Pat Geraghty and his Australian Cattle Dog named Skippy have been best friends since the day his dad brought Skippy home at only a few weeks old. Astonishingly, that was all the way back in 1996, and Skippy is still by his side today.
That makes Skippy not only the oldest dog in Ireland, but one of the oldest dogs in the entire world.
Skippy has spent his long life living with his dad on their family farm in Elly Bay, Ireland. As an Australian Cattle dog, Skippy’s high energy levels and easy trainability made him perfectly suited to stay by his dad’s side, and help him work the farm. Actually, up until just two years ago, that’s exactly what Skippy was doing. But now that Father Time is finally catching up with the long-lived pup, Skippy has retired from tending the farm, and is simply spoiled instead.
What’s Skippy’s secret to living such a long life?
Skippy’s dad says that he was born in 1996. So that would mean that his canine companion has reached the ripe old age of 26 (over 130 in dog years!) That’s not exactly something you see every day. Australian cattle dogs, on average only live to be anywhere from 12-15 years old. So what’s Skippy’s secret for living such a long life?
Well, first of all, he is very particular about his food. Skippy favors, “Brandy dog food” and is fed one tin in the morning and one at night. He also has the palette of a true Irishman and is keen on sharing scraps of Irish Stew and spuds from his dad’s lunch. Luckily for Skippy, his dad eats it often and loves to share some with his best pal. Pat knows exactly how Skippy likes his stew served, and always tops every bite he shares with gravy.
Skippy is also particular about where he sleeps. While he has never technically slept outside, Skippy prefers to sleep nestled under a bed of straw in a shed in his yard, as opposed to inside his house with his dad. Why? Skippy has had a lifelong fear of fire and refuses to go into the house when there’s a fire lit. So his dad makes sure to keep him comfortable outside in his cozy shed.
Perhaps his more primitive lifestyle played a part in the pup’s longevity? Skippy’s dad is also an impressive 84 years young. Maybe there’s something in the water in Elly Bay, Ireland. Or maybe it’s because they live so close to the sea. Either way, it’s obvious the pair have lived a lovely life together.
You can watch a video interview of Pat about his beloved Skippy, below.