According to the New York Times, there is a sad bit of information to impart today. Uncle Chichi, a West Village toy poodle who may have been 24, 25, or 26 years old, who had been battling cancer (sadface), and who was unquestionably adored and adorable, has passed over to the Rainbow Bridge. Inspiring public figures often generate controversy, and as such, there is some debate over Chichi’s age, and whether he was actually the world’s oldest living dog.
Here’s what we do know about Uncle Chichi:
• He was adopted 24 years ago from an animal shelter in Charleston at the age of “1 or 2.”
• He lived in the West Village, on Morton Street.
• “He continued to fetch — even though he could not see or hear — and even attended his owners’ wedding in Croatia in October 2010.”
• From his Facebook page: “As he got older, Chichi loved to cuddle and snuggle. He particularly loved to be hugged. He would nuzzle into Frank’s chest and could sleep there for hours. He also loved the ladies. Every time Janet would kiss him, Chichi would immediately smack and lick his lips. He also loved a good scratch or massage, and had an extreme fondness for smelly cheese — Gruyere being his favorite.”
• He traveled to Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, and France.
• He appeared on Good Morning America.
• He was not able to get into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 as the oldest living dog because the proof “turned out to have been lost to the ages.”
Sadly, Chichi’s cancer had become advanced, and he was recently put down by his owners, Frank Pavich and Janet Puhalovic. But, whether or not Chichi supplants Pusuke, a Japanese dog who lived to the age of 26, as the world’s oldest dog, the world of adorable animal lovers certainly mourns this loss.
R.I.P., Uncle Chichi.