A golden retriever with a unique ‘black splotch’ of fur on his face is helping kids embrace their birthmarks

When something is labeled “different,” most people often see it as a bad thing.

But this dog is here to show you that embracing your quirks is the only way to go. After all, they are what separate you from the crowd!

Enzo Viola, a Golden retriever born on December 12, 2016, is the king of embracing differences. This adorable pup has a feature you will rarely see in other dogs—a splotch of black fur that extends from under his left eye to his mouth.

Enzo the golden retriever with a patch of black fur on his face

The Castros, Enzo’s family, describes him as an “English Cream with a lil Freckle… [a] pro napper, sock thiever, long-walk taker, kiss giver, [and] fuzzy snuggler.”

Ella Castro, one of his human siblings, explained how Enzo ended up with this unique marking.

“Golden retrievers are born with a base black coat, with a ‘modifier gene’ that turns them golden. Almost every dog has this modifier. Enzo has a little stumble in his DNA that erased it on that one part of his face,” she said.

According to his dad, Eli Castro, Enzo is the only one in his litter with the black splotch.

Enzo the golden retriever with a patch of black fur on his face

“It’s called a cellular somatic mutation — totally harmless, just a little genetic blip that flips from light to dark fur,” he told Insider. “We’ve met other golden puppers online with bits of black fur — some on their muzzle like Enzo but also ears and feet.”

But this patch of black fur isn’t the only reason why they kept him.

“We got to meet Enzo and his brothers and we instantly fell in love with Enzo not just because of his marking but because he was the sweetest and most playful puppy,” said Clarissa, another one of his human sisters.

Enzo the golden retriever with a patch of black fur on his face

But like most canines, Enzo is super friendly and playful. In fact, he gets along with every dog and human that he meets.

“He absolutely loves it when anyone throws a tennis ball. He’s great at the catch part and sometimes a little slow on the return. He loves snuggles,” Eli said.

The Castros wanted their family and friends to know Enzo, so they created an Instagram page for him.


But as it turns out, the rest of the world wants to get to know him too. So far, Enzo’s page has amassed 199,000 followers. This dog is officially a social media superstar!

Enzo’s family says it’s been “amazing” seeing his fanbase grow over the years. But their favorite thing is when kids with birthmarks see him and witness how beautiful and loved the dog is. Eli said the children get a little boost of confidence from that.

Enzo the golden retriever with a patch of black fur on his face

As a Golden retriever, Enzo needs to engage in lots of activities to release his energy. Luckily for him, the Castros have a big backyard where he can run around freely. They have also provided him with many toys.

Enzo requires at least two walks daily and a lot of playtime. The family spends most of their days playing fetch with him in the backyard or playing with one of his toys inside their home.

“There’s so much to enjoy spending time with him, one of my favorite things is that he often falls asleep while tugging on a toy, he’ll just slowly lay down and rest with the toy in his mouth,” Clarissa said.


This canine also seems to enjoy having a routine. Ever since Enzo was a puppy, he gets up, eats his breakfast, and goes on a walk at the same time.

Enzo is certainly one lovable pup! If you want to follow his adventure follow his Instagram page.

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