Posted on: May 19, 2023 Posted by: Petsynse Comments: 0

What Pax and I learned spending two days with
the 31-year-old dog, Bobi



I woke up unusually early today, compelled by an extraordinary story I wanted to share. It’s about spending two days with the oldest dog in the world, Bobi, and his remarkable family. 

When I received the invitation to attend the birthday party of the world’s oldest dog, I was initially a bit uncertain. I had previously committed to visiting my friend and fellow dog lover, Michelle, and her family, in the UK.

However, understanding the unique opportunity, she graciously agreed to reschedule our meeting. 

So, I found myself on a flight to Lisbon, Portugal, filled with excitement and anticipation. I had no idea what to expect. I only knew I would join my dear friends, Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib, and drive to a small village near Leiria, Portugal.

Meeting Bobi and his family 

Intentionally, I didn’t research any information about Bobi’s family to make the meeting more of a surprise.

Entering the farm gate, we walked through fresh-cut grass and aromatic rosemary branches that Bobi’s dad, Leonel, spread around. The scent was lovely. 

In the courtyard, Bobi, the guest of honor, greeted us. Despite his advanced age and slower pace, his eyes sparkled with life, extending us and Pax a warm, silent welcome.

I saw a quiet understanding pass between them as if Bobi said: “I am ready to pass on all I have learned to you so that you can share my wisdom further.”  

Pax is now four years old, which means Bobi has lived almost eight times as long as him!

                                             Photo Credit: Dr. Karen Becker

Before the official birthday event began, they treated us to a traditional Portuguese lunch with dark bread, fresh salad, Dorado, and sardines barbecued to perfection. A refreshing fruit salad made of orange, peach, and cantaloupe melon completed the meal.

As the other guests began to arrive — a group of approximately one hundred people, including eighty from the media — the event’s significance truly hit me. How crazy that Pax and I were among the few lucky people to celebrate the birthday of the world’s oldest dog! 

Yet, the atmosphere was beautifully simple and unpretentious. Even the media personnel, often known for their intrusive presence, seamlessly blended in.

The simplicity of the day was such a pleasant surprise.

Amidst a world where grandeur often overshadows authenticity, this event was different. Maybe Bobi, Leonel, and Donna Maria’s energy transformed everyone. I’m not typically a fan of big gatherings, but this one felt very special.

As the celebration rolled on, Bobi seemed to follow Pax frequently.  Like a wise teacher insisting on his student learning the ropes, while Pax, the restless pup, was busy sniffing out food dropped from the grill.

As the day heated up, from time to time, Bobi wisely retreated into the kitchen, where he made his rounds to Rodney, Dr. Becker, and me as we sat on the kitchen floor. Each time, he got a little massage and a rub which he seemed to appreciate.

You may be wondering: What does Bobi eat? Does he see a vet? How long is he expected to live? Why isn’t he gray? Is he neutered? Is this all true?

Some skeptics suggest Bobi is a hoax, but that’s not the case. His age has been verified by telomere testing and a review of his medical records by Guinness World Records.

As for his diet, Bobi eats a mix of raw and cooked meat and fish, combined with primarily raw organic vegetables from the garden. Leonel told me they never buy produce from the store. Instead, everything they need grows in their garden, or if the neighbours are willing to trade!

To my surprise, Bobi also eats cooked onions without any ill effects, despite the fact that we’ve all been told that it can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs. Well, go figure!

Vet care and no gray hair?

Bobi does have a few vets looking after him. He was in excellent health; unfortunately, he was treated with Bravecto a few years ago due to fleas, and that is when his head tilt appeared.

As to why Bobi isn’t gray, he likely carries a gene that prevents graying. His longevity is most likely a mix of healthy food, plenty of social interaction, and good genes.

Despite all this, Leonel and his mother, Donna Maria, remained patient, protective, and clear about their boundaries.

On Sunday, I talked to Leonel about how unprepared he feels for when Bobi won’t be around anymore. I understand him well and know that you, my dear readers, do too.

Leonel’s openness touched me. We’re all scared of the moment our dogs won’t be with us anymore. All we can do is keep seeking, researching, and discussing ways to prolong their healthy lives.

I admire Leonel because, despite his and Bobi’s fame, he lives a simple life in his humble farmhouse in a small village in Portugal. His openness and hospitality to us and others are undoubtedly genuine and sincere.

Before leaving, we discussed Bobi’s care, particularly his mobility and a small open growth by his rear end. I suggested increasing his Omega-3 intake and shared my experience with natural wound care.

This is why why Dr. Becker, Rodney Habib and I joined our forces and set up “Bobi and Leonel’s Gratitude Fund.”

Your contribution is of course voluntary, but every dollar counts. 100% of the proceeds will go to Bobi and Leonel after GoFundMe takes their small portion. 

Leonel doesn’t know about this, but I hope he will understand this is our way to thank him for his love and care and inspiring all of us. 
Meeting Bobi and his family filled my heart with love. I also realized that no matter how long our dogs live, we all, including Leonel, have to face the reality of life, and this is what makes the connection with our beloved dogs so unique.

Only Bobi knows his plan is, but for now, he seems to be enjoying life as the oldest dog in recorded history.