PATTADA, Province of Sassari — Dogs come in many colors. White, yellow, chocolate, tri-color and … green? A family on the Italian island of Sardinia got quite the surprise with the latest litter of puppies born on their farm earlier this month.
One of them was green.
The farmer said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the tiny pup, now named Pistachio, of course. The little guy was bright green the day he was born, the farmer said, but his color has faded a bit each day since.
It’s very rare for dogs to be born with green-colored fur. It’s thought the deviation happens when pale-colored puppies have contact in the womb with a green pigment that dyes their hair. The pigment, called biliverdin, also causes the green color sometimes experienced in bruises.
The rest of Pistachio’s littermates were all born with white fur, which is the same color as their mixed-breed mom. The farmer and his family plan to adopt out all of Pistachio’s siblings, but the little green pup will stay on the farm. The owners plan to train him to look after the sheep with his mother.