Lucky? Maybe a little green with envy? This pup born in the Scottish Highlands of the United Kingdom is turning heads around the world. That’s because her greenish tint is outrageously adorable!
It doesn’t take long to spot which puppy of the nine born to mom, Rio, stands out in the litter. According to The Sun UK, Louise Sutherland was stunned (of course) to watch the family dog give birth to a green puppy.
Rio is a 3-year-old gold retriever. Her eight other puppies have completely normal fur. The best part? The green pup was appropriately named—wait for it—Forest.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) July 15, 2017
— Southern Living (@Southern_Living) July 18, 2017
What’s behind this rare occurrence? The Grinch? Maybe Rio got herself into some green eggs and ham?
More likely to blame is exposure to a green bile pigment found in the placenta, called biliverdin. Biliverdin is what can cause a greenish color in bruises, and it also causes jaundice in babies. In the case of our oddly hued dogs, it mixes with the mother’s amniotic fluid and can stain the puppy’s fur. That’s the explanation from a Spanish veterinarian who was investigating puppies’ green coats back in 2014, according to Time.
In that particular case, two out of five puppies in a litter were born green. The breeder thought perhaps the dogs were just dirty!
This outcome is so rare, it’s thought to have only happened three times before. It can certainly happen to other breeds, but it’s most noticeable on the lighter-colored breeds like the golden retriever.
The condition doesn’t harm the puppy in any way, and it will likely clear itself up in a few weeks. Forest’s owner says her color has already begun to fade a bit.
Sutherland says this litter of puppies was Rio’s second and final litter. Her family usually finds good homes for all the newborn pups, but she’s holding onto Forest herself. Who can blame her?