Marnie the dog, a Shih Tzu whose lopsided head and dangling tongue made her an Instagram star, has died at 18, her owner announced in a post Saturday.
“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,” Marnie’s owner, Shirley, wrote. “Thank you for joining me on an unexpected journey with the ultimate love of my life.”
Marnie was adopted from a Connecticut shelter at 11 years old, blind in her left eye and nicknamed “Stinky” due to her smell, Shirley wrote on Marnie’s official Facebook page. As for her signature head tilt, it was likely “the residual effect of a brief illness she experienced called Vestibular Syndrome,” her owner said. And her tongue — well, “the reality is Marnie just has a long tongue.”
With a loyal fanbase across Facebook and Instagram, Marnie inspired others to adopt senior dogs, Shirley wrote.
“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,” her Instagram post continued.
Marnie’s Instagram account, which had more than 1.8 million followers, documented the little dog’s big adventures, from her life in New York City and Los Angeles, to holidays and meeting celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel and Demi Lovato.
Marnie, who died Thursday, will be buried at a pet cemetery in Los Angeles, her owner wrote, adding that she hoped to have a public memorial for the pup in the near future.
“I can take solace knowing that for a long stretch of time,” Shirley wrote, “prior to her aging body taking its toll, heaven for her was right here on earth.”
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Olivia Niland is a news reporter and curation editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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