Picasso, the rescued dog with a twisted snout, was honored by the Oregon Humane Society for showing the world how perfect one with an imperfection can be.
At a ceremony In Portland last week, the 2-year-old pit bull-Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix received a Diamond Collar Hero Award.
The awards honor animals and people who have acted to save a human or animal life in peril, performed services within the community with undying loyalty, or overcome incredible odds in order to survive.
Picasso and his brother were picked up as strays in southern California. They were on the list to be euthanized when Liesl Wilhardt, the founder and executive director of Luvable Dog Rescue, pulled them out and brought them to Eugene last year.
She later decided to keep both as her own, unwilling to let them be separated because of Picasso’s devotion to his brother.
Picasso and Pablo quickly became part of her extended dog family, and Picasso became an Internet sensation as well — both for his story of survival and his unique appearance.
“Picasso has overcome challenges that most dogs don’t ever have to, from surviving an assaulter to living on the streets. And he’s done it all with courage and grace,” Wilhardt says. “Picasso’s personality and temperament is just loving and accepting to all living things, despite what he’s suffered in the past.”
Pablo died in October from a brain aneurysm, according to the Eugene Register-Guard. Picasso, unlike his brother, was born with his facial deformity.
Picasso is now in training to become a therapy dog, but he has already touched many lives
“He really does touch people, especially those who look a little different like him,” Wilhardt said. “Whether they were born different or had an illness or accident that led them to looking different, he’s helped and inspired so many people.”
Those offering him praise and thanks include soldiers with disfiguring wounds and children coming to terms with looking different.
Picasso also has been nominated for a 2018 American Humane Hero Dog Award, an annual nationwide competition that searches out and recognizes “America’s Hero Dogs.”
People can see the nominees and vote for an American Humane Hero Dog Award at herodogawards.org/vote.