Sometimes it’s our sᴄᴀʀs or other “imperfections” that make us the beautiful people that we are. And the same is true for our pets as well. A golden retriever named Enzo Viola was born with a ʀᴀʀᴇ ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ that resulted in him have a random black patch of fur on his face. And it’s this distinct trait that has won the dog many adoring fans across social media.
Enzo, who is a 3-year-old pup from Texas, feels absolutely no different from any other golden retriever around. He’s even blissfully unaware that he has a slightly different look. He’s just a happy boy who loves to play and has plenty of energy and love to give. Under the dog’s bio, it’s described as him being a “pro napper, sock thiever, long-walk taker, kiss giver, fuzzy snugger.” There are also plenty of pictures showing Enzo living his best life by cuddling with his best friend, enjoying those naps he loves so much, and just being an all around joy.
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 ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴅɪsᴏʀᴅᴇʀ called a ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛᴇᴅ sᴏᴍᴀᴛɪᴄ ᴄᴇʟʟ ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.
Ella Castro, Enzo’s mom, said: “Golden retrievers are born with a base black coat, with a ‘ᴍᴏᴅɪꜰɪᴇʀ ɢᴇɴᴇ’ that turns them golden. Almost every dog has this modifier. Enzo has a little stumble in his D.N.A 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. Dr. Christopher Reeder of BluePearl Veterinary Partners said: “This is a ʀᴀʀᴇ coat color ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, typically resulting in patches of very darkly-colored hair. 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 ʀᴀʀɪᴛʏ, 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. Castro said: “Most people don’t know he’s a golden. 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. Castro said: “People are also blown away by his size. 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.