oldest dog still alive, during a Jimmy Fallon broadcast one night, and she came to the realization that Spike was actually 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,” said Rita.
“Now that he is a record holder, they see him as a celebrity.”