And yes, these are pint-sized pups we’re talking about. The two live an adventurous, love-filled life. But that’s a stark difference to what they experienced in their earlier years.
Yeyush came from an Indiana puppy mill where, for the first three years of his life, he was kept in a cage. He had a tattoo of the number “13” on one of his ears — his number at the mill. When he was taken out of the mill, he could barely walk.
Renzo’s previous owner was physically abusive, at one point cracking his skull. The owner then tied up the young dog in the backyard during a snowstorm, leaving him there to die. Some neighbors found Renzo and took him to the veterinarian where he had to recover from his injuries, including the frostbite that had developed all over his body.
The two dogs were eventually brought to New York’s Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue. It was through this rescue that Sergio Galdamez found them and helped give them the glamorous life they live today. The Wall Street employee adopted Yeyush in 2011 and added Renzo to the family in 2015. The duo has been inseparable ever since.
“From the very first moment Yeyush and Renzo got together, it was like love instantly. And the very first picture of them, they were close together and it was amazing because I thought Yeyush, being the only one at home, was going to be jealous. It seemed like he knew that Renzo was going to be part of the family,” said Galdamez, who lives with the dogs in Queens, NY.
The two best friends’ daily on-goings are now shared on their Instagram, Yeyush & Renzo (@yeyush_the_chihuahua). Galdamez actually started the Instagram when he had just Yeyush, but the account only got more popular once the family was completed by Renzo.
“[They] actually communicate love with just an image,” Galdamez said. “Some dogs are cute, some dogs are big, but they always show love. They were meant to be together.”
While their cuteness doesn’t hurt, it is these photogenic and calming qualities both dogs possess that makes them sought-after models. They both also seem to be naturals at walking the runway. While other dogs might have to be carried by their owner or walked on a leash, Galdamez says he can just let Yeyush and Renzo go — they know what to do.
And make no mistake, they know they’re hot stuff.
“It’s amazing. Sometimes when they’re at events, they know the photographers, and they look at them, ‘OK, take a picture. I am here for you to take a picture.’ They have that attitude,” Galdamez laughed.
The two have walked in major celebrity fashion shows in New York City, including the New York Pet Fashion Show and New York Fashion Week (for designer Anthony Rubio). The pair has even gained the attention of celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres — who’s shared several of their social media photos on her TV show’s Instagram page — and Paris Hilton, who’s liked several of the account’s posts.
While they jet set across the globe — Israel, Honduras and Colombia, just to name a few countries — they love nothing more than cuddling up together on the couch.
Renzo’s pastime is watching TV; his favorite show is “The Walking Dead.” Renzo’s movie of choice? “The Good Dinosaur.” Galdamez says that Renzo has seen the movie 10 times and still gets excited each time it comes on. He’s convinced that Renzo understands what’s going on in the movie.
Renzo watches his TV shows and movies on top of Yeyush, as Yeyush sleeps — his favorite thing to do.
While some of the physical reminders of their past abuse are still there — albeit covered by hair — Yeyush and Renzo’s emotional scars have for the most part gone away. When Galdamez took Yeyush home in 2011, the dog scratched at the oven, trying to get inside because he thought it was a cage, like the one he had been in for so much of his life. One time, back when Yeyush was first adopted, Galdamez was watching an Animal Planet show on puppy mills. Yeyush heard the barking coming from the TV and started to shake from nervousness. To this day, Yeyush cannot be in an area with lots of loud dogs.
While Yeyush and Renzo are now Instagram-famous, it seems as though they have not forgotten their past tribulations and have empathy for dogs that might be going through similar situations.
“They get close to dogs that need,” Galdamez said. “If I take them to an event and they see a dog that’s waiting to be adopted or something, they get close to them, like they know the dog is in need of love.”
It is through the Yeyush & Renzo Instagram that Galdamez not only wants to spread the love that the two dogs exude, but also remind people of the effects of animal cruelty and the importance of pet adoption — to show “what could be done with adopted dogs and how you can turn them into a loving dog.”
“By adopting them, I not only changed their lives, but at the same time, Yeyush and Renzo changed mine. They gave me an opportunity to show them that real love exists,” Galdamez said. “They have brought so much happiness not only to my life, but to everyone that knows them personally or only by photos. It is amazing the love they spread amongst their followers.”
And the two certainly touch the hearts of their more than 54,000 Instagram followers.
“We get daily messages from people who suffer from depression saying the photos of Yeyush and Renzo bring smiles to them,” he explained. “It makes them happy to see their photos, to read the daily messages to lift their spirits.”