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Old toy poodle Chichi dies at 24 — or maybe 26

/ Source: The Associated Press

A toy poodle whose New York City owners had sought to put him in the Guinness World Records book as the world's oldest dog has died.

Uncle Chichi was 24, 25 or 26.

Owners Frank Pavich and Janet Puhalovic adopted Chichi from an animal shelter in Charleston, S.C., when he was 1 to 2 years old. Records proving his age were lost.

Pavich tells The New York Times that Chichi was put down last week after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Chichi's longevity led to an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America." When Pavich revealed Spot's Stew was Chichi's favorite food, the manufacturer donated 10,000 meals to the Charleston animal shelter.

Guinness' official oldest living dog was a 26-year-old Japanese mutt. It died in December.

Chichi's owners have been deeply affected by the loss of their dog.

"We just feel completely empty; the whole apartment's empty," Pavich, 38, told the Times. "That little 10-pound guy fills up not just your apartment, but your life. ...

"It's weird because the more time we spent with him, the more and more we loved him. We didn't know that was possible." contributed to this report.