Rescued Golden Retriever Gives Birth To A Litter Of Pups That Causes Confusion

Two dog-loving foster parents took in a pregnant golden retriever mix named Rosie, and although they expected a large litter of fluffy, golden puppies, the litter ended up looking much different than their mama!

These oddly-colored puppies threw the internet into a storm. How did Rosie’s puppies turn out this way? And what happened to these puppies after they were raised? Learn the charming story of Rosie and her unexpected litter.

Meet Rosie, The Cute And Confused Mama

Rosie, a golden retriever mix, was disowned by her previous owners. She was left in a shelter visibly pregnant and close to birth. The shelter’s manager feared for her health and for the fact that she would give birth without proper assistance.

Rosie the golden retriever mix was abandoned at a shelter
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Although shelters have drastically lowered their euthanization policies, most are overcrowded with dogs and do not have the resources to care for a new litter. Rosie needed caring owners now more than ever.

The Rescuers Swoop In

The shelter’s manager called Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, which helps dogs find homes in Raleigh, North Carolina. The rescuers had to work fast to get Rosie settled before childbirth.

Rosie visibly pregnant
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Neuse River is an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of golden retrievers. Volunteers foster stray or abandoned dogs until they are well enough to be adopted. Fortunately for Rosie, the organization’s members knew a couple who could care for her individual needs.

Help Is On The Way

A Neuse volunteer picked up Rosie from the shelter the morning after the call. By this time, Rosie appeared so close to birth that the volunteer worried she would go into labor on the drive to the Raleigh Vet Clinic.

John Black playing with Rosie outside
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

The volunteer checked Rosie into the clinic, where vets determined that she was healthy. The rescuer’s next task was to find Rosie a foster family who could assist her birth.

John And Katie Black To The Rescue

Katie and John Black have fostered over 20 dogs since 2009, and owned three dogs of their own: Annie, Leroy, and Winchester. The volunteer knew that John and Katie had the experience necessary to foster both Rosie and her pups.

John and Katie Black with a puppy on the steps of their house
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

The couple had worked with Neuse River for years and excitedly took in Rosie. They brought her home on October 28, 2017, five days after Rosie was dropped off at the shelter.

Rosie Adjusted Well

The Blacks received Rosie just five days after she was dropped off at the shelter. “This is our new foster Rosie,” the Blacks reported on their Instagram, “who is very preggers and close to delivering her puppies.”

John black with Rosie the pregnant golden retriever mix
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

The couple revealed that Rosie seemed shy and scared, but was otherwise very sweet. When the time came, Katie and John Black helped Rosie successfully give birth. They met Rosie’s four healthy pups and a surprise that captivated the internet.

Rosie Gives Birth

John and Kate helped Rosie deliver her pups. Although it had its difficulties, both mother and puppies can out fine. All the puppies were the right size and weight for her breed…or what everyone assumed was Rosie’s breed.

Rosie on her back
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

The couple expected a large litter since Rosie appeared so big. Although average litters consist of five or six puppies, Rosie only gave birth to four. But that wasn’t the only surprise that hit the Blacks.

“Not Quite The Puppy Pile We Were Expecting.”

“Our foster dog and Golden mix gave birth yesterday,” Katie said. “To baby cows.” The four pups looked nothing like their mother, and all had black spots. Although no one knows what breed the father was, he clearly wasn’t a Golden retriever.

One of Rosie's puppies
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

The Blacks named the newborn pups Daisy, Clarabelle, Betsy, and Moo. The family photos not only received jokes online but also from the Blacks’ family. “My dad laughed for quite a while at the photos,” Katie told the Press Association in November 2017.

Cow Puppies’ Father Could Be…

Several dog breeds have white fur with black spots, so it’s hard to determine which breed the father was. Like Rosie, he could have been a mix. But that doesn’t stop internet users from speculating on which breed Rosie mated with.

