WATCH: Peter Kim reports on Toronto’s own “Grumpy Dog” and what makes him stand out from the crowd.
TORONTO – Hard to believe Cornelius was the pup in the litter no one wanted.
“Every morning when I sign into his Instagram it’s like 200 ‘likes’ and 50 comments,” said Cusson.
Cornelius has leucism, a rare genetic condition giving him a distinct light-coloured coat. It can affect other species such as birds and reptiles.
Many often confuse leucism with albinism but there is a slight difference.
“In albinism, the cells that make the pigment are present, but they’re not functioning properly,” said Mitelman. “In leucism, the cells that are supposed to go to certain areas to make pigment have never reached there. The end effect is a light coated dog.”
An easy way to tell the difference between the two is through the eyes: Leucistic animals will have blue ones in addition to their white fur or feathers.
Despite his conspicuous appearance, Cusson says Cornelius seems oblivious to his rare genetic trait.
“He loves balls and swimming is one of his favourite things to do in the Summer,” explained Cusson. He also loves people – more so than other dogs according to his owners.
But he does share his home with a Boston Terrier/Pug mix named Bowie. As for the future, Cusson’s hoping to give her lovable canine as much exposure as possible.
Recently the photogenic pug posed for his first photo shoot. Perhaps one day he’ll be marketed on a t-shirt or in plush toy form at a store near you. Grumpy Cat, watch your back.