When Taylors, South Carolina, USA residents Bobby and Julie Gregory decided to welcome a puppy into their family, they had no idea that over two decades later, their treasured Pebbles would hold a record title for the oldest dog living.
Born 28 March 2000, the four-pound Toy Fox Terrier is an astonishing 22 years and 59 days old and still showing the world that anything is paw-sible.
After news of the former oldest dog living, TobyKeith, first broke, the Gregorys realized that Pebbles was older.
“Bobby was sitting on the couch and friends and family started texting and calling about a story they saw about a 21-year-old dog getting the record,” said Julie.
“When I saw TobyKeith’s story all over the news, I applied.”
Pebbles’ family originally hoped to adopt a large breed dog when they first set their eyes on the pocket-sized pup.
What Pebbles lacked in stature, she made up for with her larger-than-life personality.
As Bobby looked around, he noticed the puppy following him and running alongside her enclosure every time he would walk by.
“She was jumping and barking so much at Bobby that he had no choice but to pick her up and check her out.” – Julie Gregory
“It was instant love the second the two met,” Julie continued.
Pebbles has been the queen of her home since the day she set her paws in the Gregory household.
Although she can sometimes get a bit cranky when woken up, Pebbles usually has a calm and loving demeanor.
She enjoys scritches and snuggles and delights in the attention her family showers her with.
Her schedule, on the other hand, resembles that of a party animal.
She spends her days listening to country music and sleeping in until 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
“Pebbles is like a wild teen who loves to sleep during the day and is up all night.” – Julie Gregory
“She loves listening to country music while she is sleeping. Her two favorite country singers are Conway Twitty and Dwight Yokum,” Julie continued.
As soon as Pebbles wakes up from her doggy doze, she has something to eat and drink before staying up all night.
Once a partnered pooch, Pebbles unfortunately became a widow in 2017 after her 16-year-old "husband" Rocky, also a Toy Fox Terrier, passed away.
The two had 24 puppies together across three different litters.
"Rocky had gotten fixed because we felt it wasn't healthy for Pebbles to have any more litters," said Julie.
Throughout the years, Pebbles has once again found joy in her life by indulging in some of her most cherished pastimes.
Although Pebbles doesn’t normally play with toys, she fills her day with a few other activities.
"Pebbles doesn’t have a favourite toy, but she loves to snuggle under blankets," said Julie.
Occasionally, Pebbles will venture into the backyard to play under the palm tree and take walks with her beloved owner Bobby.
A fan of warm weather, Pebbles loves summertime, which gives her the opportunity to sit on the steps of her family’s pool and soak up the sun.
Remarkably, Pebbles still has quite an appetite and looks forward to enjoying her meals.
In 2012, her veterinarian placed her on a cat food diet, which is said to be much higher in meat-based protein than dog food.
Although table food is usually too rich and fatty for canines, the Gregory family will sometimes throw their furry friend a bone.
Every once in a while, Pebbles is allowed to indulge in a treat like steak or a chicken burger.
“Occasionally she will sneak in a hamburger or hot dog,” said Julie.
In fact, for her big 22nd, Pebbles celebrated with a stack of ribs and a warm bubble bath.
Aside from the typical symptoms that come with aging, Pebbles is in fantastic health.
“Most of the people that know Pebbles can’t believe how long she has lived.” – Julie Gregory
“They always joke about it and tell us all the time how amazing it is that we still have her as most of them have known us over 20 years and remember when we got her,” Julie continued.
So, what’s the key to helping a dog live a long and healthy life?
Julie recommends showering your pooch with love, attention, and plenty of food.
“Treat them like family because they are. Give them a happy positive environment as much as possible, good clean food and proper healthcare,” said Julie.
Julie remembers reading about the record titles for the tallest and oldest living people, and never imagined her dog would someday be a Guinness World Records title holder.
“We are truly honored. Pebbles has been with us through everything; ups and downs, good times and bad, and she has always been the beacon of our lives,” said Julie.
“We truly love her more than anything so for her to have this time to shine is truly precious to us.”