If Elizabethtown resident Toni White and her husband, Charles, had birth records of their chihuahua, Mama, they would possibly have a world record holder lounging around in their home. Mama, a rescue, turns 23 today.
“I asked my grandson, ‘Do you really think she’s going to be around another year?’” White said. “And there she is. Really, her condition has not changed any.”
According to The American Kennel Club, the lifespan of a Chihuahua is about 15 to 17 years. White said aside from some thyroid issues, Mama has had very minimal health problems. She said Mama is given half of a thyroid pill during the day and half a pill at night.
The Whites used to transport animals for shelters and would occasionally adopt some of the rescue animals. Currently, they have three dogs, three cats and they are taking care of a litter of kittens.
White and her husband adopted Mama in 2007, along with another Chihuahua named Brady. Mama was 12 at the time and Brady, who died earlier this year, was 3.
Mama often can be found sleeping, White said. However, she said the dog still has a spry spirit.
White said providing high-quality nutritional food right for your dog’s breed and lifestyle is a big factor in a healthy lifespan.
“They need all the nutrition just the same as we do,” she said.
Still, White said she is baffled by Mama’s longevity.
“I really can’t explain why she’s still around but I’m glad that she is,” she said.