Marnie the Dog – From Life on the Street to Star Therapy Dog!

She was just one more unwanted dog held in a shelter and facing an uncertain future – but now she’s a social-media star who changes lives for the better.

Marnie the Dog was found abandoned and fending for herself in the streets of Connecticut. At 10 years old, the little Shih Tzu had stomach worms, her teeth were decaying, and she was almost blind in one eye. The shelter dubbed her “Stinky” because her coat was filthy and matted.

But “Stinky” beat the odds. After four long months at the shelter, Stinky was adopted and renamed Marnie. After a good bath and tons of patient love, the pup began to perk up and her spectacular personality shone through. Now Marnie has more than two million followers on Instagram and has met tons of celebrity fans.

Watch: The Dog that Helps Little Girl with Her Diabetes

This hard-working pooch is also an author (her book is called “Marnie the Dog: I’m a Book”), an activist, and a volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, lifting the spirits of young patients. “I think we can all learn a little something from Marnie’s philosophy,” says ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork. “When life gets rough, just show it some love and give it some tongue. I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

Marnie and Shirley, her owner, join The Doctors. Shirley explains that she saw Marnie’s picture on Petfinder.com and fell in love. “OK, that’s the dog I need in my life!” she says.

Veterinarian Dr. Arvid Edward explains Marnie’s job as a therapy dog. “They provide therapeutic contact for people in clinical settings like hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation, mental hospitals, etc.” Seeing and petting a dog like Marnie can bring a sense of normalcy to kids in a scary situation.

Watch: Dr. Travis Shares His Love for His Beloved Dog, Nala

“I’m a big believer in rescuing dogs,” adds Dr. Stork. “Do you think a rescue dog like Marnie is more in tune, potentially, when they’re in a hospital setting because of their circumstances?” Dr. Stork’s own dog of 17 years, Nala, was a rescue dog. Dr. Edward agrees that rescued dogs can be more empathetic.

Marnie is proof that you’re never too old or too overlooked to do some good in the world – and to love and be loved.

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