Midge the dog defies odds and lives to 21

Midge, a 21-year-old chihuahua-dachshund cross owned by Jen Roos, walks in a park in Abbotsford, B.C., on Friday September 9, 2011. Midge turned 21 on Sept. 1 and Roos says she's one of the oldest dogs living in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Midge the "chiweenie" — or Chihuahua-dachshund cross — has lived a dogs age and she's not ready to go any time soon.

The petite pooch has just celebrated her twenty-first birthday. That's about 100 in dog years.

Her eyes are a bit milky due to cataracts and she's growing hard of hearing, but her owner Jen Roos, 37, of Abbotsford, B.C., said Midge has no trouble hearing the food drop in her dish at dinner time.

And when the treats come out, Midge is just like any other dog.

"She's quite the spry old gal. She still occasionally jogs and if there's food involved she will jump," she laughed.

Midge loves her walks and going for a car ride, especially when the ride includes a trip to the nearby off-leash park, Roos said.

"She wanders around there and says hello to everybody."

The elderly dog, who weights just over three kilograms, is a new addition to the family.

Roos and her fiance, Derek Morley, adopted the dog in March when her elderly owners moved to a new home that wouldn't allow dogs.

Because she's only owned the dog for six months, Roos couldn't say why the dog is so long-lived.

"I know that her previous owners loved her very much, it was very hard for them to let her go," she said. "She's just a sweet little dog."

Midge was also welcomed — with great enthusiasm — by their one-year-old miniature pincher-pug cross named Smeagle.

"He tries to play with her and she tells him to leave her alone," she laughed.

"Smeagle knows that she's become the boss. He's OK with that. I think he's going to really going to miss her when she does pass away," she said. "He's become very protective of her and he always checks on her every morning when she gets up. He sticks his head in her crate to make sure she's still there."

Angela MacMillian on the board of director with Canadian Dachshund Rescue in Ontario, said small dogs do live longer, but 21 is still very old.

"Dachshund's typically live to about 15, 16," she said.

MacMillian couldn't say if Midge's longevity came from the dachshund or the Chihuahua side, or perhaps a mixture of both.

"It could be either, again, it is still old, even though the dog is small, that's old," she said. "Maybe it's a one-off situation, a rare situation."

Roos said her experience with Midge has been rewarding and should be a lesson to others when it comes to adopting older pets.

"There are older dogs out there who need some love and attention, and my heart went out to this couple when I heard of their situation. I met the dog and I thought 'we'll why not, she'll fit in just fine,' and she certainly has."