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Rare albino dachshund Duke who struggled to find his forever home is now living his best life

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A rare albino dachshund who struggled to find his forever home is now living his best life — and even has his own Instagram account.

Eight-year-old Duke, who lives in Texas with adoring owner Mercedes Andrade, a 38-year-old accountant, is all white with a pink nose and pale blue eyes.

In addition to his unusual complexion, the dog’s condition means he is partially deaf and blind. He is extremely sensitive to sunlight and must wear a hat and sunscreen, and also has dilated cardiomyopathy meaning his heart is larger than normal.

But despite his problems, Duke is living a good life and Mercedes, who hired him in 2013, says it was love at first sight.

Rare albino dachshund Duke, who struggled to find his forever home, is now living his best life – and even has his own Instagram account

Eight-year-old Duke, who lives in Texas with adoring owner Mercedes Andrade, 38, is all white with a pink nose and pale blue eyes.

Eight-year-old Duke, who lives in Texas with adoring owner Mercedes Andrade, 38, is all white with a pink nose and pale blue eyes.

“Until the day I met Duke, I had never seen or heard of an albino dachshund,” she admits.

“Cream, dapples, blue, gray, mottled, merles—seen them all, but immaculate white with a pink nose and blue eyes, never!”

Due to his unique features, Duke is often stopped by people in parks and receives dozens of admiring messages from his 3,755 followers on his Instagram account.

Mercedes adds: ‘Almost everyone who approaches him says they have never seen an albino.

Due to his unique features, Duke is often stopped by people in parks and receives dozens of admiring messages on his Instagram account

Due to his unique features, Duke is often stopped by people in parks and receives dozens of admiring messages on his Instagram account

Due to his unique features, Duke is often stopped by people in parks and receives dozens of admiring messages on his Instagram account

In addition to his unusual complexion, the dog's condition means he is partially deaf and blind

In addition to his unusual complexion, the dog’s condition means he is partially deaf and blind

“He gets a lot of attention and loves every minute of it, and they often ask to take pictures of him.

“Normally I get a lot of messages on his Instagram saying that he is absolutely beautiful and when I read his messages to him it’s like he knows how special he really is.”

Mercedes tells how Duke didn’t appeal to many potential owners because of his special needs, but she couldn’t resist taking him along.

“We didn’t want to adopt a dog that day, but we paid the cute puppies a visit,” she recalls.

Mercedes says Duke is a loving dog who loves to dress up and play hide-and-seek.  He also relies on his older sister - a fellow dachshund named Dior, pictured - for directions

Mercedes says Duke is a loving dog who loves to dress up and play hide-and-seek. He also relies on his older sister – a fellow dachshund named Dior, pictured – for directions

‘Among the puppies at play was he, the smallest of them – a white cutie with blue eyes and pink nose.

“You couldn’t help but notice how stunning he was. He chose us as his family, not the other way around. He knew he would be in a safe and happy home.

“Duke is a dog with special needs. He is lucky that he is not completely blind and deaf like most albinos, but he has his problems.

“His pupils are badly distorted, but he still has some vision in his left eye – just enough to get by. He is also partially deaf and hears best only high notes, such as a whistle. Both things make training more difficult than usual.’

Duke has a dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning his heart is bigger than normal (pictured in his funky outfits)

Duke has a dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning his heart is bigger than normal (pictured in his funky outfits)

Duke has a dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning his heart is bigger than normal (pictured in his funky outfits)

Mercedes says Duke has been a blessing in the dark times of Covid-19 and brought joy to many - especially her

Mercedes says Duke has been a blessing in the dark times of Covid-19 and brought joy to many – especially her

According to Mercedes, Duke likes fetch with all his toys, morning and evening walks and his bandanas and photos

According to Mercedes, Duke likes fetch with all his toys, morning and evening walks and his bandanas and photos

According to Mercedes, Duke likes fetch with all his toys, morning and evening walks and his bandanas and photos

Despite this, Mercedes says Duke is a loving dog who loves to dress up and play hide-and-seek. He also relies on his older sister — a fellow dachshund named Dior — for directions.

“Duke is unlike any other Dachshund I’ve had. He is kind to everyone and loves to be loved,” she enthuses.

“He loves to fetch with all his toys, morning and evening walks, and to my pleasant surprise, he loves his bandanas and having his photos taken.

“He’s learned a version of hide-and-seek – he goes into the closet and closes the door. He will then scratch the door so you can find him.’

Mercedes says Duke has been a blessing in the dark times of Covid-19 and brought joy to many: ‘Duke and I are stuck like glue and in his opinion this pandemic is probably the best thing ever because it means I’m every day at his house!’

Follow Duke Instagram.

Mercedes says Duke has learned a version of hide-and-seek - he'll go to the closet and close the door.  He will then scratch the door so you can find him

Mercedes says Duke has learned a version of hide-and-seek – he’ll go to the closet and close the door. He will then scratch the door so you can find him

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