The comics nerd in me, the part that spent my elementary school years worshipping at the altar of Marvel Comics from the Silver Age and considered Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko to be the Holy Trinity, was delighted to read the announcement that “Hulk puppies” with green coats had been born in Spain. How could you not love such an announcement? At last! I would be able to have a dog that would not only defend the threshold of our home against senior citizens calmly walking on the sidewalk, but would steadfastly protect against the predations of invading Skrulls or the death-dealing legions of HYDRA. Excelsior!
Unfortunately, it was not to be. It turns out that not only do the pups recently born in Spain have little in common with Sirius the Gamma Dog, but the story is a little more bittersweet and sad than my geeky fantasies.
For one thing, the two puppies born with green coats weren’t strong enough to smash alien invaders; one of them wasn’t even strong enough to live.
The two green puppies were born to a Spanish breeder on June 3, the smallest and weakest of the litter. Aida Vallelado Molina, who breeds hunting dogs with her father, told European news site The Local, “I couldn’t believe it when I first saw them. I thought the puppies were dirty and tried to clean them, but the color wouldn’t come off.”
One of them, a female, died shortly after birth. Her brother is still alive, but very weak and struggling.
What made them green? We know it’s not envy, and not a dose of gamma rays; for now, the best explanation is that they may have been exposed to biliverdin, a pigment found in the uterus. That was the explanation in a previous case of a Labrador Retriever who was born in England with a green coat in 2012. Another green Labrador pup was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2010.
So will the surviving pup have to go through the rest of life with a green coat? Emphatically, no. In fact, the coloring is already beginning to fade, and he should be normally-colored within a few weeks.
And in the meantime, I’m going to have to find another way to keep Skrulls out of the back yard.
Note: The video below is in Spanish, but the adorableness knows no language barrier.