Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg man says he owns the world's oldest dog

Joe Slatton says Smokey “shows signs of age,” but is still active, loves walks and even goes to Home Depot with Slatton.

Stefan Jaeger | Times

Joe Slatton says Smokey “shows signs of age,” but is still active, loves walks and even goes to Home Depot with Slatton.

ST. PETERSBURG — Joe Slatton of St. Petersburg wasn't impressed when he learned NBC's Today show had featured what it deemed the world's oldest living dog at 21.

Slatton says that at the time the show aired May 6, he was most likely out walking his 23-year-old Shih Tzu, Smokey.

"My wife told me about the show," Slatton said. "Of course she knew, too, that Smokey was way older than that dog on TV."

The show featured Chantal, 21, a dachshund mix. She suffers from cataracts and gets cold easily, said her owner, Denice Shaughnessy of Long Island.

NBC declined to comment on the discovery of an older dog.

Smokey, golden brown with all his hair, is not only older, but more active. He loves his walks and has his own wardrobe.

Slatton, 78, and Mary, 76, his wife of 55 years, took in Smokey nine years ago when the dog's former owner moved to a place where she couldn't have a pet.

Records at the VCA St. Petersburg Animal Hospital show Smokey was born Jan. 18, 1986. That was two days before the first federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated and 10 days before the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

"Of course he shows signs of age," said Slatton, a retired manager for the Thom McAn shoe company. "He went deaf at some point and he needs about 15 hours of sleep to recharge his batteries."

With their five children out of the house, the Slattons showered their love on Smokey and his stepsister Little Bit, a Shih Tzu of 11.

"I wouldn't know to what specific thing I could attribute his age to," Slatton said. "I guess it's just a combination of a healthy Pedigree diet and loads of exercise."

Even in old age Smokey has discovered new things.

"I started taking him to the Home Depot, and he has been really enjoying looking at the appliances there," Slatton said.

Smokey, weighing in at 19 pounds, is seen at his current veterinary clinic as nothing short of a four-legged miracle.

"For sure he's the oldest dog I have ever worked with. And he's in great shape," said Brooks Ohman, a technician at Gulfport Veterinarian.

But Smokey's got a long way to go to become the world's oldest dog ever.

Bluey, an Australian cattle dog that died in 1939, holds the Guinness World Record at 29.5 years.

St. Petersburg man says he owns the world's oldest dog 05/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida State out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2011

    Blogs

    Florida State's first 0-2 start since 1989 has led to another low.

  2. From care center to purgatory to 'hellhole': How 11 frail elders died after Irma

    Hurricanes

    As she got ready to say goodbye to her mother at the Hollywood Hills nursing home, Rose Wyda's heart was sick. Hurricane Irma had been gone for nearly 48 hours, but the trail of shattered trees and broken, hissing power lines the storm left behind was still dangerously apparent. And the nursing home was part of the …

  3. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.

  5. 'If anyone can hear us … help.' Puerto Rico's mayors describe 'horror in the streets'

    World

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.