DALLAS — Lauren Siler was about to board a plane home to Dallas from Anchorage, Alaska, when she first spotted the frosted face of a senior pup in desperate need.
“I saw her sweet little face sitting in her poor little kennel,” Lauren said.
The dog was featured by an Instagram account that shares information about dogs at Dallas Animal Services that need adopting or rescuing.
Anyone who surrenders a dog to the shelter can leave as much or as little information as they choose.
According to Lauren, the people who dropped off Annie said she had stopped walking and eating. They also disclosed that she was 19 years old.
By the time Lauren arrived in Dallas and checked to make sure her best friend and roommate, Lisa Flores, was OK with bringing home a dog in need, a rescue group had already taken Annie in.
The Pawerful Rescue was still looking for a foster home, so Lauren and Lisa immediately offered theirs.
Fosters are normally temporary, but with so little life ahead, Annie is permanent.
“The vet had said she’ll be lucky if it’s a month,” Lauren said.
When Lauren and Lisa began posting pictures of Annie, friends began suggesting items to cross of a bucket list.
Annie has gone on a hamburger tour at the drive-thrus at In-N-Out and Whataburger.
She enjoyed a meat patty at both.
She celebrated at a birthday party.
She had a professional photo shoot and got her DNA tested – she’s mostly lab but part-pit bull, too.
The more pictures they shared, the more “pupular” Annie became.
“Some of her Instagram reels have had like 4.2 million views,” Lauren said. “We had to get a P.O. box for her fan mail.”
Annie celebrated Christmas in July and Valentine’s Day in August, with cards coming from as far away as the Netherlands, Australia and Hungary.
“We got so many donations from her fans that we went to the shelter and took a trunk full of treats,” Lisa said.
They hope Annie’s story inspires others to consider rescuing or adopting senior dogs.
“If you can’t adopt, then foster. If you can’t foster, then donate. And if you can’t donate, volunteer,” Lauren said.
They were told Annie had about a month to live. Four months later, they’re still showering her with love.
The only problem with loving a 19-year-old-dog is losing a 19-year-old dog soon.
But the grief will be worth it.
“Until she’s ready to go, we’re going to let her keep living life,” Lauren said.
“It would have broken my heart more for her to have her last day in the shelter.”