Rosie happily feeding her puppies
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Theories vary from a dalmatian, English setter, bluetick coonhound, and wetterhoun. However, only dalmatians have a true “spot” design. Every other fur pattern is “ticking,” which are small, isolated areas of tiny dots. So dalmatian is a likely choice.

Rosie’s Litter

Katie said that her dad loved the mismatch so much that he recommended posting it online. He joked that the pictures would go viral, and Katie agreed to add photos to Reddit. Father Black was right–the new mom took the internet by storm.

Rosie looking confused with her cow puppies
Reddit/u/katendy
Reddit/u/katendy

In the picture, Rosie appears just as confused as the Reddit users. The image received over 90,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments asking about the new family. This attention skyrocketed when the Blacks posted on Instagram.

They Look Like Their Dad!

According to the Nest, puppies inherit certain traits depending on which genes the parents carry. Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute claims that “Dominant genes always outranks recessive ones,” which determines a dog’s appearance.

Rosie standing over her puppies in a protective cage
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

It’s safe to say that Rosie passed on recessive genes, and the father offered dominant genes. By chance, all of her puppies took on the physical traits of the father. The explanation makes the pair no less amusing, though.

The Internet Got A Kick Out Of It

Redditors flocked over the spotted puppies and visibly astonished Golden Retriever mom. Users attempted to translate Rosie’s expression as best they could. “I believe there’s been a mixpup here,” one user quipped.

cow puppies
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Other users claimed that she appeared like she was mentally defending her pups. According to one user, Rosie’s face said, “so what?!?! is that really such a big deal? are you sooo closed minded? really Karen?”

Kate Has To Defend Herself

Alongside the positive attention, some users were concerned that Kate and John had intentionally bred two foster rescues. Kate clarified that they had received Rosie already pregnant. “We weren’t going to abort her puppies,” she commented. “She will be spayed immediately when she can be.”

Kate holds the cow puppies at just a couple weeks old
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Since John and Kate already owned three rescue dogs, they intended to adopt Rosie as soon as she and her litter recovered. They wouldn’t have to wait long, but it did take some work.

But Rosie Wasn’t Doing So Well

Although the birth was successful, Rosie suffered some ill health. After the delivery, the Blacks realized that Rosie had an infection. They took her to the vet, who administered antibiotics for several weeks.

Rosie feeding her cow puppies
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Rosie likely suffered from a bacterial infection in the uterus called Metritis, which happens after a rough birth. The symptoms could cause Rosie to reduce milk production and not be able to care for her puppies. Fortunately, she had Kate and John.

Kate And John Help Rosie Heal

While Rosie was recovering, the Blacks helped her by bottle feeding the pups. They were truly in love with each puppy, especially when they held them in their hands. Although they knew they couldn’t keep them, John and Kate cared for the pups as if they were their own.

Kate bottle feeds one of Rosie's puppies
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Fortunately, Rosie healed in time. She eventually fed her puppies herself, and returned to being a happy, healthy mama. Her puppies also grew up with few complications.

Rosie Became A Good Mama

While social media users all pondered the strange relation, Rosie didn’t seem to mind one bit. She remained protective over her pups and cuddled beside them for weeks. Moo, Betsy, Daisy, and Clarabelle all grew up healthy.

Rosie with her pups in a laundry basket
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

“She is one proud mama,” explained Kate. According to Instagram, Rosie would go wherever her pups were. When Kate moved the puppies to clean sheets in a laundry basket, Rosie hopped in after them.

As It Turns Out, This Isn’t Uncommon

Pets4Homes authors reveal that puppies appearing different from their parents or littermates happens commonly among dogs, especially concerning mixed breeds. “When it comes to non-pedigree dogs…there is a lot more scope for variance, to the point that color and other manifestations of physical appearance can be quite variable within the same litter.”

two of Rosie's puppies close up
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

What fascinates onlookers is that all of Rosie’s pups look like cows, and none of them even looked like dogs at first. As they grew up, they fit their form as dogs.

