A dog born with a jaw deformity and named Picasso for his unique looks is thriving in his fur-ever home, his owner says.
The 3-year-old pup is happily enjoying a fairy-tail ending with owner Liesl Wilhardt, who runs Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene, Ore. The pit bull-chihuahua-pomeranian mix was born with “wry mouth,” a deformity of the upper jaw, and was named Picasso for his resemblance to the artist’s famous style of work.
"People feel sorry for him at first because they think he was hurt. But he was born that way,” Wilhardt revealed in a new interview, per news agency South West News Service (SWNS.) “He is perfectly imperfect.”
Though Picasso’s nose is slanted to the right and his mouth is pushed to the left, he can still eat, bark and play like any other dog. Wilhardt divulged that her one-of-a-kind pup can be a bit of a “messy eater,” as he can only lick toward the left, but has the most “amazing yawns” because of his unusual bone structure.
According to SWNS, Picasso and his brother Pablo, who did not suffer from wry mouth, were abandoned soon before Christmas in 2016. A few months later, Wilhardt, 51, adopted the pups, but tragedy would soon strike.
In October 2017, Pablo died of a brain aneurysm and his brother was forced to go on without him.
Fortunately, Picasso has welcomed Wilhardt’s eight other rescue dogs, two cats and a rescue pig called Pax into his life and adventures.
Now, the shelter owner admits she can’t imagine life without her “best friend” Picasso.
"He is not in any pain and does not need corrective surgery. He can still do all the things other dogs can do,” Wilhardt explained. "He knows tricks and commands. He can play dead, wave, walk backward in circles, jump through hoops. You know it, he can do it.”
“I fell in love with his face right away. We are the best of friends,” she mused.
When strangers first meet Picasso, they often assume that something “horrible” happened to explain his unusual looks, she continued, but they’re always quick to warm to his joyful personality.
"Once they know he isn't in any pain and nothing horrible happened to him, they relax and his appearance makes them laugh,” Wilhardt said. "Nobody knows why some animals are born with this condition. Something just happens when they are developing in the womb.
Fans of Picasso can keep up with the pup on Instagram, where he boasts a following of 214,000.
As for puppy playmates, Picasso would likely become fast friends with Brodie, the German shepherd-border collie. Brodie has grown up with severe cranial and facial injuries after being attacked by his mother at just 13 days old. He and was recently adopted into a loving fur-ever home as well.