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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Japan's Oldest Dog Has His Day

Pusuke - good dog!
Dog gone it!

As a dog-owner for most of my unnatural life, this story sucks, but is also heart-warming.

Pusuke, a Shiba-mix dog died recently, passing away quietly at the age of 26-years and eight-months.

Born on April 1, 1985, Pusuke was recognized in December 2010 as the then-oldest living dog by Guinness World Records.

While still holding the record for longevity in Japan, an Australian cattle dog named Bluey that dies in 1939 was the longest lived at 29 years.

Pusuke's owner, Sinohara Yumiko, who lives in Sakura-shi, Tochigi-ken (about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) south of where I lived in Ohtawara-shi) died on December 5, 2011 after he fell ill and refused to eat.

She told FNN News Japan that: "(I) would just like to thank him for staying alive so long."

The news broadcast says that in human years, Pusuke would have been about 125-years-old. That actually makes sense and makes the old dog's age counter adage seem dated.

The old adage is that one human year equals seven dog years, doubling the first year. If that were true, Pusuke would have been 194.25-years-old. That seems ancient... even for a good, little dog like Pusuke.

Amongst the many dogs I have owned, two of my rottweillers lived to the ripe old age of 17-1/2 years. For large, massive dogs, that's pretty damn good considering the larger dogs have a shorter life span, of around 10 years.

Should you wish to calculate your dog's age, here's an on-line tool I found: DOGS.

The formula is: 10.5 dog years per one human year for the first two years, and then four dog years for each human year afterwards. 

According to it, my dogs Misty and her pup Blackjack were 83 human years-old. Of course, it puts Pusuke at 120-years of age.

Whatever... I'm glad Sinohara-san got to enjoy the company of Pusuke for a long time.

By Andrew Joseph

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