When a dog becomes pregnant, all the owners can hope for is that the mother and her puppies are safe and born without any complications. However, every once in a while, a puppy is born that leaves the owners scratching their heads. This is what occurred in July 2017, when mother Louise and her daughter Chloe discovered that their dog Rio had given birth to something incredible. Startled at first, little did they know it would change their lives forever.
An Animal Lover From Scotland
Hailing from Golspie in the Scottish Highlands, Louise Sutherland is an avid animal lover. For as long as she can remember, she has always been surrounded by animals, yet her life completely changed after her family dog became pregnant.
With a house packed full of loved dogs and cats, she's seen just about everything there is to see when it comes to her pets. However, when her Golden Retriever gave birth to an adorable litter of puppies, she was confronted with something she had never seen before.
A Special Dog
Although Louise loves all of her animals, her Golden Retriever, Rio has a very special place in her heart. At just three years old, Rio is everything that Louise could want in a canine companion and she loves her dearly.
Rio had her first litter of puppies when she was around two years old, so Louise felt comfortable knowing what she was doing when Rio became pregnant again. Rio's first litter was perfectly healthy and there were no complications, which is exactly what Louise expected the second time around.
Rio Proved To be A Perfectly Healthy Mother
After a relatively short five-hour delivery, Rio had given birth to five cute and healthy puppies during her first pregnancy. Already having their fair share of dogs, Louise and her family decided not to keep them and give them to loving families they knew would love and care for the pups.
Although it was hard to give the puppies away, the family knew they would have great lives of their own. This wasn't the first batch of puppies they had sold either, but they didn't know how different it would be the next time around.
Expecting The Same Results
Because Rio had already undergone one successful pregnancy and birthing process, Louise had no reason to suspect that the second one way going to go any different. If something had gone awry the first time, however, she might have had reason to worry.
With Rio fully pregnant, they began to prepare for the incoming litter of puppies. They needed all the right supplies to take care of the newborns until they were old enough to give to new homes.
The Birth of The Puppies
After what appeared to be a healthy pregnancy, Rio gave birth in early July 2017. Rio graced Louise's home with nine adorable puppies who all seemed healthy as could be. Rio was clearly a proud mother, especially after they began to feed.
While Rio settled back into her motherly role once again, Louise and her daughter noticed something strange about one of the newborn pups. They noticed it because it clearly stuck out against the sea of white that was the other puppies.
A Slight Problem
Although Rio's pregnancy went as well as expected, unfortunately, the same could not be said about the birthing process. Luckily, she was under the watchful care of Louise and her daughter Clair, who were right next to Rio in case anything went wrong.
They didn't want to force anything, but they wanted to make sure that Rio was comfortable and safe while birthing her puppies. However, once they realized something was off, they knew they had to step in to protect both the mother and her pups.
Not According To Plan
As Louise and Claire watched closely, all they could tell was that the labor was not going as well as planned. Rio was giving them an uncomfortable look and they could see that one of the puppies was stuck when they took a closer look.
Now, the two had a decision to make. They could keep their distance and hope that Rio pulled through, or they could step in and see how they could help. In the end, they decided to help their beloved dog.
"All Hands On Deck"
In an interview with The Sun, Louise noted that when they noticed that Rio was in an irregular type of pain while giving birth, everybody was "all hands on deck." Louise and Claire knew they couldn't just sit around and wait for something terrible to happen, so they put on their gloves and got to work.
They helped Rio with her first puppy to help alleviate some of her pain and luckily, that's all the help she needed. After the first puppy was born the following eight pups came into the world with no needed assistance.
A Strong Mother
After everything was said and done and all the puppies had been born, Louise was still shaken from the ordeal. Thankful that it was over, she also couldn't help but admire what a strong and brave mother Rio had been through the harrowing process.
Rio immediately took her puppies next to her being the loving mother that she is. However, as Louise and Claire were looking over the newborns, they couldn't help but notice something was different about one of them.
One Was Green!
Golden Retriever dogs, especially puppies tend to be the same color, that's what makes them Golden Retrievers. The other puppies had the typical white/gold coloring, except one that stuck out among its siblings.
