In a twist that seems more worthy of Oz than plain old Earth, a regularly-colored golden retriever has given birth to a green puppy.
Just one – the other eight members of the litter were all hued similarly to their parents (and presumably, their parents before them).
Little Mojito was born just before Halloween in Wermelskirchen, Germany, and his owner, Joanna Justice, was at first concerned about his mint-green coloring. He was healthy, though, as were his litter mates.
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis assured Joanna (and all of us) that the puppy’s green fur would likely grow out and disappear, turning white the second time around.
Though green puppies are rare, they’re not entirely unheard of – the same week, a shamrock-colored great Dane was born in the U.S. – and another green golden retriever pup was born in Scotland in 2017.
Veterinarians and other scientists aren’t entirely sure why some puppies are born green, though most believe it has to do with bile pigment biliverdin exposure in the womb. This is why it’s most often seen in white dogs – the pigment has a better chance of being seen in a light-colored coat.
Biliverdin can be found in the bile, bruises, and placenta of dogs, and it shows up in other biological phenomena, as well – even in the 6-million-year-old shells of dinosaur eggs.
So anyway, I assume this mama dog loved her green baby the same as the rest – a sentiment I hope would be shared should a human child come out green, but you never know.
Not everyone grew up dreaming of a visit to Oz, herself.