Dog With Strange Condition Has Even Stranger Past
No, it's not face paint: Some dogs are just naturally this metal.
He's survived both a poisoning and shooting, but it's a rare skin condition and an unusual set of spots that have recently made Rowdy the dog a local celebrity in Oregon.
According to owners Niki and Tim Umbenhower, the fur around the black Lab's eyes began to turn white about a year ago due to vitiligo, a poorly understood but non-serious disease that causes the loss of skin pigment.
"He's like our own little celebrity around town," Tim told local news station KPTV. "Everybody loves to stop us and wonder what we did to him or if we painted it on there."
Thankfully, vitiligo is not life threatening, but Rowdy's strange new appearance is only the latest odd development in the dog's exceptional life.
The Umbenhowers say Rowdy has escaped death at least twice during his 13 years on Earth. Once, he was poisoned by river water and had to have his stomach pumped. Another time, police shot Rowdy during what they believed to be a burglary.
Both times, however, Rowdy recovered. Now, all he has to worry about is being mistaken for the world's most slobbery killer whale.