The Pups Are In Good Paws

Kate and John not only took great care of the puppies, but they kept the family’s biggest fans in the loop. They updated their Instagram page consistently to let everyone follow the cow puppies’ growth.

Cow puppies celebrate christmas
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

The puppies always hung around Rosie, often sleeping on her paws. The Blacks shared that Clarabelle showed her true colors early, being the loudest of the pups. As the mini-cows grew, their personalities shone through.

The Cows Grew Bigger In A Couple Of Weeks

By early December 2017, the pups celebrated their birthday of only a couple of weeks. Even by then, they developed individual personalities. On December 6th, Kate updated Instagram on the cow puppies.

John holds all the cow puppies with Rosie in the background
Instagram@ourgoldenyears
Instagram@ourgoldenyears

“Daisy is a sweetheart, but a little anxious/shy/hesitant/fearful. Clarabelle is a hilarious, fearless spitfire. Moo is a snuggly baby that likes to be held, and cries when he wants attention. [Betsy is] the sweetest and most gentle puppy, I want to keep her!”

The Pups Part Ways

By the first week of January 2018, two different families adopted Betsy and Clarabelle. Although the Blacks felt sad to see them go, they ensured that each cow pup would receive the love and attention they deserved.

Kate and John smile with family who adopted one of Rosie's young puppies
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Daisy also got adopted, and her new family renamed her to Lily. Later, Moo gained a new home and a new name, Barkley. Moo, along with his new siblings Max, Mo, and Abby, all have their own Instagram account.

Rosie Must Say Goodbye To Her Pups

Rosie also entered a forever home. Although John and Kate will be sad to see Rosie leave, she will join a new family who won’t abandon her. Everyone knows that this will be better for her in the long run.

Rosie sleeping on a blue blanket
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears
Instagram/@ourgoldenyears

Once Rosie was well enough, John and Kate had her spayed. She can no longer have puppies, and may not see them again. But all dogs will be sent to a loving home.

A Fulshear, Texas Couple Was Caught In Hurricane Harvey

Did you love that story about the puppies that looked like cows? Then read on for a heartwarming tale about a cow that “pretended” to be a dog to survive. In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the lives of many individuals living in Louisiana, Belize, Nicaragua, Texas, and many more places. City streets and country pastures became flooded in the process and folks like Tammy Canton and her husband were in a bad predicament.

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The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Canton and her husband were just one of the thousands who had to figure out how to survive this disaster. For them, however, they faced a slightly different situation on top of the hurricane…

The Cantons Opened Their House Up As A Shelter

The Cantons provided a safe haven for two additional families and eight more dogs! Imagine all that commotion going on in your household. Space was tight for them over in Fulshear, Texas.

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The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Then, out of the blue, Tammy’s husband saw something that would make things a little harder for everyone and take up more space. What exactly did he spot? In a hurricane, there is no telling what could pop up, so prepare yourself for this shock…

Their Shelter Grew By One Unexpectedly

If you were in this situation, what would be the last thing you expect? Well, one of the family’s pet cows had given birth unexpectedly right after the storm passed.

cow grazing
Tim Graham/Getty Images
Tim Graham/Getty Images

“My husband noticed she [the calf] was standing in water not nursing from her mom,” Tammy explained. Usually, the mother cow nurtures the calf after delivering it so for the calf not to be nursing from the mother that sends immediate red flags. Something else was going on…

A Weak Calf

“The water was extremely cold,” Tammy added, “and the pasture was holding quite a bit of water.” Have you ever seen a stray dog in the rain? Well, imagine that times ten with this poor little calf.

4-hurricane-harveigh-laying-91143
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Tammy also noted that the calf was “weak and shivering from the cold rain.” What could the couple do about this? One thing is certain, they couldn’t just stand around and let the little animal suffer out in the cold!

Acting Fast…

Baby animals can’t survive long on their own and that’s just a proven fact. The weather was bad and the conditions were even worse, so this calf could only last so long with no support. The clock was ticking.

