These Two Desert Best Friends Would Love To Find A Home

OK folks, I know this is a hell of a long shot, but here goes…

I’d like to introduce you to two inseparable pals: this is Rusty and Max…


…and this is their home:


Over the past two months, I’ve been scouting out in the desert about an hour and change from Los Angeles, and every time I drive down one particular road, the same thing happens: a little black dot appears in the distance out of nowhere…


…quickly followed by his little brown companion:


The two dogs run alongside my car, tails wagging, clearly hoping for treats or pats, then watch mournfully as I drive off.


A few weeks ago, our production finally arrived for the big shoot, and every day, the dogs came to hang out with the crew. They were the sweetest animals you could imagine – social, playful, clearly over the moon at having so much activity going on (and always eager for some handouts from catering).

And they always stayed together, practically joined at the hip.


As we were leaving on the last day of the shoot, I asked a local where they lived to make sure they got home OK. That’s when I learned the truth: they don’t have a home.


No one knows where they came from, but people abandon pets in the desert all the time, and it’s a good chance this is what happened. The handful of locals in the area try to take care of them when they can, but it’s not exactly an affluent community, and no one can afford to take them in. They said if I knew of anyone who would be interested in adopting them, everyone would love to see them find a loving home.

The brown and white one is Rusty. He’s friendly but shy, keeps his distance til he knows he can trust you, always watching with those forlorn, sad sack eyes.


Max is the outgoing one, always looking to play, big silly smile on his face – except when I try to take a picture, of course :).


Whether they arrived together or found each other independently is also not known, but whatever their past, it’s pretty clear they’re a family now, and no one is going to break them up – including me.


So I’m throwing it out there today to see if there’s anyone interested in adopting Rusty and Max as a pair.

I don’t know anything more about their temperament than what I’ve observed. They were extremely friendly all week with our 100+ crew, and the locals certainly enjoy having them around. They’re both very cautious with new people as all strays typically are, but you also get the sense that these guys are going to love the hell out of whoever gives them a full bowl of food and a warm place to sleep at night. Obviously, nothing is known about their current health or vaccination status, nor their breed or past history with humans.

If you’re at all interested, please shoot me an email at telling me a little bit about yourself and your home, and why you’d like to adopt these dogs. Please be sure you’re up for the challenge of taking in two dogs – the last thing I want is for them to end up being abandoned a second time over. If you sound like the right fit, I’ll pass along the address where they hang out (about an hour and change from LA) and let you take it from there. There’s quite a bit of chance to this going right – as I said, it’s a long shot.

If we don’t end up finding anyone, I think they’ll get along as they have. As I said, the locals try to take care of them, and they seem healthy enough at first glance.

But they also have that sadness in their eyes that you often see with strays, where they look at you like they desperately want to trust you, but have learned from experience that you’ll most likely let them down. I’d like to prove them wrong.

The desert is a cold place at night. Let’s find them a warm home.


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  1. I’m going to share your post on Facebook to see if a qualified rescue in the area can help find them a home. Thanks for your posts… I really enjoy them, and this one is especially cool!

    • I left a request with Scott concerning these dogs, but got no response. Did you get anything from your FB post in November?

  2. I love this post, just because I want to see those sweeties find a forever home and I love that you took the time to help them. I hope it works out!

  3. Thanks for caring enough to post this. They look like sweeties.

  4. San Francisco Prof

    All you folks have such good hearts, but these are not Maltese like my wife’s baby. These two muscular cowpokes are living their doggie dream, roaming the range together. What breaks my heart is a recent story about a powerful breed like this chained in a yard for years. Alternate suggestion: a big-hearted support group like those we give certain wild animals, a team of local folks who will make sure they get heart worm medication once a month, a yearly checkup, with dental work, and an outdoor refuge where they can snuggle in on the coldest days and warm each other. And this team would accept donations from us, of course.

    • Nonsense. These dogs ARE NOT living their “doggy dream”. Domesticated dogs are social animals that require interation with humans. These dogs were abandon and want a home

      • San Francisco Prof

        Dear Jack and Carolyn, did I suggest “abandoning” them? :> They need a vet most of all, by now, some dental work, and then the monthly pills for heart, worms and fleas that we give our pets, and an outdoor shelter for winter nights and sandstorms. Perhaps a local vet would be willing to do it, if people subscribed to the cost. When I lived out in this same desert, years ago, there were excellent vets, who kept a collection of snakebite antidotes, and did desert medicine, like cholla spine removal. Aren’t you folks subconsciously picturing the desert as a kind of waste land nobody would choose to live in, instead of a beautiful and exciting ecology? (Cue Born Free.”) You should try Edward Abbey’s classic Desert Solitaire. He is the Thoreau of the American desert. When you drive down from the silence and space of the High Desert and encounter traffic, smog and pressure, you miss your freedom, and I suspect these mature doggies would. My wife’s Maltese starts to whimper if my wife’s not ready for bed with her by midnight, but by now these big guys need medicine and a base, not our Sunny’s safe little life. IMHO. That’s not “abandoning” them. (Isn’t it plain how I love dogs?)

  5. Thank you for caring about them. I’m hoping you will succeed finding them a home! (I’m on the other side of the world with three cats, but I wish I could help!) Good luck!!

  6. Human Society of the Dessert, – They could be someone’s everything, they deserve a home. Thank you for posting.

  7. Any news on these two?

  8. Scott,

    I am interested in the dogs. How do I find them?