Remembering Marnie: An 18-Year-Old Dog With A Beautiful Legacy

by Amber

Internet superstar, best friend, and all-around good girl–Marnie the Dog has passed away. The famous Shih Tzu’s mom, Shirley Braha, announced the devastating loss to Marnie’s Instagram followers on Saturday. The message says that after 18 years of life, Marnie died “painlessly and peacefully” at home. The dog world has lost a beautiful soul, but Marnie’s legacy involving senior dog adoption will live on.

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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).

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A Senior Dog Finds Her Home

If you’re not familiar with Marnie, Braha adopted her in 2012. She was an 11-year-old rescue dog found wandering the streets all alone. Even after a bath, she didn’t have a high chance of  being adopted.

Despite her matted fur and 14 rotten teeth, Braha fell in love. She saw a picture of the senior pup with her trademark tongue lolling out of her mouth, and she knew she found her new best friend.

Since that first day together, Marnie and Braha have been inseparable. Braha used to take the personable senior dog to work and noticed she lit up around people. Marnie wanted to love and be loved, and those goals ended up inspiring nearly two million people.


When The World Fell In Love

When the division of MTV that Braha worked for in New York closed their doors, the dog mom started spending more time photographing her endearing senior pup. She wasn’t planning on turning Marnie into one of the most famous dogs in the world, but that’s exactly what happened.

Maybe it was Marnie’s joyful personality or her abnormally long tongue, but something about her caught the world’s attention. Soon enough, complete strangers started following Marnie on social media. Her popularity skyrocketed, and Braha took that opportunity to advocate for senior dog adoption.


An Advocate For Senior Dog Adoption

Since Marnie first made it big, she has been the poster pup for senior dog adoption. She was proof that it doesn’t matter how old a rescue dog is when they find themselves alone in a shelter. Every dog deserves a good home, and every dog brings something beautiful to the world.

Braha has frequently said on her social media accounts that people have come up to her saying that Marnie’s story inspired them to adopt their own senior dogs. With 1.8 million fans, Marnie’s message spread near and far. Her influence has saved countless lives and helped make the world a little better for senior rescue dogs.

An Inspiring Legacy

In recent weeks, Braha did not hide the fact that her beloved dog’s health was going downhill. She posted updates on Marnie’s social media accounts and encouraged fans to prepare for inevitable heartbreak.

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punkin spice blanky

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She posted on February 29 saying,

“I’ve been preparing myself emotionally and logistically, and I know some of you love Marnie like she is your own, so let’s prepare for that collectively. “

According to her social posts, Marnie remained in good spirits during her final days.  She passed away knowing she was deeply loved, and her memory will continue to inspire, advocate, and support senior dog adoption.

All images via Instagram/Marnie the Dog

Do you love senior dogs? Read this senior dog’s adoption story next.

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