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12-week-old “Unicorn” Golden Retriever captures hearts and imagination

Rae the unicorn dog sits in front of house dog-happy
© Goldenunicornrae - Instagram

A dog in the United States with an ear on the top of her head is taking the internet by storm. Find out why the anomaly seems to appeal to so many.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 17/03/2020, 19:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:31

Rae is just 12 weeks old, but for such a young dog her future looks bright. With already 9,000 (and counting) followers on Instagram her appeal will not dwindle, and her fame is here to stay.

The Golden Retriever pup was born with severe congenital abnormalities and required surgery.


A post shared by Rae the 🦄 Golden Retriever (@goldenunicornrae) on

As she recovered from her ops, her ear migrated to the top of her head. It causes no harm to Rae, although the dog requires full time care.

The Unicorn

Understandably, Rae has been nicknamed, “unicorn” due to the placement of the organ. There is no known cause of the ear's movement.


A post shared by Rae the 🦄 Golden Retriever (@goldenunicornrae) on

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One of the carers at a vet's hospital in Michigan fell in love with her straight away and has since adopted her.

Brianna Aardema was one of the people caring for Rae at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"The minute I saw her, I knew I wanted to raise her and be there for her even though I knew the road to recovery wouldn't always be easy," Aardema told Good Morning America.


A post shared by Rae the 🦄 Golden Retriever (@goldenunicornrae) on

Aardema now takes care of Rae full time.

"She's an amazingly brave tough little girl who has the most confidence of any puppy I've known," Aardema said.