Puppy With Rare Condition Has The Cutest Marking On His Face
He doesn't look like any other golden retriever in the world.
Enzo joined his family when he was around 2 months old, and has always been just like any other puppy. He loves to play, meet new people, nap - and he also happens to have a rare genetic mutation.
Despite being a golden retriever, a breed that typically sports coats that are all one color, Enzo was born with a large black splotch around one of his eyes and down the side of his face. The splotch is caused by a rare disorder called a pigmented somatic cell mutation.
"Golden retrievers are born with a base black coat, with a 'modifier gene' that turns them golden," Ella Castro, Enzo's mom, told The Dodo. "Almost every dog has this modifier. Enzo has a little stumble in his DNA that erased it on that one part of his face."
Enzo's condition is not at all common, making him a very special little pup, and incredibly unique-looking for his breed.
"This is a rare coat color mutation, typically resulting in patches of very darkly-colored hair," Dr. Christopher Reeder of BluePearl Veterinary Partners told The Dodo. "Other than coat color change and making a very interesting patterned animal, this appears to have no other ill effects. Just about any breed of dog can be affected."
While he may be a rarity, Enzo has absolutely no idea that he's any different from any other dog. People are always curious about Enzo and his splotchy face, while Enzo just wants to befriend the entire world, no matter who they are or what they look like.
"Most people don't know he's a golden," Castro said. "They often ask his breed and say they assumed he was a mutt, because goldens are solid colored. He's a very friendly dog. He loves to greet joggers and bikers and other dogs, and definitely seems to take personal offense any time anyone is too busy to say hello."
Another quirk about Enzo is that he's actually very, very big for his age.
"People are also blown away by his size," Castro said. "He's at the top end of his size bracket. I've had people ask if he's 5 or 6 months, when he's barely 13 weeks old."
While he may look a little different, Enzo is still just like any other puppy, and his family will always love him for exactly who he is.