Meet Rowdy

Rowdy is a purebred black lab who was born on May 5, 2003. He was named after a young boy’s loveable dog from the novel Summer of the Monkeys. When Rowdy turned 12 he began to develop small white patches of fur around his eyes. Within a year, these patches grew to full circles. Veterinarians were baffled and had no answer until eventually one suggested it might be vitiligo. This has since been clinically confirmed via a biopsy and diagnosed by a vet dermatologist.

Rowdy grew-up in a small town in Oregon with a loving family including two children. Throughout the course of his life, Rowdy has experienced many unique adventures. He loved to bodysurf in the Pacific Ocean. When he hit the beach and saw the water, he would run full speed into the ocean, swim to the breakers, turn, and then ride them to shore. He did this over and over again until it was time to go, and when camping by the lakes in the Cascade Mountains his entire body would shake and quiver with anticipation until he was allowed to swim in the cool alpine waters.

Another adventure involved the police and mistaken identity. When the family was away from home a neighbor mistakenly reported that a thief had broken into Rowdy’s house. When a police officer investigated with gun drawn, Rowdy startled him and was shot in the leg. After surgery Rowdy recovered and became a friend of the police officer. Other misadventures include getting his stomach pumped due to poisoning from contaminated pond water, removal of a hidden thorn embedded into his chest causing severe infection, surgery on both ears, a toe removal, a benign tumor removal, torn ACL, accidental tooth extraction (wrong tooth!) by a veterinarian, and a host of other odds and ends.

When he’s not visiting the vet, Rowdy has enjoyed time with his family, chasing tennis balls, hiking in the Oregon forests, swimming, camping, going for walks, parties, and sleeping with his humans. Now that Rowdy is older, he mostly enjoys relaxing peacefully with his family and receiving lots of attention and treats from others because of his beautiful vitiligo markings.

Now that Rowdy has entered his golden years of life he would like to use these beautiful vitiligo markings to bring awareness and understanding for kids who have developed the same skin condition. It’s Rowdy’s wish that all children and adults think about vitiligo as a unique blessing that’s rewarded with lots of love, attention, and treats, just like he gets.


If you're interested in hearing the whole story behind his first near-death experience, take a look at this link ;-)