A terrier-cross in Louisiana celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday, making him a contender for the title of world's oldest dog.
Max, who is a staggering 182 in dog years, has a veterinary birth certificate to prove his impressive age, and is awaiting official confirmation from Guinness World Records.
Owner Janelle Derouen, 49, bought her beloved pet in 1983 from a local sugar cane farmer.
Dog years: Max and his owner Janelle Derouen yesterday as the mixed breed terrier celebrated his 26th birthday
'He was the only one in the litter that was brown and I liked the colour so I took him home,' she said.
Until recently it was believed that a New York-based dog called Chanel was the oldest dog alive after turning 21 in May - but the Dachshund-cross, who is riddled with health problems, is a full five years junior to Max.
Max, in turn, is still in fine health and only suffers from mild arthritis and some cataracts. He has been visiting the same vet since birth at the local Robichaux Veterinary Clinic.
Old dog: 26-year-old Max, who is a contender for the title of world's oldest dog, is awaiting confirmation from Guinness World Records
'I never spoiled Max,' said mother-of-five Mrs Derouen, who lives with her husband Billy, also 49, in New Iberia.
'I've never fed him anything but Kiddles and Bits [dog food] and a few treats like those beefy doggy bones.
'We don't give him any food from our table,' she said.
Puppy love: Mrs Derouen attributes her pet's age to his laid-back attitude: 'He likes to lie down, relax, nap, sleep a lot and keep life simple,' she says
'He's a very, very laid back dog. He likes to lie down, relax, nap, sleep a lot and keep life simple. He'll play with the kids for a bit but if they bother him too long he'll wander off.
'He doesn't have any fancy toys, just a bit of rope and a regular squeaky ball.'
Mrs Derouen, who has eleven grandchildren, held a special birthday party for Max yesterday. 'We spoiled him just a little bit that once,' she said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1205517/Max-terrier-worlds-oldest-dog-celebrates-26th-birthday.html#ixzz0Nw1FnzRh