Our unique characteristics and so-called “imperfections” can sometimes enhance our beauty, and the same is true for our beloved pets. Meet Enzo Viola, a 3-year-old golden retriever from Texas with a distinctive black patch of fur on his face as a result of a rare genetic mutation. Enzo’s distinctive feature has earned him a passionate social media following.
Enzo, like any other golden retriever, is full of joy and playfulness. He continues to enjoy life to the fullest while blissfully unaware of his unique appearance. Enzo’s internet presence is packed with beautiful photographs of him cuddling with his best friend, enjoying in his cherished naps, and spreading happiness wherever he goes. He is described as a “pro napper, sock thief, long-walk enthusiast, kiss giver, and fuzzy snuggler” in his bio.
Although most golden retrievers have consistent coat colours, Enzo breaks tradition by having a huge black blotch around one of his eyes and down the side of his face. This eye-catching characteristic is the outcome of a rare condition known as 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 owner, noted. This modifier is present in almost every dog. Enzo has a minor stutter in his D.N.A that has wiped it from that one area of his face.”
Enzo’s condition is extremely rare, making him a really unique and extraordinary member of his breed. “This is a rare coat colour mutation, typically resulting in patches of very darkly-colored hair,” says Dr. Christopher Reeder of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. This mutation appears to have no negative effects other than changing the colour of the coat and creating an interesting pattern. “Almost any breed of dog can be affected.”
Despite his rarity, Enzo is blissfully unaware of his peculiarity. People are generally intrigued by Enzo’s distinctive appearance, but his only desire is to make friends with everyone he encounters, regardless of their appearance or background. “Most people don’t know he’s a golden,” Castro said. They frequently inquire about his breed and presume he is a mutt because goldens are usually solid-colored. He’s a very social dog that enjoys greeting joggers, bikers, other dogs, and anybody who comes across his path. If someone is too busy to say hello, he appears to be insulted.”
Enzo’s size is also exceptional; he is substantially larger than other dogs his age. “People are also amazed by his size,” Castro said. He’s on the larger side of his size range. Even though he’s only 13 weeks old, I’ve had people ask if he’s 5 or 6 months old.” Enzo is exactly like any other puppy, despite his distinctive appearance and size, and his family adores him for being the unique and lovely dog that he is.