At first glance Sherlock the Schnauzer is just your average cute dog with an Instagram account. But when you take a second look you might notice something a bit different—whenever he goes outside in the Australian sun, he sports a pair of sunglasses.
While Sherlock’s owner wants to protect the 10-month-old pup from the sun’s harmful rays, it’s also an extremely important safety measure.
Sherlock has a rare form of canine albinism.
The adorable pooch is 10 months old.
Despite Sherlock’s mother being a black schnauzer, the pup was born with pure white fur and icy blue eyes. Both are the result of the lack of pigment in his skin, fur, and eyes.
When Sherlock was barely a few months old, his previous owners abandoned him. That’s when he found his way to Netta McKay. Before taking Sherlock into her home she had fostered countless dogs over a period of 10 years.
“I had absolutely no intention of keeping Sherlock,” she told Caters. “I foster lots of different dogs and I always do the right thing and send them off to their new home.”
Anytime Sherlock is in direct sunlight he must wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
But there was something about the little white dog that made McKay immediately fall in love with him.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I just knew he belonged to our family,” McKay said.
McKay said part of the reason why she and her husband decided to adopt Sherlock was because she was worried he wouldn’t find a permanent home.
“I knew it would be very difficult to find him a home that would fit his circumstances and to find people who would know how to care for an albino dog,” McKay told Caters.
Sherlock’s “doggles” are apparently a big hit with the ladies.
Like other dogs who have canine albinism, it’s best if Sherlock stays indoors—but for the times that he goes outside, McKay makes sure he is fully protected.
“He can’t just have free access to go outside where he could sit and sunbake or he would get really burnt,” McKay told Caters.
Sherlock is allowed to play in the family’s “very shaded courtyard,” but when he goes out for walks it has to be on an overcast day or when the sun has nearly set. Any other time could result in potentially life-threatening skin cancer.
Sherlock doesn’t let his rare form of albinism stop him from being your everyday pup.
He does everything a dog without albinism does, except he does it sporting sunglasses.
McKay has even signed him up for a talent agency.
Despite not being able to play in the sun’s warmth with the family’s other two dogs, Sherlock lives a happy and normal life.
“We’re just so lucky that he’s happy and healthy,” McKay said. “We love him so much.”