One puppy was the color of mint green, something nobody had expected. Louise and Claire were speechless when they saw the puppy and were unsure of what to do. While they found the dog to be striking, they were also concerned if something was wrong with either Rio or the puppy.
Out Of The Ordinary
Noticing the dog's strange coloring, their emotions were a mix of fascination and worry. They figured something had to be wrong if the dog's coat was green, most of the time, when something is green is on the body, that's usually not a good sign.
They hoped the poor newborn wasn't in any serious danger. Wondering if professional medical care might be required, they took to the Internet to get some answers and see if they should actually be worried.
No Immediate Risk
Luckily for Rio, the puppy, and Louise and Claire, they discovered that the green newborn wasn't in immediate danger. However, what they did find, was that they were caring for an incredibly rare puppy. Although they knew that the pup was definitely unique, little did they know that it was a phenomenon that is extremely uncommon.
Thankful that the puppy was going to be okay, Louise and Claire were still beside themselves. Never in a million years would they have thought Rio would give birth to a green baby.
A Rare Puppy
From their research, they learned that Rio's uniquely green puppy is only one of a handful that have been born across the world. The number of puppies born with even a slight green hue is incredible, so the fact that Rio had one was particularly exciting.
To everyone's relief, this condition has nothing to do with a medical condition and the dog was perfectly healthy.
The Source Was Biliverdin
If you're familiar with the anatomy of female dogs, you may know that they have a substance known as biliverdin in their womb. biliverdin is green bile that can be found in the womb of female dogs.
Although the reason why they have it is still up for debate, it's a part of their basic anatomy. Some have come to the conclusion that it plays a role during pregnancy, providing essential nutrients for the puppies in the womb. It might even play a key role in their survival.
Humans Have It Too
Although biliverdin may sound like something only dogs produce, that's not the case. Humans have it in their body as well, and it's visible when we get a bruise. It's the reason our bruises turn green and yellow color during the healing process.
While the visibility of biliverdin is natural after bruising, too much of it can actually be harmful to the body. Having an excess amount can result in jaundice, which is more common in infants and young children, although it can happen to adults too.
Not Unheard Of. But Not Normal
Typically, you can't see the evidence of biliverdin among puppies even though it's in their bloodstream, it's hidden deep beneath their fur and skin.
However, when a puppy comes out green, the reason is that the mother's biliverdin could have become mixed in with the womb's amniotic fluid. This is the case for Rio's green pup, in which the biliverdin around the fetus stained his fur, making him the unique little guy he is.
It's Not A Permanent Condition
While the existence of biliverdin may stain a puppies fur, there are no life-threatening effects to the puppy, and it's only for a short while. It's only a temporary change in the color of the dog's fur, and the green color will slowly go away as the weeks go by.
Their hair will grow out, and the color will also disappear from washing and licking from their mother. Before you know it, the pup will look just like their siblings which is what happened to Rio's.
He Was A Special Pup
Even though Louise and Claire knew that their special puppy wouldn't stay green forever, they couldn't deny that the dog was something special. With everything they had been through, the puppy had earned a special place in their hearts.
He was, after all, their little green pup. Although they loved all of the puppies equally, they felt a special attachment to the little one and knew that he needed a name that fit him and made him unique.
The Perfect Name
Louise and Claire knew that the name had to do with something the color green, it was only appropriate. Luckily for them, the Scottish Highlands had more than enough green with its rolling hills, forests, and shrubbery, so they didn't have to look far for inspiration.
They decided that the best name for the dog was Forrest because he was born in the Highlands and was as green as the trees when he was born.
Making A Last-Minute Decision
Although Louise and Chloe would have loved to have a litter of nine puppies running around their house forever, it wasn't practical. It was now the time that the pups were adopted into the loving homes they all deserved. While giving up any of the puppies was going to be heartbreaking, they couldn't think about giving up Forrest.
They had been through so much and even named him, and decided that being born green was a sign he belonged in their family. So, they kept Forrest, and couldn't be happier with their decision.