Plenty of sleep, excellent food, and lots and lots of love are the secrets to longevity for a 22-year-old dog named Pebbles. Maybe there's something to learn from the pint-sized pooch because the 4-pound Toy Fox Terrier was just confirmed as the “oldest dog living” by Guinness World Records. And even though that's pretty old in dog years, she still seems to have plenty of time ahead of her.
Pebbles lives in Taylors, South Carolina, with her humans Bobby and Julie Gregory. When the Gregorys were searching for the right canine addition to their family in 2000, they were considering adopting a larger breed; but, as Bobby looked around, he noticed the tiny pup following him, running alongside her enclosure every time he walked by. “It was instant love the second the two met,” says Julie. “Pebbles has been with us through everything; ups and downs, good times and bad, and she has always been the beacon of our lives.”
Despite having gone through many of life's important moments together, the fact that Pebbles was the oldest living dog came as a surprise to her family. The previous record holder was equally as surprised. Just this April, Guinness World Records named TobyKeith, a Chihuahua from Florida, as the oldest living dog at 21 years old. As soon as this record was announced, friends and family of the Gregorys immediately thought of Pebbles, knowing she was likely older. “Bobby was sitting on the couch and friends and family started texting and calling about a story they saw about a 21-year-old dog getting the record,” says Julie. That's when she applied for the record for Pebbles.
Pebbles has lived a full life these past 22 years. She and her late “husband,” another Toy Fox Terrier named Rocky, had 24 puppies together across three different litters. These days, she likes to stay up late into the night, then sleep until five in the afternoon. She also enjoys listening to the smooth voices of her favorite country singers. “She loves listening to country music while she is sleeping,” says Julie. “Her two favorite singers are Conway Twitty and Dwight Yoakam.”
Though Pebbles has her mood swings, she is usually a snuggly pup. She loves warm baths, snuggling under blankets, and sunning herself on the steps of the family's pool in the summer. She appreciates good food, too—for her record-setting 22nd birthday, her family surprised her with a stack of ribs. That was, however, a very special occasion—her diet is normally catered to her physical needs at this age, and helps keep her in good health. Plenty of sleep and a proper diet aren't the only secrets to Pebbles longevity, though. Julie emphasizes the importance of caring for your pets by giving them “a happy, positive environment as much as possible,” and to treat them “like family, because they are.”
The Gregorys feel truly honored to have Pebbles recognized as the record holder. “We truly love her more than anything,” Julie admits, “so for her to have this time to shine is truly precious.”