Meet Britain’s oldest dogs who prove that life begins at 100

They're grey-whiskered and have creaking joints, but as these photos prove, Britain’s elderly dogs have plenty of life left in them.

Sadly, Britain’s oldest dog, Charlie the Jack Russell, from Malvern, Worcs, died last autumn at the age of 23.

But not far behind him in dog years are these canine senior citizens, who have a collective age of 143.

Their owners put their extraordinary longevity down to being much-loved by their families (with a little help from memory foam mattresses and poached chicken meals).

There are many benefits to owning an old dog, but as RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens says: “Sadly, many are overlooked and it can take three times longer to rehome them than a puppy.”

As these four-legged old fogies prove, Britain’s Old Aged Pooches are still cute.

    BOYCIE


    • Jack Russell
    • Age: 21
    • Age in dog years: 147
    • Secret to a long life: Lots of love and lots of fuss

    Boycie may be Britain’s oldest dog, but he still has an eye for the ladies.

    Owner Jo Titchener, 53, said: “Out on walks, old Boycie makes a beeline for the younger girl dogs. He just won’t give up.”

    Jo, a retired care home worker from Brighton, added: “We got Boycie from a rescue centre in 2004. My two daughters, Jessica and Katie, begged me to get him.

    “He’s got dementia and gets a little confused about where he is. He’s also deaf, but he still has a good quality of life. He looks at me with such devotion in his old eyes.”

    SHAKEY


    • Jack Russell/staffie cross
    • Age: 19
    • Age in dog years: 133
    • Secret to a long life: a lot of love and patience

    When emaciated Shakey arrived at the Dogs Trust in Evesham, Worcs, in 2007, he had to spend three weeks on a drip.

    The mistreated dog had an aggressive mouth cancer.

    Worker Natalie Gould, 32, offered to take him home and nurse him but Shakey captured her heart and has been with her ever since.

    “The vet wanted to cut away a portion of his mouth but it meant he couldn’t pick up a tennis ball.

    “When he arrived the only way he would come to me was throwing him a tennis ball. So
    I said no. I’d rather he had a shorter and happier life. The

    vet gave him three months – that was 11 years ago!

    “He is a bit blind now but otherwise very

    CRACKER


    • Patterdale terrier
    • Age: 17
    • Age in dog years: 119
    • Secret to a long life: Lots of time outside on adventures Arthritis now slows her down, but Cracker was once a star agility dog

    Owner Joshua Sampson, 26, a systems developer from Bucks, said: “When my partner Rosie had our son, Xavier, in 2017, Cracker adopted him as her favourite person.

    "She’s loving and loyal to a fault. “She loves long walks [and] hiking holidays.

    “She might not be able to go as far as she used to, but she’s still there every step of the way.”

    POD


    • Jack Russell
    • Age: 18
    • Dog age: 126
    • Secret to long life: Good genes. Her dad died at 17

    Vet’s receptionist Kate Wearing, 40, took pity on Pod – short for Tripod – who was born missing half a leg.

    Kate, of Plymouth, Devon, says: “Puppies may have their whole life ahead of them, but old dogs have a whole world of love inside them.

    “She’s brought joy to our lives and is an enormous character.

    “She loves hide-and-seek, eating tennis balls and rabbit holes. She has Cushing’s disease and is a bit deaf but we manage it with medication.

    “Cuddled up on the sofa, we can’t imagine life without her.”

    SANDY


    • Golden Retriever
    • Age: 17
    • Age in dog years: 119
    • Secret to a long life: Letting her do what she wants, when she wants

    Carolyn Astbury, 59, was shocked when she learned Sandy’s owner wanted her put down because she had fleas.

    “I fostered Sandy from the Oldies Club charity in December 2014 butthen realised I could never be parted from her,” says the HR assistant from Cannock, Staffs.

    “I do things at Sandy’s pace. If a 10-minute walk takes 30 minutes, that is what we do.

    “She’s the boss!

    “Sandy’s such a sweet old lady. I try to make her twilight years as happy as possible. She likes going for sniffy walks, paddling in water and sleeps on a king-size memory foam mattress to ease her old bones!”

    MARLON


    • Heinz 57
    • Age: 18
    • Age in dog years: 126
    • Secret to a long life: Lots of love and long walks

    Owner Clare Louise, 40, a vet’s practice manager from Wakefield, West Yorks, knows Marlon is living on borrowed time, so spoils him rotten.

    “We love our old boy to bits and he is very spoilt in our home, with my seven-year-old son Jacob, three dogs

    and a cat. He loves an ear tickle and will have a roll to scratch his back. “He has arthritis now and is happy with a short, slow walk. He mainly likes snoozing and curls up in any bed – even the cat’s.

    DINKY


    • Jack Russell
    • Age: 18
    • Age in dog years: 126
    • Secret to a long life: Always being around other dogs that are younger than her
       

    Lu Smith, 30, of Bethnal Green, East London, is on the autism spectrum and says Dinky got her through some tough times.

    “The bond between me and Dinky is so strong she’s part of the reason I’m still here,” says Lu. “She was my best friend through some very turbulent times.

    “Now Dinky’s an old lady I make sure to check her over daily for any new lumps and bumps and clean her teeth, as well as lots of gentle exercise… In truth, though, it’s love keeping Dinky going.”

    BETTY



    • Border Terrier
    • Age: 15
    • Age in dog years: 105
    • Secret to a long life: A really healthy, happy life, lots of walks, friends

    Now a grand old lady, Betty from Leamington Spa, Warks, is deaf, has poor vision and cancer in one paw, which means she has to be pushed out on her walks in a child’s pram.

    Owner Nicola Wyldbore-Smith, 47, says: “Betty is our first family dog. She came from a dubious breeder and was the runt of the litter. She used to be very active and come out and run behind the horses, but now she prefers her

    three-wheeler buggy. “Betty has had 10

    puppies. She’s a lovely old lady, though, and very affectionate.

    “My four children have all really enjoyed growing up with her.”

    **Dog age worked out at seven times human years. We know that’s not scientific…

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