A 10-month-old dog named Picasso is exiting a very blue period in his life, thanks to an Oregon dog rescue group.
Picasso, a pitbull-terrier mix, was born with a facial deformity that makes it look as if his snout is going right while his jaw goes left.
Except for a misaligned upper canine that digs into the gums of the lower jaw, Picasso is healthy, according to Liesl Wilhardt, executive director of Luvable Dog Rescue, located just outside of Eugene.
“He can eat sideways, but he’s a very messy eater,” she told HuffPost. “Same with water.”
Picasso was a part of a litter of five puppies born last year in Porterville, California, by a backyard breeder.
But the breeder was unable to sell Picasso and Pablo, and they were both taken to the Porterville Animal Shelter.
Both dogs were close to being euthanized before Wilhardt found out about them from Shannon Corbit, a volunteer at the shelter.
“I asked her if she had any dogs with special needs, because I felt we could take some on,” Wilhardt told HuffPost. “She said, ‘Yeah, there’s a dog with a facial deformity,’ and I fell in love with his picture.”
When Wilhardt found out both Picasso and Pablo were on the shelter’s euthanasia list, she immediately adopted them.
That was two weeks ago. Since then, Picasso’s unique features have made him a viral sensation.
Luckily, most of his deformity is cosmetic.
“His jaw is fine, the deformity is in the top part of his nose,” she said. “The jaw hinge is not deformed. He can open it normally.”
Nevertheless, there are plans to have a tooth removed in the near future to remove that upper canine.
Once Picasso’s tooth is fixed, he and Pablo will be put up for adoption as a duo.
“They are very attached,” she said. “The term ‘bonded’ is over-used with dogs, but these two have come to rely on each other for security comfort and support.”
Wilhardt says both dogs are perfect for an active family with older kids.
“Picasso is outgoing, happy, curious and loving,” she said. “He’s so unaware of how different he is.”