Best Friends Blog

The Brothers Magoo

Ray and Shadow are two black dogs from Los Angeles. That’s about all they have in common other than both sharing a home with Gregory and me. Ray (Ray-Ray) is a 12-pound blind Chihuahua and Shadow is a giant, galumphing, German shepherd who likes to put poor Ray-Ray in his mouth. Shadow weighs in at around 90 pounds although his generally affable klutziness leaves the impression of a 150-pounder when he steps on your foot — and I mean impression quite literally.

Ray-Ray, who occasionally gets creamed by Shadow when the big guy crashes around, is pretty self-assured and generally in charge of the relationship. He makes that throaty little squirrel growl that Chihuahuas do so well and Shadow dutifully backs off.

They are an unintentionally and only occasionally irritating (like when I’m on the phone) comedy duo — an unlikely pair of rescues whose life paths happened to cross in our living room. Shadow gallops. Ray-Ray toddles. Shadow’s baritone bark rattles the windows. Ray-Ray’s soprano rattles his own throat and not much more. They are the Magoo brothers. Ray-Ray, like Mr. Magoo, can’t see where he’s going but always comes out fine. Shadow, like Mr. Magoo is oblivious of the chaos he leaves in his wake and always comes out fine.

I love them both and I especially love how they have formed a happy, mutually dependent and supportive relationship. Typical of most rescued pets, they exude gratitude for a second chance at life and more than pay their keep with affection, laughs and the immense satisfaction of knowing that we were able to give these two wonderful guys a home.

The thought that Shadow and Ray might just as easily have ended up being hauled out the back door of some shelter on a trolley of bodies is a disturbing and haunting image. Yet it’s a fate that befalls 9,000 homeless pets every day. The injustice, tragedy and just plain waste of life of that fact are what power our movement. But that thought and those images are crazy making. They lead to stress and burnout, which do no good whatsoever for animals like Ray-Ray and Shadow.

And that’s another great thing about those two. They make me smile and keep me sane.

So that’s Ray and Shadow. They remind me every day of why we work to Save Them All.

How about you? I’d love to hear some quick snippets of your rescued motivators. Please chime in on the comments.

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Julie Castle
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Best Friends Animal Society

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  • Chris Vereide

    We have two retired greyhounds. It’s amazing how they are so in tune to people’s emotions (as they all are). Just this morning, our big, somewhat clutzy younger boy kept going upstairs to where my husband was sleeping. He’s never done that before, especially during their breakfast time. I went upstairs to see what was going on. My husband was having a full blown migraine. I got him some medication and a couple hours later he was feeling much better. Dogs are amazing creatures.

  • dianegiese

    Ray Ray looks like my darling Button who crossed the Rainbow Bridge last month at the age of (we think) 20-22. I adopted him nearly 6 years ago and miss him so. I have never seen another chihuahua with that distinctive coloring. Button had very thick soft fur so he was often charged with being a chinchilla! He also was in charge of my Luca a rather large perhaps mastiff/hound mix from Ohio who was MUCH younger…..klutzy…..and often put in his place when Button would bite him. Not a huge hurt though as Button had no teeth! and you basically just pull Luca’s skin. And his distinctive bark/dinosaur growl! I would love another Button, so if you get tired of RayRay….let me know!


  • junefit

    I loved reading this and it warmed my heart. I recently experienced the boundless rewards of adopting. I adopted Sophie, my little 2 year old 5 pound toy poodle. 15 years ago I bought 2 dogs unaware of pet shops, and puppy mills, but of course now I know.

    While bringing home a puppy, which of course we can from a shelter, is joyus, I experienced the joy of seeing Sophie become a happy playful puppy at the age of 3 little by little over the course of a year. I witnessed her trust, love and playfulfuness grow and her personality bloom.

    With patience, love, positive reinforcement, my Sophie became the puppy she wasn t allowed to be and it fills my heart every day. And I’m acting like a youngster myself!