ASHEVILLE, NC — A family's dog gave birth to a healthy litter of eight puppies, but she also delivered one very colorful surprise.
Shana Stamey, the owner of a white German shepherd named Gypsy, told ABC News Asheville, North Carolina, affiliate WLOS that the fourth puppy "was lime green."
"I knew it wasn't like harmful. But I still had to look it up again to make sure," Stamey said.
Junaluska Animal Hospital veterinarian technician Suzanne Cianciulli told WLOS that some puppies can come out with a green tint from meconium, an infant mammal's earliest stool.
"The sack that they're in when they're in their mom, there can be meconium in there and that tends to stain them," Cianciulli said.
The veterinarian told Stamey that the mother "licks it away until I bathe it and then, I guess after a couple of weeks, it will finally like fade out."
When they first came up with names for the newborn puppies, Stamey said the bright green color gave them a few fun early contenders.
"Hulk! It was lime green. He was super mad. So, yeah, he became Hulk," Stamey said of the name after the Marvel comic book character. “We thought about Gremlin -- Pistachio. We call him Mr. Green sometimes.”
But already, the pup has become a more muted hue of neon yellow, which Stamey said has spurred new names like Pikachu.
Even though they would love to keep their puppies, Stamey told WLOS that their family plans to find loving families to adopt the dogs once they're old enough.
She called Hulk "a good luck charm -- he's pretty special."