Oldest Dog at Shelter Astonished by 23rd Birthday Celebration


Do you remember your 23rd birthday? For many, this isn’t a milestone that stands out. Yet, when a dog celebrates its 23rd birthday, it’s a remarkable event!

Bully, a venerable Chihuahua, recently turned 23, making him the oldest resident at the nonprofit rescue where he resides. To mark this special occasion, he was treated to a festive birthday party, complete with balloons, a bone-shaped treat, and plenty of restful naps.

Bully is lovingly cared for by Chris and Mariesa Hughes at The Mr. Mo Project, a dedicated rescue for senior dogs. Although there are other dogs at the shelter over 20 years old, Bully is the standout elder statesman.

Born on April 5, 1999, Bully spent the first 21 years of his life with his initial adoptive family. He was welcomed into a loving home right after his birth, where he formed close bonds, played outdoors frequently, and always stayed by his humans’ side. When his owner neared retirement and could no longer look after him, Bully was rehomed with Chris and Mariesa. His previous owner fondly described him as a large spirit in a small body—a description Chris found to be spot-on. Despite his advanced age, Bully remains independent, spirited, and yet gentle and serene.

Now under the care of the Hughes, Bully continues to charm with his large personality, though age has slowed him down somewhat. For instance, he tends to sleep more often than his younger counterparts and can doze off just about anywhere. His 23rd birthday was a low-key affair with lots of nap time and a soft, crumbly biscuit.

Initially reluctant to add another pet to their family, the Hughes quickly grew to adore Bully and couldn’t imagine life without him. They are now his forever family, as they fell in love with him instantly.

The celebration of Bully’s birthday was met with widespread enthusiasm, generating a surge of attention, donations, and gifts. Not only did the Hughes family shower him with love, but so did thousands online who sent their best wishes and thoughtful presents.

Among the gifts, Barkbox sent a delightful package, and the Hughes were touched by the sheer volume of birthday cards and presents intended to make Bully’s day extraordinary.

At The Mr. Mo Project, celebrations are a common occurrence, whether it’s a birthday, an adoption anniversary, a holiday, or the completion of medical treatments. The Hughes honor each of their canine residents in any way they can, recognizing that joyful moments can be rare for senior dogs, particularly those with health challenges. They started the rescue to save senior dogs and to honor their late dog, Mr. Mo.

Living to the age of 23 is uncommon for dogs, and while Chihuahuas typically enjoy longer lifespans than larger breeds, reaching 23 is still an impressive feat. Studies suggest that larger dogs age more quickly due to greater physiological strain, which accelerates their aging process. In contrast, smaller breeds like Chihuahuas tend to live longer.

To help our dogs enjoy longer, healthier lives, it’s crucial to provide them with a wholesome lifestyle. Regular veterinary checkups, good dental care, and proper weight management are essential. It’s hard to resist their pleading eyes, but we must maintain discipline in feeding them only at designated times.

Additionally, regular exercise tailored to their breed, social interactions with other dogs and people, and play are vital for their overall well-being. Also, ensuring they are spayed or neutered can reduce the risk of certain health issues and behavioral problems.

By taking excellent care of our dogs, we can potentially enjoy their companionship for many more birthdays than expected. Thank you for reading, and if today happens to be your dog’s birthday, give them an extra warm hug from us!

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