How world’s ‘strongest’ dog Wendy had ‘double muscle’ mutation that gave her 24-pack & made her twice as big as normal
THE bulked-up dog believed to be the world's "strongest" pup was born with a genetic mutation that gave her a bulging 24-pack and muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But just like The Terminator star, Wendy the whippet was a gentle giant.
Born with a rare genetic mutation, Wendy was twice as big as her canine companions of the same breed.
Her owner Ingrid Hansen bought her from a Shawnigan Lake breeder when she was just eight years old and lived her life on a farm in Victoria, Canada, until her death in 2017.
She was 14 years old, but lived an exciting life, travelling over to the US for television appearances on programs like the Today Show.
At her Wendy was built similarly to her counterparts, but her exterior was nothing short of a marvel.
Sporting burly shoulders with a thick neck and defined hind legs, Wendy weighed 27 kilograms.
The National Institutes of Health study found that whippets with a single defective copy of the myostatin gene the breed gain increased muscle mass which enhance racing performance.
But whippets, like Wendy, who two mutated copies of the gene have twice are "double muscled".
She was about twice the weight of an average whippet, but with the same height and narrow head.
Wendy became an international sensation in 2007 when her bulging muscular appearance was likened to Arnold Schwarzenegger of dogs.
At the time, Ingrid said Wendy might look like The Terminator Star, but similarly, was a gentle giant.
She told the Daily Mail: "She's doesn't know she's got a genetic defect. She might give you a nasty lick, that's all.
"She's healthy and happy. That's all that counts."
Wendy enjoyed the limelight, appearing on TV shows including Animal Planet Most Outrageous Animals, Weird True and Freaky and National Geographic Wild.
Ingrid told the Vancouver Sun: “Wendy didn’t care whatsoever that people were filming her,”
“If she wanted to do something, she would do it. If she didn’t, she would just sit or look away. She had her own personality and life went by her rules, not anybody else’s.”
Wendy was put to sleep in 2017, when Ingrid, a registered veterinary technician, said it was time to ensure her quality of life didn't deteriorate as she got sick.
Her special pet was losing muscle, not eating and falling down in the house as well as collapsing when she tried to keep up with other dogs.
It was an emotional time losing her special pet.
She said: “It’s always hard to make the decision and lose a pet, especially one as kind and sweet as Wendy.
“I wanted her to go when she was still happy enough, not when she was completely in pain and that’s a very hard decision to make.”