Miniature poodle Hoggy is 21 and still going strong
MINIATURE poodle Hoggy is still going strong at the age of 21 and the secret to his longevity is love, love and more love.
It is hard to believe, but he also has a 15-year-old son Stanley who does everything his dad tells him…and then some.
Hoggy can't see or hear these days but when his Ipswich owner Melissa moved more than a metre away from him at a QT photo shoot yesterday, the veteran pooch walked over to be by her side.
Melissa has no doubt about why Hoggy just keeps on keeping on.
"It is just love," she says.
"Hoggy has never done anything wrong in his whole life.
"He has been through so much with me. He knows my expressions.
"I can't take a bag out of the house without him knowing that something is going on.
"I haven't been to the toilet in 21 years on my own.
"He follows me.
"If I go into the shower…he will get up and look for me."
Hoggy came into Melissa's life in 1995 when she saw him at the Fernvale markets, and knew he was the one.
"He's been with me ever since and he is my best friend," she says.
Ask why he is called Hoggy and Melissa has a big grin and explains why the name is the perfect fit.
"Because he is just a piglet when he eats," she says.
"He eats anything he is not supposed to, and he just rolls in stuff."
Liver treats are Hoggy's favourite.
He also likes steak, and chewing the fat is a favourite delicacy.
"So I cut it all off so he has a nice long piece. He loves his food," Melissa says.
"He is healthy. He has a bit of soreness in his muscles, but we took him for a drive the other day to a big park.
"He loved it but he felt it the next day so (Little Critters vet) Gillian Sylvestre got him on medication.
"I give him golden paste - which is turmeric and coconut oil put into a pan and boiled.
"I have been giving him that for two years, and I massage him every night."
Son Stanley is well behaved, with good reason.
"Stanley has taken a back seat, because Hoggy has disciplined him all his life," Melissa says.
"He is his dad after all.
"They have built a respect with each other, and even to this day there is no fighting."
Hoggy had his 21st birthday on November 21 last year, and it was a party and a half.
"He had some Bonio dog treats and I put carob on them, and I made him spaghetti bolognaise without onion...because that is his favourite," Melissa says.
"Before he turned 21 we'd have cake every Saturday for him, to celebrate his life.
"Then it got to the point it was costing us $11 a week, so we put a stop to that."
There is nothing stopping Hoggy, who is destined to stay forever young.
"Every night I comb him and give his muscles a rub," Melissa says.
"It is love."