Ray Charles, a 6-month-old golden retriever in Boston, is a bit of an Internet celebrity these days, but he comes from humble beginnings.
Born on Dec. 8, he was the only male in his three-puppy litter, but as he grew up, he didn’t run and play with his sisters. Concerned, the breeder took him to the vet and learned that he was blind.
The breeder didn’t expect to find a home for a blind dog and considered putting him down, but when Andrew Fales heard about the pup, he dubbed him Ray Charles and took him home to live with his other three golden retrievers.
Fales was curious about what had caused the dog’s blindness, so he took him to an animal hospital and learned that Ray’s eyes functioned perfectly but there was a disconnect between the dog’s eyes and brain, which prevented him from seeing.
Blindness no longer slows Ray down though. He runs, jumps and plays with his canine siblings and is always there to greet Fales when he comes home.
“He definitely knows my scent,” Fales told Today.com. “When I come home he’ll run to the door and follow me around. He’s very loyal.”
Ray also lets Fales dress him up — in hats, sunglasses and even pajamas — and the pup’s fashionable photos have helped him become an Internet sensation with more than 64,000 Facebook likes.
He may still come up short next to the original Ray Charles’ 1. 7 million likes, but his fans can’t get enough of him and Fales still can’t believe how famous his rescue dog has become since he posted his first photo.
“At the time I didn’t think anything of it. I never in a million years would’ve thought it would take off from there.”
What is it about Ray Charles the dog that people find so inspiring?
According to his Facebook page, “I believe I was born the way I was so that I could help inspire others who are born with physical/mental disabilities to always live their lives to the fullest and do as much as they can with what they are given.”
Check out some more photos of Ray Charles below.
More blind dog stories on MNN:
- Blind dog gets seeing-eye cat
- Baseball team adopts blind dog
- Blind sled dog runs with brother's help