Photos: ‘Pistachio’ the Puppy Born With Lime Green Pigmented Fur

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Marcel Kusch/picture alliance via Getty Images)

A green puppy? It’s 2020 – so why not? This tiny fellow, immediately named Pistachio, is sure to brighten your day with his neon-bright fur.

When in 2020, do as 2020 does. In a year that can’t seem to get any stranger, an Italian farmer’s dog is upping the ante. Christian Mallocci’s herding dog, Spelacchia, has just given birth to a litter of healthy pups. And one of them is lime green.

When reading the headline, it’s natural to assume the pup’s color has been exaggerated. Oh, no. Such is not the case.

Upon spotting the tiny tyke, Sardinian farmer Mallocci immediately names him Pistachio. Although the sky’s the limit when it comes to green-themed names, we think he nailed it.

How Does a Puppy Develop Green Fur?

According to local reports and Mallocci himself, nothing out of the ordinary is at play. At least, not for the puppy’s mother, or the circumstances of her pregnancy. Pistachio is as active – and far more vibrant – than his four siblings.

Out of the five-pup litter, he is the only to be born with green pigmentation. While he is not the first, the condition is extremely rare. Green fur is believed to be the result of the developing animal coming into contact with a naturally-occurring green pigment called biliverdin. The contact has to happen while in the womb of the mother. If sufficient, then voila – a green baby is born.

Pistachio’s siblings – all white like their mother – must either be very jealous, or very thankful.

Sadly, however, Pistachio seems destined not to stay green forever. His owner notes that his color “has already started to fade”. In other rare, similar cases, the same happens.

Farmer Mallocci, though, won’t be giving up his special pup. While his siblings will all be adopted to new families, Pistachio is there to stay. “Green is a colour of hope and luck,” he tells BBC News. Without a doubt, we could all use more of both this year.

All in all, it’s been a pretty incredible year for dogs. Here’s to hoping 2021 is an incredible one for us humans, too.

[H/T BBC News / AJ+]