Meet Spike, the Ohio Chihuahua who has been named the world’s oldest living dog
A Chihuahua from Camden, Ohio has been named the world’s oldest living dog by Guinness World Records.
Spike, who lives with his human Rita Kimball in Preble County, was given the title on 7 December last year.
He celebrated his 23rd birthday with the Kimball family on 10 November.
Unaware of the worldwide recognition and fame he has gained recently, Spike has reportedly continued being himself – demanding braunschweiger with cheese for his dinner.
Spike’s story, however, did not start this rosy.
He had been abandoned in a supermarket car park when Ms Kimball found him. It was August 2009 and she recalled he was “severely neglected”.
Remembering that day, Ms Kimball told Guinnes World Records: “Spike jumped right in and sat on the seat, as if he knew where we were going.”
She adds: “It was meant to be.”
The Kimballs took the Chihuahua to a vet who said that he was born on 10 November 1999. He was already 10 years old when he found the Kimball family.
Today, in human years, Spike is almost 124 years old.
Prior to Spike, it was 22-year-old Pebbles from South Carolina who held the record of being the oldest living dog in the world. She died in October last year. After her death, 21-year-old TobyKeith of Florida took the first spot.
The Kimball family were sat watching an episode of Jimmy Fallon when they heard about Pebbles for the first time, and realised Spike was actually older than her.
She said that “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,” Ms Kimball said.
Say hello to the new oldest dog in the world! 🥰️
Spike, who lives with human Rita Kimball in Ohio, is 23 years and 7 days old. pic.twitter.com/iTGKegBBN9
— Guinness World Records (@GWR) January 19, 2023
She also notes: “I believe Spike is still here because after having such a terrible life at first, he makes the best of each day.”
For a huge celebrity, Spike is actually pretty tiny. He is nine inches [22.86 cm] tall and weighs just 12.9 pounds [5.85 kg].
When Spike was found by the family in a car parking lot, 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,” Ms Kimball recalled.
She decided to bring him home, and to give him a name fitting of his fighting spirit. “Spike was a name for a large dog. My guy was small, but he had the attitude of a big dog.”
Because of his age, Spike is almost blind and hard of hearing now. “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,” Ms Kimball said.
Throughout his life, Ms Kimball recalled: “In general, though, he was great with the grandkids and never bit a stranger. His little tail still wags when people talk to him,” she says.
She also had some words of advice for other humans with pets: “Healthy diet, room to roam, daily exercise.” And of course, “unlimited love and attention”.