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Kevin, world’s tallest male dog, dies shortly after securing record

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — The world’s tallest male dog, a Great Dane named Kevin, has died just days after his title was announced, Guinness World Records (GWR) said on Monday.

The 3-year-old record holder died after becoming ill and undergoing an unplanned surgery.

His family, who live in West Des Moines, Iowa, have been left “devastated,” his owner Tracy Wolfe said in GWR press release. “He was just the best giant boy,” she added.

Kevin measured 0.97 meters (3 feet 2 inches) tall from his feet to his withers – the area just above his shoulders – and when he stood on his hind paws, he reached an astonishing height of about 2.13 meters (7 feet), towering over his owner Roger Wolfe.

Yet despite his size, Kevin was the “epitome of gentle giant,” his owner Tracy said when the record was announced on June 13, and was actually “scared of most things.”

Even the measuring tape used to verify his record spooked him, while Tracy added that he was “terrified of the vacuum” and would “jump and run to get away from it.”

And when Kevin was taken to his first training class by Tracy and Roger’s 12-year-old son, Alexander, he got so scared that he pooped in the middle of the class.

“I don’t think he’s aware he is as big as he is,” Tracy said earlier this month. “He’s continuously trying to squeeze into small beds and sit on top of us and do everything that the smaller dogs do.”

His favorite activity was to take naps, she added, and he ate six to 10 cups of food every day, as well as occasionally stealing food off the kitchen counters.

“Kevin is funny and he is super duper friendly,” Tracy said. “In fact, overly friendly. You don’t want to keep your mouth open too much when he’s around because of his tongue. But everybody loves seeing him as long as they don’t get whipped by his tail.”

The family brought him home as a puppy, named him after Kevin in the movie “Home Alone” and noticed that he kept growing and growing until he was even bigger than their pony.

Eventually, he was named the world’s tallest male dog, taking over the title from fellow Great Dane Zeus who also died aged three in September, after suffering from bone cancer.

Great Danes have relatively short life expectancies compared to smaller dogs, living for an average of 8-10 years, and males are typically about 2.5 feet (0.76 meters) tall, according to the American Kennel Club.

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