Don't try teaching her new tricks

Thu May 7, 2009 12:47pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chanel, the world's oldest dog, celebrated her 21st birthday on Wednesday with a certificate from the Guinness Book of Records and a visit to a dog hotel and spa.

The dachshund, a rescue dog from Port Jefferson in New York, wore an orange sweater and red goggles as her owner, Denice Shaughnessy, accepted the award marking her longevity.

"Chanel is the Guinness world record holder for the oldest living dog," said Jamie Panas, a spokeswoman for Guinness.

The record authority reviewed a veterinarian's certificate, statements from four witnesses and photographs to verify Chanel's age, Panas explained.

Chanel became the world's oldest dog following the death of Butch, the 28-year-old former record holder, in 2003.

Though visibly nervous and shaking at times, Chanel posed for photographers as she sat on a red mini-sofa.

Shaughnessy said Chanel tires quickly, wears goggles for cataracts when she is in the sun, and booties to cushion a benign tumor on her hind leg.

"I just take good care of her," said Shaughnessy, 51, who cares for Chanel with her husband, Karl. "I treat her like a person."

Shaughnessy got her pet from a shelter when the dog was six weeks old. Although Chanel could run miles in her younger days, now she suffers from joint problems and spends most of her days at home.

(Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; editing by Patricia Reaney)

 
<p>Chanel, the world's oldest dog, at the New York Dog Hotel and Spa in Manhattan as she is presented with a birthday card to celebrate her 21st birthday, May 6, 2009. REUTERS/Guinness Book of World Records/Handout</p>