Meet Ruuxa the cheetah and Raina the dog from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. These two furry creatures truly represent an embodiment of the phrase ‘best friends forever,’ and their story is one that will warm your heart.
At a young age, the two were introduced to each other and immediately formed a strong bond. They became inseparable. So much that when it was discovered that Ruuxa’s front limbs were not developing the way they should, Raina never left his side.
It turns out that Ruuxa had been born with a growth abnormality in his legs. Essentially, instead of his front limbs growing straight, like a cheetah’s front limbs should, they grew in a bowing shape instead. The trainers were unsure if Ruuxa would ever be able to run.
It wasn’t until the zoo’s veterinarians got involved that there was any hope for Ruuxa being able to run. They decided that a corrective surgery was the way to go, and who should be there during the operation? None other then Ruuxa’s very loyal puppy pal Raina. Raina stayed by Ruuxa’s side throughout the entire surgery. She wouldn’t leave him. And during Ruuxa’s recovery, Raina refused to be anywhere else, but at Ruuxa’s side. She was gentle with him, cautious of his bandages, and aided in his recovery immensely. If that doesn’t say friendship, I don’t know what does.
Today, Ruuxa participates in the Zoo’s Cheetah run, reaching speeds up to 70-75 mph, which in itself is incredible! And who is there running right along with him? His very own furry friend, Raina, of course!
Watch their story below: