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PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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‘Rocky’ appears to be oldest wiener dog

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From page A1 | September 14, 2011 | 47 Comments

ROBERT ROWLAND holds his dachshund Rocky outside their Shingle Springs home. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Shingle Springs resident Robert Roland holds his 25 year old Dachshund "Rocky" at their home Wednesday. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Oh, my dog! Rocky is rocking toward 175 years — in dog years, that is.

Rocky the dachshund, who makes his home with Robert Rowland in Shingle Springs, will turn 25 years old in March of next year, and if there’s any doubt that the silver-haired dog with the slow-dancing white feet will make it to the landmark birthday, a visit to his home will dispel it.

“C’mere, baby, c’mere Rocky — you’ve got company,” shouted Rowland, 73, who admittedly has to raise his voice to summon his pal of nearly a quarter-century. Sure enough, the coaxing brings forth Rocky, wobbling maybe a bit, but picking up speed as he headed from the bedroom of the sprawling ranch-style home and into the living room to check out the team from the Mountain Democrat.

Rowland dropped to the carpeted floor where he had spread out decades worth of photos of him and Rocky, and the old dachshund made his way over to his “dad,” swiping Rowland’s bare leg with a long lick before tooling on toward the front door.

“I’ve had Rocky since he was 2 weeks old; I had the pick of the litter,” Rowland explained as he pointed out a photo of the dachshund, in much younger days, riding around with him on a tractor. “I bottle fed him and he’s been with me all these years. We would go fishing, and to car shows … he would go practically everywhere I would go.”

Rowland, who owns a 1934 Ford hot rod, said Rocky was a big hit at the car shows, but the dog’s advanced age prevents that particular pleasure at this juncture.

The little dog, a brownish-fawn colored standard sized dachshund, also is a big hit at local stores and at the veterinary, where unfortunately he has had to spend some time recently.

Dr. Randy Robinson of Missouri Flat Pet Clinic helped nurse Rocky back to good health after a recent bout that involved the old boy’s prostate, but now the dog is in tail-wagging condition, according to Robinson.

“Rocky is rocking!” said Robinson. “He has the bloodwork of a much younger dog. I have done the bloodwork on him numerous times, and when I send it to the lab, they think something must be wrong because it’s consistently normal. It should be showing the effects of aging on his liver, that sort of thing.

“We have charts we follow to measure the bloodwork results, and Rocky is off the charts. He’s lived two long lifetimes for a dog already. Dogs that were born a dozen years ago are old now … and he’s going to be 25.”

The vet said the next-oldest dog that comes to his office is 22.

A Google search shows that the oldest known dog, an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, lived to be 29 years and 160 days before dying in 1939. But among dachshunds, Rocky is at the top of the stairs as the two of that breed that made the Google list include one that lived 21 years, 114 days and another that lived 20 years, 243 days.

Rowland, who was riding a bicycle up his driveway when the Democrat arrived, attributed Rocky’s longevity to being active.

“He never stops moving during the day,” he said, as Rocky toodled across the lawn outside toward a clump of low bushes. “In his younger days he hopped like a bunny in the snow, and he’d get on a gopher hole and stay on it. He’d also chase cows when he was younger, and he even killed a possum once.

“He doesn’t see that well, because he has cataracts, but he still manages to see maybe this much,” added Rowland, holding his palms about 5 inches apart. That’s enough to find his way to the food dish, where Rowland treats Rocky to diced beef and chicken on top of dry food.

A retired heavy equipment operator, Rowland moved to El Dorado County from Ventura in 1997. He divorced, and he and Rocky headed for the hills. Rocky is the only pet Rowland has had in the last 25 years, and it comes as no surprise that the pooch sleeps with his pal.

“I go to bed at 9 o’clock, and if Rocky wants to speed me up a bit, he stands in the hallway to the bedroom and looks at me like, ‘Come on, Dad, it’s time for bed,’” said Rowland as he led the way back into the house and into a second living area that features an authentic bear rug on the floor and a ceramic, life-size statue of … wait for it … a dachshund that looks startlingly like Rocky.

