We, humans, are naturally interested in superlatives. As children, we often ask who is the biggest, the one that ran the fastest, and the one that lived the longest. Perhaps, this is why we have the Guinness Book of World Records. But if one were to ask who is the oldest dog alive today, you might not find it in the famous record book, but the answer lies in Mayo County in Ireland.
Skippy, the dog in question, is perhaps the oldest living dog in Ireland and the entire world. Border Collies typically live up to 15 years. Skippy is now 26 years old, which is 130 to 145 in human years.
His owner, Patrick Geraghty, shared his story in an interview. He described Skippy as a loyal and devoted dog. During his prime, he helped his owner look after the farm, something Border Collies naturally do. Skippy also liked chasing after his owner’s car and sitting at the gate to meet the locals.
Interestingly, the Border Collie also has a taste for the finer things in life. He eats two cans of Brandy dog food a day – one in the morning and one in the evening. Patrick added that Skippy also loves to eat scraps from his Irish stew, and he would only eat it if it had a bit of gravy on top.
It was only two years ago that Skippy showed significant signs of decline. Unlike before, he became less mobile, and someone needed to lift him every now and then to make him stand up. He doesn’t go to the gate anymore, but he stays in his favorite spot in the shed and lays on the straw bedding.
While there is not enough evidence to verify Skippy’s age, a few accounts told by Patrick may serve as clues. He got his dog, who was a few weeks old, from a recognized dog breeder named Joe Dean in 1995. Patrick also remembered that he broke his toe and sought treatment at a nearby hospital in Mayo County when he got Skippy.
If one were to check his hospital records and the date he visited, that would serve as one of the most significant indications. In addition, Patrick’s nephew, Pearce Prior, also remembers Skippy as a puppy when he visited Patrick’s home in Ireland during the 90s.
When asked about the secret to Skippy’s long life, Patrick mentions three things: Healthy sustenance, the outdoors, and the fresh sea air from the Erris peninsula, a barony in Mayo County consisting of mountain wetlands and expansive sea coasts. Perhaps this is true, as Mr. Geraghty looks excellent in his senior years.
However, the most touching part of this story is how Patrick acknowledged that Skippy was a great companion and partner for his entire life, and it’s now his turn to look after him. Perhaps, the most important thing is not the numbers but the love and friendship the two shared over the years. Though we may never surpass a dog’s capacity to love, it still and should go both ways.
If you loved Skippy’s story, do watch Patrick’s entire interview by watching the video:
Source: Fergus Sweeney via YouTube