Many of us like to follow adorable cats or dogs on social media. Seeing cute pet photos in your feed can brighten your day.
Sadly, one of the internet’s favorite dogs has crossed the rainbow bridge: Manny the Frenchie, a beloved viral dog with millions of followers on social media, has died at the age of 12.
Amber Chavez, Manny’s owner, shared the news on his Instagram page. “I’ve started this post a million times and I still can’t find the right words that do Manny justice, he was just that special,” she wrote.
“My sweet baby boy, my pigs, my everything has crossed the rainbow bridge. We are absolutely heartbroken and to say we miss him so much is an understatement. I personally will never be the same without him.”
With over four million total followers online, Manny was regarded as the most popular online French bulldog and was a beloved online presence for many people. For the past decade, countless adorable photos of Manny have been shared online.
Manny lived in Chicago with his owners Amber Chavez and Jon Huang, who named him after boxer Manny Pacquiao. They adopted him as a pup when no one else wanted him.
“He was actually the unwanted one in his litter,” Huang told HuffPost in 2013, saying they “lucked out.” “The breeder was like, ‘we’ll give you a discount if you take him.’ He’s the bootleg special dog.”
However, they soon knew their dog was a star: “He’s always gotten attention from day one when we got him,” Chavez added. “He’s just a cute little butterball and everyone was attracted to him.”
After photos of Manny curled up in a bathroom sink went viral, the frenchie was on his way to worldwide internet fame.
As his follower count grew, he attracted the attention of many celebrities. He was a model for Martha Stewart’s PetSmart line, made an appearance on Steve Harvey, and Snoop Dogg and boxer Miguel Cotto were spotted wearing Manny merchandise.
Amber left her job to become Manny’s full-time manager, and his empire kept growing. Manny’s doggy siblings also became internet stars with their own pages.
Manny’s merchandise included shirts, calendars, throw pillows and a book titled Manny the Frenchie’s Art of Happiness.
But through it all, Manny and his owners have given back, using his viral fame to raise money for important causes. Proceeds from Manny merchandise and events have gone to French Bulldog Rescue Network, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, the Special Olympics and the National Cancer Society.
“Manny likes to give back to his friends,” Amber said in 2013.
After so many years of bringing joy to people and raising money for people in need, Manny has sadly now crossed over the rainbow bridge. It’s not clear what the cause of death was, though Manny underwent a tracheostomy last year.
“We know how much Manny was loved around the world and find some comfort in knowing so many people are sharing in our grief,” Amber wrote in her statement. “I will miss him and honor him forever and beyond.”
Rest in peace, Manny — thank you for bringing so much joy to so many people over the years. You will be missed 💔🌈