Rowland credits Dr. Robinson with saving the life of his beloved companion, and he estimated that Rocky will make it all the way to 30 — shattering all records.

“If he keeps going the way he’s going, I’d give him another five years,” said Rowland as Rocky padded over toward a sliding glass door. He said he intends to contact the Guinness Book of World Records should Rocky keep on rockin’.

Rowland scooped up the dog and rubbed his head. ”You’re going to make the newspaper, boy,” he shouted. “Huh, baby?! Yeah!”

Rocky gave his buddy’s hand another lick.

E-mail Pat Lakey at plakey@mtdemocrat.net or call 530-344-5066.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 47 comments

  • kenSeptember 14, 2011 - 10:28 pm

    Hands down the best story all year. Also my bid for the funniest blog of the year. Thank you Carlyn White of Crestview Drive...

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  • James E.September 14, 2011 - 11:13 pm

    Ken (aka Mr. Steers). I'm confused. You say best story all year. If you are referring to Rocky, I agree. A man and his dog giving each other the comfort of companionship over many years. Love this story. But why are you thanking Carlyn White of Crestview Drive? She doesn't know her sign in name or her password. Why are you thanking her? Most confusing. What am I missing?

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  • Evelyn VeerkampSeptember 15, 2011 - 5:37 am

    I'd love to know Rocky's secret. Aside from years with a loving owner and and the intervention of an apparently great vet there must be something more. Good genes help, of course. But diet may be in there. What does Rocky eat?

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  • kenSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:05 am

    James, I'm going to have to keep it to myself and simply enjoy the fact that you don't get it. Have a great day.

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  • James E.September 15, 2011 - 8:40 am

    Mr. Steers, I got it -- how could she be on given she didn't know how to sign on. Thanks.

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  • JudiSeptember 15, 2011 - 9:10 am

    Thank you. What a wonderful story. Congrats to Mr Rowland for taking such good care of Rocky. Obviously they dote on each other.

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  • SHSeptember 15, 2011 - 11:48 am

    Very sweet story :) Ken/James - omg cant you two stop bickering on any article? Its special interest dog article - go find a politic article to argue about or something

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  • DianeSeptember 16, 2011 - 3:53 pm

    I love this heart warming story! Go Rocky :)

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  • Almost 25 and still healthy!!August 31, 2012 - 11:25 am

    [...] http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/24-year-old-dachshund-shuffling-toward-the-record-book/ GD Star Ratingloading... « Music soothes the savage beast. [...]

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  • Shelli CastanosAugust 31, 2012 - 11:54 am

    I think Rocky's longevity is due to a very kind-hearted owner who truly enjoys his beloved pal. Since Rocky was the pick-of-litter, I wonder if any of his litter-mates have lived long lives as well. I'll be looking for your 30th Birthday celebration, big guy!! BOL!! BOL!!

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  • rick rAugust 31, 2012 - 3:34 pm

    Love is what keeps him going,i have 2 doxies i hope i have tbem for as long

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  • linAugust 31, 2012 - 7:28 pm

    i have a 5years and 6 month old doxie, he is a dapple. he is my buddy, rowland we are along, and would not have it any other way, he sleeps with me, walks , car ride [when its not to hot], i don,t think i will last 25 years, but is nice to know he might be with me until its time for me to go i love my little baby. he is my baby, like rockey he tills me when its time to go to bed, or for our walk, he even sits and watchs t.v. with me, he loves to chase cats, has never got one, honestly i don,t know what he would do with if if he did catch it, so i hope rocky lives along time, as i hope my baby does. good luck rocky

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  • Ginger Van DamSeptember 01, 2012 - 5:35 am

    Thanks for a really good article that made me smile.

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  • Linda DaleSeptember 01, 2012 - 8:03 am

    God bless you Rocky and Robert for your devotion to each other. My heart was gladdened to read this special story and to see the pictures of Rocky. Do you have any videos of him?? Would like to see pictures of him as a pup up to the present time. My Rocky will turn 15 tomorrow and I feel so blessed to have had him this long. He is the oldest of my 7 dachshunds. I will pray for the both of you that you have many days together. Linda Dale

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  • LauraSeptember 01, 2012 - 8:15 am

    Congrats to Rocky & his Dad. I am soo happy to see a happy story about a Doxie! I jusst got our 2nd baby & I hope they both live as long & good a life as Rocky!

