Owner, Netta, 47, tells her pup's story in her own words.
L￼ooking into his piercing blue eyes, I felt captivated. My husband Peter, 56, wouldn’t approve but it was too late. I was in too deep.
I’d fallen head over heels in love with another man: an albino miniature schnauzer puppy named Sherlock. With soft white hair and electric-blue eyes, he was the most unusual-looking dog I’d ever seen. While I’d instantly fallen for his charms, unfortunately not everyone felt the same way.
Sherlock first came into my care at 12 weeks old, having been abandoned by his owner because of his unusual looks. Although his mum was a grey schnauzer, Sherlock had been born pure white.
In my 10 years of fostering abandoned and orphaned dogs, I had never once kept a puppy. But something about Sherlock made me swoon. ‘We’re not keeping him, Netta,’ Peter warned me. ‘I know that, don’t worry,’ I lied. But it wasn’t long before Peter also fell for Sherlock’s charms and, before long, he became a permanent part of our family.
Having Sherlock, now 10 months, in our lives comes with complications because of his albinism. It means his skin doesn’t contain melanin, so we have to be extra careful when we take him outside. With pink skin under his white hair, Sherlock is extra susceptible to skin cancer.
‘Let’s put on your special cream,’ I’ll say to Sherlock, applying his doggy sunscreen before we leave the house.
Although albinism is often associated with blindness, Sherlock’s eyesight is okay. But his eyes are sensitive, so he also has special glasses to protect them from the sun. We call them his doggles!
A chilled-out fella, he doesn’t mind it when we put them on. Trotting around our local area, Sherlock gets noticed wherever he goes. ‘Why is your dog wearing sunnies?’ people ask. ‘He’s got albinism,’ I’ll say. ‘They make him look so stylish!’ they’ll exclaim.
He gets so much female attention, I’ve even jokingly warned my husband that he can’t take Sherlock for a walk on his own because he’s such a chick magnet!
Sherlock landed himself a modelling contract – and is signed to Melbourne pet talent agency Animal Extras. ‘You’re such a good-looking boy,’ I’ll tell him.
I often wonder how anyone could possibly ditch him just because he’s different. His uniqueness was one of the things that made me fall in love with him. He’s perfect just as he is!
Read more in this week's issue of that's life!