The 19-year-old dog, Annie, is cheerful as ever!
But alas, it wasn't always that that. The Labrador retriever mix's previous owner gave the old dog up to a Dallas Animal Services facility in the summer. Veterinarians estimated Annie's life expectancy when she arrived at the shelter to be just one month.
To ensure Annie's last month was spent in the company of people who loved her, Dallas Animal Services shared Annie's story on social media and urged animal lovers to think about fostering the dog.
The business analyst, Lauren Siler, tells PEOPLE that after seeing Annie's advertisement on Dallas Animal Services, she "knew I had to figure out how to get her."
We have to get her, my roommate and best friend Lisa exclaimed when she saw her photo, which is when I shared it with her, says Siler.
Dallas Animal Services was contacted by Siler and her friend Lisa Flores regarding fostering the elderly dog. The shelter directed the pair to The Pawerful Rescue, which had assumed responsibility for Annie's care while she awaited a foster.
According to Siler, when she applied to foster with Flores, Pawerful Rescue was "very honest about Annie's sickness and that the veterinarians anticipated we would have a month with her."
The shorter timeframe Annie had set did not scare Siler or Flores. They agreed to foster the Lab mix and give her "the finest blasted month of her life" after meeting five years ago while teaching at the same elementary school. To ensure that Annie's days were spent in enjoyment, affection, and comfort, Siler and Flores created a bucket list for her.
We had only planned for her to be with us for a month when Lisa and I adopted her at the end of June. At that point, Siler says, "I had the idea to create a bucket list.
We started with a few things, like a car journey, swimming, a birthday party, and Christmas in July, and it just snowballed from there, according to the woman.
As the month of July came to a conclusion, Flores and Siler realized Annie "wasn't ready to go," so they added to the list of adventures they had been documenting for Annie on Instagram (@dallasanimalfoster).
"She has produced paintings, been a chef and made homemade dog treats, held baby showers, gone on a hamburger tour, and so much more," Siler said of Annie, who has more than 19,000 fans. "She has also had over 500 Valentines given to her for Valentine's Day in August, produced paintings, been a chef and made homemade dog treats, held baby showers, gone on a hamburger tour, and so much more."
By a wide margin, Annie has survived longer than her veterinarian expected. The dog is still enjoying fun with her foster family today, despite the fact that in June it was only expected that she would live for another month.
She must have realized rather quickly that this was "the good life" when she came here. For as long as she lived with us, we were going to spoil her rotten, grant her every want, take her on adventures, and provide her with a luxurious lifestyle. Siler adds.
While Annie isn't crossing something else off her bucket list, she enjoys sleeping, snoozing, taking bathroom breaks, and getting mail.
She smiles when packages containing fan letters come. Just hilarious, She smiles broadly and takes pleasure in getting mail. "We started recording her "smile" whenever someone wrote her a message on Instagram, and plenty of people have noticed," Siler claims.
When Annie is hungry, she will "happy dance." Following their observation of the senior dog's adorable puppy-like qualities, Siler and Flores hope Annie's fans will be inspired to give older rescue animals a chance.
"We strongly advocate for nurturing. Sad to say, these animals are routinely put down since shelters are simply too full if no one steps up to foster. We all know Annie is special, but she is not a unicorn. In a shelter right now, hundreds of Annies are staying. They are awaiting someone to step forward and take care of them, "Siler says.
"These elderly dogs have sacrificed so much of themselves for someone, just to be left at the shelter. I think we owe it to these seniors to help them live strong lives to the end.
As long as Annie is enthusiastic and energetic enough to partake in the activities, Annie's bucket list will remain alive. Visit Instagram @dallasanimalfoster to witness Annie's most recent antics.