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  • Dana WessonSeptember 01, 2012 - 6:40 pm

    Please tell us more about Rocky's diet, and anything else that might be relevant? I have a little doxie that I would love to keep around as long as possible!

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  • DustinSeptember 01, 2012 - 8:09 pm

    How sweet! As the "mom" of 3 weenies, I find this heartwarming! My oldest, Sweetpea (after the baby on Popeye), will be 15 this December. Great story! Go Rocky!!

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  • Wolvrne88September 01, 2012 - 9:25 pm

    I love this story. My handsome man Kaiser is 6 and I'm just starting to notice some grey whiskers on his chin. I hope that Rocky keeps moseying along and that my Kaiser lives to a ripe old age with me. He's my best friend and a wonderful companion.

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  • HOLLYSeptember 01, 2012 - 9:44 pm

    I HOPE MY WIREHAIRED DACHSHUND MAXIMUS LIVES TO BE AT LEAST THAT OLD,I LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANYTHING,,,,,,AND MY GOLDEN RETRIEVER ROSIE TOO,YOU ARE SO KIND TO SHARE THIS STORY,THANK YOU

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  • paula fabianoDecember 26, 2012 - 6:01 am

    Such a comforting story. I just said "Good Bye" to my handsome & loving 19+ year old mini red dachshund Rico, Saturday 22December. I am so lost & lonely without him here with me! What a gift from God...without a doubt the purest form of unconditional *Love* a person can receive! Rico & I played soccer together in his younger years! He loved diving into the swimming pool & going for long walks. In his latter years we'd go for walks, but Rico was in the stroller. Rico loved to travel, sit in the sun & breeze, lay across my lap & love on everybody he met! I miss Rico desperately & dearly. I am so very grateful for the BEST GIFT of 19+ years with the BEST FRIEND I could ever ask for! Grazie Rico!

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  • Celia JoslynJanuary 27, 2013 - 11:06 am

    I love my daughter's dachshund,Riley, who is a small standard and a beautiful red color. He is seven and i worry about how long he will live. He is very lazy and loves to sleep in bed with me all the time,except when he gets hungry or needs to relieve himself. He loves to ride in the car and play with his toys. My daughter recently adopted a very active and playful young dachshund miniature who loves to play with him and really keeps him on his toes. Even tho Riley is naturally sedentary he is not really allowed to be anymore, thanks to his little brother. I am wondering if he has a chance to live a long life. We love him so much and he loves us. He gets the best of care.

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  • Sue JosephJanuary 27, 2013 - 2:16 pm

    I have two Dachsies, brother and sister, only 7 yr. old. I also have a cat that will be 21 on March 18, 2013. I love stories of pets living LOOOng healthy lives!

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  • Tammy WinglerApril 13, 2013 - 7:29 pm

    I have a 9yr old Dachshund his name is oscar hes the love of my life. I hope and pray Hes with me for many more years, he sleeps with us and go every where my husband and I go except to work. I cant imagine my life without him, I got him a 6weeks. Thanks for sharing your rocky with us. Hes a tough lil Doxie I hope the both of you stay happy and healthy!!!

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  • dawnApril 13, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    this is great i have 3 doxies and one jumps like a bunny its cool i wish you all the luck. i know love can conqure all.

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  • James E.April 13, 2013 - 8:05 pm

    Could the Mt.Democrat please do an update on the Rocky story.

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  • ToniApril 14, 2013 - 3:17 am

    I think this is a wonderful story! I have three daschunds. My oldest is a rescue. The person I got her from said she was 9-12 years old. I have had her for 8 years now. The vet can't tell her age because of how bad her teeth were. This gives me hope that I can have my lovely Daisy for many more years to come! I hope I can get an update on this story. I found this on the page 'I love daschunds' on Facebook.

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  • Linda lawrenceApril 14, 2013 - 5:48 am

    I love this story, I have a mini Doxie and she is almost 9 years, I love her so much, I know exactly how Rowland feels about his baby. I sure hope he makes the 30 year mark. Keep up the good work!

