Sussex may be home to the oldest Bichon Frise in the UK.
At over 17 years old, Nellie has surpassed the previous record shown in the UK of a 16-year-old Bichon Frise and according to her owner Sharon Cook, she is still as “bright as a button”.
Nellie, whose favourite tipple is ‘a small amount of Baileys once in a blue moon’, has been a part of the family since she was just seven weeks old and has comfortably lived past the average age of a Bichon Frise, at around 12-13 years of age.
Mrs Cook, from Hastings, said: “She was given to me by my mum, who I lost suddenly two years ago.
“She is such a little dog and has given us scares, but has made a full recovery each time.”
These scares included when Nellie became pregnant, having to have a caesarean while giving birth to five puppies.
Sharon added: “She is registered and I have proof of her age. My friends are always asking after her and I take her to get her hair cut at the Mud Hut regularly. She even has her own paw print signature there.”
At 17 and a half, Nellie – whose pedigree name is Polar Ice Princess - is the equivalent of 105 in human years. Though she still has a long way to go to become the UK’s oldest-ever dog, that record belongs to a Yorkshire Terrier from Hartlepool that died at the age of 25 last year.
Mrs Cook also spoke of the strong bond that has been created with Nellie: “At work I have pictures of her instead of my husband in my office. She is a part of the family.”
The oldest dog in the world was recorded to have reached an age of 30, a Kelpie from Australia.
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