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. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]