This Dog’s Rare Skin Condition Transformed Him Into A Masked Super Hero

Reviewed by Dr. Katy Nelson

November 19, 2015

Rowdy, a 13-year-old Labrador, was once an ordinary, all-black Retriever—now he’s a reverse raccoon, a member of Kiss, and 100% ready for Halloween at all times. Rowdy developed an extremely rare and painless disease known as vitiligo, which is characterized by a loss of skin pigmentation in patches on the body. It’s also the same disease which famously plagued Michael Jackson.

super hero

But instead of ending up looking like a sweet, fuzzy cow, this dog’s patches appeared right around each eye. Now Rowdy attracts attention wherever he and his parents go. His dad Tim Umbenhower told KPTV:

He’s like our own little celebrity around town. Everybody loves to stop us and wonder what we did to him or if we painted it on there.

This isn’t the only extraordinary thing to turn Rowdy’s life nearly upside-down; he’s also had his stomach pumped after being poisoned by river water, and was shot mistakenly by a police officer during what the man thought was a home burglary. This boy’s certainly had quite the eventful past, and none of that is about to change.


Rowdy’s unique mask grew wider and whiter over time, and Mom Niki Umbenhower has some really unique photos to illustrate its progress:


rowdy a little bit o white

rowdy almost all white

rowdy all white

The disease doesn’t cause any adverse effects to Rowdy’s eyes or his general health, and he’s expected to live a long, loved life despite his new appearance. That is, if all this newfound fame doesn’t go to his head.

H/t Facebook/Niki Beiser Umbenhower and KPTV

Reviewed by Dr. Katy Nelson

November 19, 2015