Britton-Hecla first grader Kendra Kadoun is petting Mochi, and classmate Olivia Borgen is waiting her turn as the dog with the worldrecord tongue toured the Britton-Hecla Elementary on Friday with her owner and children’s author Carla Rickert.
Dog Teaches Life Lessons
Britton-Hecla Elementary students had the chance to get up close and personal with a world record-holder on Friday.
Mochi “Mo” Rickert, a female St. Bernard from Sioux Falls, is listed in the Guinness World
book as the dog with the longest tongue.
That tongue was on display as she toured B-H classrooms Friday
Mochi plays a much larger role than just your ordinary
run-of-the-mill world record holder. She is the hero of a children’s story entitled, The Adventure of Mochi the Dog: Finding a Forever Home,” written by Carla Rickert. She also is a “poster dog” for promoting the adoption of rescue dogs.
Mochi was neglected as a young dog and adopted from a shelter in Colorado by the Rickerts about seven years ago when she was two years old. The family, which also spends time during the summer months at their cabin at Red Iron Lake in Marshall County, provided a forever home for the 144-pound St. Bernard, and the dog inspired Rickert to write her book. Mochi became the focus of Rickert’s new book because of her abnormally large tongue.
“It shows that we can be resilient no matter what we go through,” said Rickert. “It also speaks to diversity and the acceptance of each other just as we are, and about being kind and compassionate to each other. This once abused and neglected pup has taught us that it’s okay to be different. We are proud of her unique feature.”
Rickert read that story to students in each of the Britton-Hecla Elementary classrooms. Mochi was looking for a new home but was not accepted by the forest animals. But after she used her long tongue to rescue a young bunny from a deep hole, the forest animals realized that everybody is different and has unique gifts.
Following the story, Mochi made her guest appearance in all of the rooms. All the students had the opportunity to pet the big dog that loves peanut butter and see the worldrecord tongue that measures 7.31 inches from snout to tip. Rickett said the entire tongue was also measured when Mochi was put under during a medical procedure, and that measurement was a whopping 14 inches.
When the Rickerts adopted Mochi, they thought she was a mixture of a bulldog and St. Bernard. She had the St. Bernard looks but was shorter than average. But a DNA test revealed that she was a fullblooded St. Bernard.
Mochi is also featured on the front cover of a new book called, “Guinness World Records: Amazing Animals.” She was verified as having the longest tongue on a living dog in 2016.
While Mochi has the longest recorded tongue on a living dog, the longest tongue on a dog (ever) belonged to Brandy, a boxer, and measured an incredible 43 cm (1 ft 5 in). She lived with her owner John Scheid in St. Clair Shores, MI, until September 2002.
Mochi’s long tongue does present some problems. Obstacles she faces include breathing challenges; extra slobber when she’s nervous; dirt, dust and leaves sticking to her tongue; and needing help when picking things up off the floor.
Rickert also hopes that the world record will help focus attention on animals that are waiting for adoption.
“With this record, we hope to bring attention to how much joy rescued animals can bring to their new family. And when we open the Guinness World Records book and see Mochi’s picture in there, we feel very proud. It makes all the slobber we’ve cleaned up over the last six-and-a-half years worth it!”