3-hurricane-harveigh-twilight-731x411-96383-1-33092
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Tammy knew all of this and was aware that she and her husband had to take action. Even with the house already filled with people and dogs, they decided to play hero again for the sake of the calf.

Help Is On The Way

Like the good Samaritans they are, Tammy and her husband braved the flooded pasture en route to the young cow! We don’t know how many others would have the strength to do this.

7-hurricane-harveigh-inside-15742
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

When Tammy arrived at the calf, she saw how bad of condition she was in. She was super weak and could barely stand all while violently shivering from the cold. “She seemed too far gone for me to help her,” Tammy said.

Her Name Is Harveigh

Tammy and the family decided on naming the little calf Harveigh. Due to her being so young, she had not developed a strong enough immune system that could battle that kind of weather. Also, with no help from her mother, things would be tough.

6-hurricane-harveigh-cold-76727
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

That’s why a veterinarian suggested that Tammy needs to keep Harveigh inside as she regained her strength. Harveigh needed a space of her own so Tammy decided to place her in the laundry room.

Road To Recovery

Weeks passed by since the rescue of little Harveigh and things were starting to look brighter for the young cow. She was resting on a dog bed and eating hand-fed formula during this time.

cow4-19339-1-59771
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

As the days passed by, Harveigh got stronger and stronger so Tammy and the family hoped she would be able to go back to the pasture soon. Surprisingly, Harveigh was able to make some unexpected and much-needed friends during her recovery phase…

Doggo Love

Contrary to popular belief, pit bulls are really a ball of joy. One night, the family pit bull named Sealy decided to start licking Harveigh and the calf perked up with joy almost instantly.

9-hurricane-harveigh-kisses-13701-1-93030
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

“All of the dogs seemed to love her right away,” Tammy said. What anyone didn’t know is that this was only the beginning of something special and unexpected. What do you think could have possibly happened next between Harveigh and the rest of the family?…

A New Friendship

Just like that, the start of beautiful relationships blossomed right before everyone’s eyes. It was almost like something out of a children’s storybook, but we aren’t complaining! Harveigh started to heal from her past ordeal and quickly began to love her new environment.

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The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Harveigh started adopting the behavior of her new found friends! She swiftly became one of the dogs as she played with them every day and night. Who would have seen this coming??

Animal Kingdom Friendship

The good news is that the feelings were mutual! This is seriously a Disney novel in the making due to the dynamics. Can you even imagine a pit bull bonding effortlessly with a calf?

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Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

“Sealy loves to spend her time playing, cleaning, and protecting baby Harveigh. These two have such a special bond,” Tammy wrote on her Facebook. The only word to describe this relationship is special. We know Tammy was enjoying every second of this…

Special Accommodations

Everyone knows a regular home isn’t equipped to house a cow. The little calf that got along with the pit bull eventually grew to over 400 pounds. She was soon a handful and Tammy needed to figure something out.

cow6-56716
Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

Harveigh grew so big that she couldn’t even fit in the laundry room anymore! As a result, she needed a place to crash. What do you think Tammy and her husband decided to do next with Harveigh?

Cow Issues

If an animal starts to live inside for too long then only one thing can happen. Said animal will get used to the luxuries and not like going back outside. That’s what happened with Harveigh.

13-hurricane-harveigh-dog-bed-13025
Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

After a while, she wouldn’t even graze the pasture with any of the other six cows. Whenever Tammy and her husband would bring her out to the barn, she eventually showed back up at the door, mooing to come back in.

Welcome To The Cow Condo

Tammy and her husband did whatever any loving caregiver would do. They came up with a way to accommodate Harveigh without compromising her happiness too much. The result was something they constructed called the “cow condo.”

hurricane-harveigh-cow-condo-768x574-87252
Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

They used the shed in the backyard to make a personal house for her! She had a personal space heater in there for crying out loud! She was living the life in this half-way home between barn life and the house.

