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11 Fun Facts About Internet Superstar Marnie the Dog

Who has millions of fans, her own app, and just became an author? Marnie the Dog, of course. In what may be our first-ever interview with a dog, the canine celeb and her owner talked about her transition from stray to superstar.* 

1. MARNIE WASN’T ALWAYS MARNIE.

Shirley Braha first found the future dog star in a Connecticut animal shelter. The then-10-year-old shih tzu was in bad shape, with a clouded gray eye, matted fur, and rotting teeth. The adoption paperwork listed the dog’s name as “Stinky,” for the substantial odor emanating from her infected mouth. But Braha saw through Stinky’s stench to the wonderful dog inside. She took Stinky home, got her cleaned up, and brought her to the vet for antibiotics and oral surgery. Stinky’s stink disappeared, as did the cloudiness in her eye, and the elderly little dog developed a spring in her step. As Stinky vanished, Marnie emerged.

2. SHE’S PERFECTLY HEALTHY.

People often worry that Marnie’s trademark head tilt and lolling tongue are symptoms of a stroke, but they’re just part of the awesome Marnie package, says Braha. On top of her other initial issues, Marnie had a condition called vestibular syndrome that left her with a permanently cocked head. And the tongue? It’s just really long, Braha says. For a 13-year-old lady, Marnie’s doing just fine.

3. MARNIE IS A FULL-TIME JOB.

Braha became unemployed not long after she brought Marnie home. That was OK with her, she tells us: more time to spend with Marnie, who hates being left alone. “When bae leaves me alone for 5 minutes it is the worst thing in the history of the world,” Marnie explains. 

Braha brought the charismatic little dog everywhere she went, and soon New York was buzzing about Marnie the Dog. Marnie’s Instagram account started accumulating followers, and Buzzfeed ran a story titled “You Need Marnie the Dog in Your Life Right Now.” Her following grew, and grew, and grew. Before long, Braha was printing Marnie calendars and signing endorsement deals.

4. SHE’S THE MOST FAMOUS RESCUE DOG ON INSTAGRAM.

Her head tilt, floppy tongue, huge eyes, and silly captions have earned her nearly 2 million followers on Instagram. At last count, a six-second video of Marnie waddling through a drugstore has been viewed more than 66 million times. The host of the Reply All podcast compared Marnie to Bill Murray. “There’s a class of celebrity who transcends celebrity and becomes an icon,” he said in an episode about Internet-famous dogs. Marnie says she's come to terms with her new status: “If people want 2 sit around watching videos of me, I’m fine with that.” 

5. EVERYBODY WANTS TO MEET HER.

Marnie’s indescribable magnetism dazzles even the glitterati. A picture with Marnie has become a badge of hipness for celebrities like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Miley Cyrus. Marnie and James Franco had a legendary selfie-off. Jonah Hill is a fan, as are Betty White, Laverne Cox, and even Larry King

6. SHE’S AN AUTHOR.

The hotly anticipated Marnie the Dog: I’m a Book hits shelves today. The book features classic Marnie photos and captions, along with some never-before-seen images. Advance praise for the book is glowing: “Wow I’m a book haha lol,” reads Marnie’s blurb on the back. 

7. SHE LOVES MEETING HER FANS.

Marnie is a social butterfly. She attends hotel openings and private parties for her fans, and, if you move quickly, you can even win a date with her at a charity auction. But she and Braha are also happy to meet people on the street, too. “u gotta go out and socialize,” notes Marnie. 

8. SHE ALSO LOVES THE FEELING OF CARPET UNDER HER PAWS.

When asked about how she spends her precious downtime, Marnie tells us that she loves smelling grass, partying, sleeping, and prancing around on rugs. “Personally my favorite day would involve an extremely long carpeted hallway 4 speed-walking,” she says. 

9. SHE’S AN APP.

Are your pictures suffering for a lack of Marnie? There’s an app for that. For $0.99, the Marnie Pro App will insert Marnie’s magical mug into any digital photo.

10. SHE’S A GOURMET.

Marnie’s got a sophisticated palate, and has been hand-served by renowned chef Jean-Georges. She also likes eating off the floor. Favorite foods include broccoli, watermelon, pizza, and bagels. Candy, however, is beneath her. “I smelled gummy bears once,” she says. “It's not a food.”

11. SHE’S JUST ONE OF MILLIONS OF ADOPTABLE OLDER DOGS.

Puppies get all the love, but older dogs make wonderful pets. They’re calmer and often house-trained, Braha says. “You could save a dog who is lonely and terrified in a shelter, possibly facing death, and give it a wonderful second life,” she says. Over the past three years, Marnie has become the light of Braha’s days, and the feeling is mutual. “Older dogs from shelters are so grateful when they get rescued,” Braha says. “They love you like crazy for it.”

 

 *Yes, we are aware that dogs can’t talk. But this is Marnie. Suspend your disbelief.

All photos are courtesy of @marniethedog.

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Courtesy of The National Aviary
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Animals
Watch This Live Stream to See Two Rare Penguin Chicks Hatch From Their Eggs
Courtesy of The National Aviary
Courtesy of The National Aviary

Bringing an African penguin chick into the world is an involved process, with both penguin parents taking turns incubating the egg. Now, over a month since they were laid, two penguin eggs at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are ready to hatch. As Gizmodo reports, the baby birds will make their grand debut live for the world to see on the zoo's website.

The live stream follows couple Sidney and Bette in their nest, waiting for their young to emerge. The first egg was laid November 7 and is expected to hatch between December 14 and 18. The second, laid November 11, should hatch between December 18 and 22.

"We are thrilled to give the public this inside view of the arrival of these rare chicks," National Aviary executive director Cheryl Tracy said in a statement. "This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of a critically endangered species that is in rapid decline in the wild, and to learn about the work that the National Aviary is doing to care for and propagate African penguins."

African penguins are endangered, with less than 25,000 pairs left in the wild today. The National Aviary, the only independent indoor nonprofit aviary in the U.S., works to conserve threatened populations and raise awareness of them with bird breeding programs and educational campaigns.

After Sidney and Bette's new chicks are born, they will care for them in the nest for their first three weeks of life. The two penguins are parenting pros at this point: The monogamous couple has already hatched and raised three sets of chicks together.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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