Is Nellie the oldest Bichon Frise in Britain?

Hastings may be home to the oldest Bichon Frise in the UK.

At over 17 years old, Nellie has surpassed the previous record shown in the UK of a 16-year-old Bichon Frise and according to her owner Sharon Cook, she is still as “bright as a button”.

Nellie, whose favourite tipple is ‘a small amount of Baileys once in a blue moon’, has been a part of the family since she was just seven weeks old and has comfortably lived past the average age of a Bichon Frise, at around 12-13 years of age.

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Mrs Cook said: “She was given to me by my mum, who I lost suddenly two years ago.

“She is such a little dog and has given us scares, but has made a full recovery each time.”

These scares included when Nellie became pregnant, having to have a caesarean while giving birth to five puppies.

Sharon added: “She is registered and I have proof of her age. My friends are always asking after her and I take her to get her hair cut at the Mutt Hut regularly. She even has her own paw print signature there.”

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At 17 and a half, Nellie – whose pedigree name is Polar Ice Princess - is the equivalent of 105 in human years. Though she still has a long way to go to become the UK’s oldest-ever dog, that record belongs to a Yorkshire Terrier from Hartlepool that died at the age of 25 last year.

Mrs Cook also spoke of the strong bond that has been created with Nellie: “At work I have pictures of her instead of my husband in my office. She is a part of the family.”

The oldest dog in the world was recorded to have reached an age of 30, a Kelpie from Australia.

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