Not Liking The New Place

Even with Tammy dedicating Harveigh with her a space to call her own, that wasn’t enough for her. In only the first night in the condo, she left it and chose to sleep outside by the main house’s door.

cows playing
Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images
Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images

Why didn’t she want to stay inside the condo? Harveigh ended up staying in her personal home as little as possible and elected to play with the dogs and everyone in the family. That secluded life just wasn’t for her…

Things Eventually Change…

As more time passed, Harveigh started to grow even larger, as cows do. Her new size became something of a burden as she became a danger to the friends around her.

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The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Harveigh used to be able to hang around the other animals and people without anyone watching, but she soon would need a chaperone. Her size alone could’ve hurt the dogs if they were roughhousing too much. No one wants to see a hurt doggo!

Making A Cow

As you’ve followed the story, you’ve learned that Harveigh didn’t have the traditional upbringing a cow has. Due to this, Tammy had to take measures into her own hands and try to convert Harveigh back into a regular cow.

17-hurricane-harveigh-barn-cow-now-98666-1-80545
Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

She had different steps in her process but one thing she always did was take her out to the barn for quick visits. Those visits resulted in mixed results so Tammy’s efforts were almost a waste…

The Transition

“We are slowly introducing her,” Tammy said. “It’s so hard not to go and just get her out. If she wants to learn how to ‘cow,’ she will need to spend time with them.”

17-hurricane-harveigh-other-cows-62340
Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

This sounds like a classic case of trying to turn a house dog into an outside dog. For one, it isn’t easy for both human and dog. Secondly, it takes longer for the animal to grasp the concept, but with Harveigh seeing the other cows outside, that probably helped a little more.

The Sneaky Cow

Maybe you’ve had a pet or known one that figured out the secret. The secret we’re referring to is opening up the door with no help! Harveigh learned how to get in through the back door on her own.

hurricane-harveigh-getting-treats-25783
The Dodo/YouTube
The Dodo/YouTube

Whenever she grew weary of cow stuff she would just make herself at home, but there were still rules involved. “I don’t let her free roam in the house,” Tammy said. “Just quick visits to come in and say hi to our dogs.”

Happy Harveigh

Yes, Harveigh had to shed most of her dog habits in order to adapt to the cow life, but Tammy couldn’t help herself from bringing her in for some pampering every now and then. She even gave her a dog treat on occasion.

Happy cow
Tammy Canton/Facebook
Tammy Canton/Facebook

“It fills my heart with joy being able to spend so much sweet time with her,” Tammy explained. “She will literally lay her head on my lap and be at peace.” What an epic story.

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.

An Animal Lover From Scotland
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Pinterest

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.

A Special Dog
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Pinterest

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.

Rio Proved To be A Perfectly Healthy Mother
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Pinterest

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.

Expecting The Same Results
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Pinterest

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.

The Birth of The Puppies
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Pinterest

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.

A Slight Problem
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Pinterest

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.

Not According To Plan
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Pinterest

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.

deck
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Pinterest

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.

strong
YouTube/Did You Know
YouTube/Did You Know

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 Was Green
YouTube/ Did You Know
YouTube/ Did You Know

One puppy was 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.

Out Of The Ordinary
YouTube/Did You Know
YouTube/Did You Know

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.

No Immediate Risk
YouTube/Did You Know?
YouTube/Did You Know?

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.

A Rare Puppy
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Pinterest

To everyone’s relief, this condition has nothing to do with a medical condition and the dog was perfectly healthy. However, there is a scientific reason behind it, and it was something that nobody expected.

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.

The Source Was Biliverdin
YouTube/Did You Know?
YouTube/Did You Know?

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.

Humans Have It Too
Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images
Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

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.

Not Unheard Of
David Jones – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
David Jones – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

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.

It's Not A Permanent Condition
Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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 A Special Pup
Agency-Animal-Picture/Getty Images
Agency-Animal-Picture/Getty Images

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.

The Perfect Name
Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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.

pups
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

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.