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  • Millie NibeApril 14, 2013 - 7:33 am

    Amazing, just amazing, we are all rooting for Rocky and for Robert too. I have a weiner dog, Heidi, she's only 11 years old, a total joy in my life. God Bless you both and good luck in the years ahead!!!

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  • JanetApril 20, 2013 - 11:24 am

    Tell Robert he inspired me. I have 2 doxies I adore! I hope + pray they can make it that lobg. I had just lost my other doxie at 18 yrs old. So how is his dog doing now? Is he still alive?

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  • Just meApril 22, 2013 - 2:48 am

    It's a beautiful story, but there is a proper way to hold a dachshund because of their backs and this Dachshund is not being properly supported...

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  • On #Doxieposse today…. | Barkshire timesApril 25, 2013 - 12:49 pm

    [...] http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/24-year-old-dachshund-shuffling-toward-the-record-book/ [...]

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  • DoxiladyApril 25, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    Rocky and Mr.Rowland are truly a blessed pair! May they both continue to enjoy fishing, good company, a good meal then an early night. AND anyone else who wants to criticize the correct way to care for an old dog show me your 24 yr old child and I'll listen to you.

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  • Cindy ShirleyApril 25, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    I have seen this picture several times before on face book and ever time I do I just want to shake this man and get him to stop holding that poor dachshund that way. You do NOT hold a dachshund that way. Anyone that knows anything about dachshunds, knows it very important to support their backs. You do this for ALL dachshunds but especially for one this old !!!

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  • vicki HolmesApril 25, 2013 - 5:40 pm

    Wow my white faced doxi "Keesha" is 19 years and 2months. Hope she make it to 25!

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  • Da Dogfather Barks ************The Barkshire Times | Barkshire timesMay 02, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    [...] Don’t know if anyone saw this, I did post it earlier, think it deserves another mention, it seems that Fritzie is not the oldest dachshund around, Rocky is a super doxie he is 25 years old WOWSER! way to go Rocky   http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/24-year-old-dachshund-shuffling-toward-the-record-book/ [...]

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • A Daschound turning 25 years old! WoW | Doxie PlanetMay 24, 2013 - 9:12 am

    [...] http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/24-year-old-dachshund-shuffling-toward-the-record-book/ [...]

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • georgeAugust 05, 2013 - 11:12 am

    These are the types of stories www.petmywiener.com loves to share with their 20,000 Dachshund fans on facebook. 5% of sales support Doxie Rescues helping Dachshunds in need.

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  • James E.August 05, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Mt. Democrat, how about an update story on Rocky? Is he still with us?

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  • A record to beat… | Kalyn & MaggieAugust 29, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    [...] http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/24-year-old-dachshund-shuffling-toward-the-record-book/ [...]

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Sharon in FloridaSeptember 06, 2013 - 2:59 pm

    I had a dachsie that lived to 18 and one that lived to 14. Miss them so! Love dachshunds!

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  • KathySeptember 06, 2013 - 7:42 pm

    Just this past year we lost our little girl "Jessica Rose" she was a long haired red daschund who was 18 yrs. old.

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  • Mark PetersonDecember 04, 2013 - 5:12 pm

    My mini doxie Daisy is a mere 16.5 years old, perfectly healthy except for being a bit deaf. We're in a race to see who croaks first.

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  • Vickie MilesJanuary 29, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    Would like to know what kind of food rocky eats!! Would love for my doxies to live that long and be that healthy!!

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  • KrisMarch 09, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Vicki ours is going to be 15 - he's been on the same diet since we've owned him and that's his whole life Lamb and rice dry dog food and he's only ever had carrots for his treats No table food How old are your babies

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  • vickieMarch 10, 2014 - 9:36 am

    Our dachshunds range from 1 to 11!

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  • James E.January 29, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Ms. Miles, this story is over two years old. We have no idea if Rocky is still alive (hope so), but MtDemocrat doesn't seem to want to update the story?

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  • KrisMarch 09, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Omg what a wonderful story - our baby is going to be 15 and we can only pray that he is with us at 25. I also would love an update

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