“We knew that when he opened his eyes, my parents wouldn’t be able to bury him,” he said.
Bobi’s breed usually has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years and Costa attributed its longevity to a number of factors, including living in calm countryside, having never been chained or kept on a leash and always eating “human food”.
“What we ate, they ate too,” he said. “Between a can of animal food or a piece of meat, Bobi doesn’t hesitate and chooses our food.”
Costa said he always soaked Bobi’s food in water before serving it to his pets, to remove most of the seasonings. He believes one of the biggest contributing factors is the “calm, peaceful environment” Bobi lives in, “far from the cities.”
“If Bobi spoke only he could explain this,” he said when the secret to his dog’s long life.
To mark the 80th anniversary of Bluey’s passing in 2019, the residents of Rochester commissioned a mural to celebrate the dog’s links to the town.
Edna Staley, was just 10 when her father’s dog passed away but said at the time her father and the dog were inseparable. A grocer all his life in Rochester, Edna described her late father at the time as a stickler for the rules, which came in handy when proving Bluey’s age. He had shire registration records dating all the way back to Bluey’s birth.
“All my memories of him were as an old dog, and I remember him being very loyal to the family. I remember him walking up the street with my mum (Esma), and waiting with the pram outside the store on the main street while she went shopping, and he would keep an eye on the children because the pram was too big to go inside,” she once told the Campaspe News.
She said Bluey never went to a vet, and the only real health problem he encountered was arthritis towards the end of his life.
“I’m not sure why or how he lived so long, but he lived differently from how pets live now. In those days, your dog would just get the scraps of your dinner and other food around the place, we didn’t buy dog food or anything like that.”
Health-wise, Bobi has enjoyed a relatively trouble-free life, although he gave his owner “one big scare” in 2018 when he was hospitalised after suddenly collapsing due to breathing difficulty.
He pulled through but now finds walking difficult and mostly spends his time hanging out in the backyard with his four feline friends. Bobi now likes to lie in bed after meals and on colder days he prefers to relax by the fire.
“We have regular [vet] appointments with him and the exams have always shown that he is doing well for his advanced age,” Costa said. “Bobi is one of a kind.”
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