Marnie the dog who inspired others to adopt senior pets has died at 18

Marnie the dog, an 18-year-old shih tzu known for her dangling tongue and lopsided head, died Thursday, according to a heartfelt post written by her owner, Shirley Braha.

Her story and lovable personality inspired others and helped propel Marnie into becoming an influencer.

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It is with much grief I share the news that Marnie passed away painlessly & peacefully in my home on Thursday afternoon at the age of 18. Her comfort had been notably declining over the past few days with little hope for improvement and she let me know she had had enough. She enjoyed her chicken until the very end. Thank you for joining me on an unexpected journey with the ultimate love of my life. All I can feel right now is loss but beneath that I have so much gratitude. I’m grateful to the universe for entrusting me with her beautiful soul and providing me with the perfect best friend and companion. Im grateful I was able to give this magical creature the fun and deeply loving life she wanted and deserved. I’m thankful I was chosen to be the conduit for Marnie to bring joy into the world. And I’m thankful for all the human and dog friends Marnie and I made along the way, and the strangers on the streets and on the internet, who have shown us so much love. Most of all, I’m amazed that the sweet little hot mess of a pup that I picked up from a shelter at age 11, who at first didn’t seem like she would be around very long at all, has managed to inspire others to adopt senior dogs. When I hear from people that Marnie has made them adopt their senior dogs it’s truly the most beautiful legacy she and I could hope to leave in this world. The night of her passing I had a dream where I watched her awake from her death like it hadn’t happened at all, and she was running around at a party completely happy and invincible. She approached a descending staircase and I wanted to interject to protect her from falling, but she sailed right down the stairs and landed on her feet and stopped and looked at me and laughed and just kept going. Maybe this was a message from her from heaven, but at minimum I can take solace knowing that for a long stretch of time, prior to her aging body taking its toll, heaven for her was right here on earth. Marnie will be buried in a pet cemetery in LA and hopefully there will be a public memorial gathering whenever safe (due to Coronavirus).

A post shared by Marnie The Dog (@marniethedog) on

With nearly two million followers on Instagram and over 400,000 on Facebook, Marnie the dog was the definition of an influencer. Now, you may ask, how exactly can a senior dog influence me? Well, Marnie just had that kind of effect on people.

But it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows for Marnie. In 2012, Marnie, then called Stinky, was discovered by animal control in Connecticut. The 10-year-old pooch smelled and her fur was matted.

She stayed at the shelter for four months before Shirley adopted her. When Shirley brought Marnie, named after the musician Marnie Stern, home, her left eye was clouded and it was believed she was blind. Plus, she still smelled.

But after having 14 teeth extracted, Marnie’s life started to improve. As for her head tilt, according to her website, several vets informed Shirley Marnie likely dealt with Vestibular Syndrome at one point which resulted in the lopsided head.

“As Marnie became more comfortable and confident in her new home, her personality began to shine through.”

Shirley began taking Marnie out to parties and social events and eventually the dog made a name for herself. Not only was the rescue dog mingling with celebrities like Betty White and other famous pets like Lil Bub, but her story was inspiring others to rescue senior dogs.

Shirley explained in her tribute to Marnie that she didn’t expect her to be around for long, but expressed gratitude to everyone for joining her on an “unexpected journey with the ultimate love of my life.”

Most of all, I’m amazed that the sweet little hot mess of a pup that I picked up from a shelter at age 11, who at first didn’t seem like she would be around very long at all, has managed to inspire others to adopt senior dogs. When I hear from people that Marnie has made them adopt their senior dogs it’s truly the most beautiful legacy she and I could hope to leave in this world.

Rest in peace, Marnie. You brought so much joy to so many people, especially your owner Shirley. May others continue to use your story as inspiration to give other senior dogs a chance.

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