World's oldest dog dies in Port Jefferson Station

Chanel, a dachshund, holds the Guinness Book of Chanel, a dachshund, holds the Guinness Book of World Records' certificate as the World's Oldest Living Dog. Photo Credit: Meredith Daniels

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Chanel, a 21-year-old dachshund owned by a Port Jefferson Station family who is believed to be the world's oldest dog, has died.

The small pooch, who wore sunglasses for her cataracts and rode in a stroller when she could no longer walk, died Friday at home, said her owner, Denice Shaughnessy.

"She just inhaled and took her last breath," Shaughnessy said. "Chanel had been telling me it's time."

The Guinness Book of World Records said earlier this year that Chanel was the oldest dog in the world.

In 1988 Shaughnessy, then a single mother in the Army, adopted the 6-week-old puppy in Newport News, Va. She showed Guinness officials records proving the dog's age.

"We're military. You keep records," said Shaughnessy, adding that families living on Army bases must have documentation for their pets.

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Chanel ate three meals a day - chicken legs were her favorite - and took daily jogs with Shaughnessy until several years ago, when she developed a tumor on her hind leg.

She became a celebrity in her final months, appearing on the "Today" show and "Live! With Regis and Kelly." She seemed to enjoy the attention: At a fundraiser at Tavern on the Green, Shaughnessy said, "she looked up from her stroller and seemed to say, 'Is all this for me?' "

Chanel's remains were cremated. In addition to Shaughnessy and her husband, Karl, Chanel is survived by Denice Shaughnessy's daughter, LaToya, 33, and Sasha, 3, the family's other dachshund.

Chanel's successor as oldest dog may be a former Long Islander.

Joan Katulak, who recently moved to Gloucester, Mass., from Valley Stream, has a silky terrier named Bear who she says is just a few weeks younger than Chanel. Katulak says she has breeder's papers showing that the show dog was born on July 12, 1988.

"He's been having some problems with his teeth," Katulak, 70, said Monday night.

With Dave Marcus

Photos: World's oldest dog, Chanel

-Photos: Dogs at play on LI

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