MEET Otto, the worlds oldest dog, whos reached the grand old age of 147 in dog years and is still going strong.
Dachshund-cross terrier Otto, who lives in Shrewsbury and is 20 years old and six months, looks to have become the top dog after the death of the previous holder aged 21.
Chanel, also a Dachshund but from the US, died last month and now Otto is to continue flying the flag for Dachshunds as the worlds oldest canines.
Ottos owner Peter Jones, from Shrewsbury, Shrops, said despite his great age the plucky dog is still going strong.
Mr Jones, 68, said his wife Lynn, 55, had owned Otto, who has no offspring, since he was a puppy and he is still going strong, although he is battling a few problems including arthritis.
Read more: They also have a certificate to prove his age and Guinness World Records are now investigating.
While 20-year-old humans are in the full flush of youth, the canine calendar works so that dogs age around seven years for every one human year, meaning even pensionable age is a distant memory for Otto.
Mr Jones, a retired sales manager, said: 'When I saw this dog had died and he was the oldest in the world, I thought Otto must be getting on to being the oldest as well.
'I thought it would be good to see if Otto is the oldest.
My vet said to me that they hadnt got any older dogs going to see them.
He will follow me wherever I go and doesnt go running off.
If I go out, I come back and hes sat by the door waiting.
'Hes still going strong and he used to run like a greyhound and was really fast.
'But in the last couple of years that has stopped, what do you expect when he is 147? 'Hes got a bit of arthritis but apart from that hes quite well.
DM The greatest age recorded for a dog is 29 years five months for an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey, owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia.
Bluey was obtained as a puppy in 1910 and worked among cattle and sheep for nearly 20 years before being put to sleep on November 14, 1939.
A spokesman for Guinness World Records said he thought Otto could be the newest oldest living dog.
He said: 'It sounds like Otto could be the new top dog.
DM 'We would welcome Ottos owners to contact us if they believe that he may now be the worlds oldest living dog.
We can then provide them with the evidence that we will need to see to verify the claim.
Humans still have a long way to go before they can match Ottos staying power.
The oldest verified human was Frances Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 aged an incredible 122 years and 164 days.
DM

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 11-Sep-2009 here.