Now if you want to see a rare, magical unicorn, you just have to head to Instagram — though don’t expect to see a horse with a single horn, instead, you will see a golden retriever puppy with only one ear.
Rae is a 12-week-old golden retriever with a unique look that has earned her the Instagram name @GoldenUnicornRae. According to her owner, Brianna Vorhees, Rae lost her left ear shortly after birth when the puppy’s mother accidentally nipped off the ear while trying to tear her amniotic sac.
Rae was rushed to Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to treat the injuries accidentally caused by her dog mom. The newborn puppy had to get stitches running from the top of her head and down the left side of her face and neck.
The owner’s of the mother dog and her litter opted to surrender the pup to the vet hospital. This is where Vorhees, a receptionist at the vet hospital, got the opportunity to adopt the Rae and take the baby dog under her wing.
Vorhees provided the 2-day-old dog, who was in critical condition, with around-the-clock care, including regular bottle feedings.
“At around six weeks, once everything was healed, she started getting larger,” Rae’s owner explained. “It was then that her remaining ear started to migrate upwards and she almost looked like she was going to have a facelift.”
Now, Rae’s one ear sits on top of her head giving her the unicorn look that has made her Instagram famous — she has over 51,000 followers and counting.
Even though the ear doesn’t align with Rae’s ear canal, Vorhees told PEOPLE the dog seems like she can still hear since she responds to her name and vocal commands.
“Everyone wonders how that one ear works since it’s so far away from where the canal was, but we don’t know how to answer these questions, we just know that it works,” Vorhees added.
Since Rae seems able to hear and isn’t in any pain from the ear’s unusual positioning, there are no plans for the pup to lose her “horn.”
Along with getting bigger, Rae is also developing a big personality.
“Rae has the most hilarious personality. She owns any room that she walks into and has never been shy, and has always been the puppy to walk into a large group of dogs,” Vorhees said of the playful puppy. “It didn’t matter how little she was, she was never afraid and always thinks she is in charge.”
While things were touch-and-go at first with Rae, she is healthy and happy now and has brought joy to Vorhees’ life since their first day together.
“Rae came at a very trying time in my life. I really needed something positive to focus on and she came as a blessing at just the right time,” the grateful owner added.
Vorhees isn’t surprised that Rae has become a rising star on social media, but she didn’t start the account to find fame for her golden unicorn. Instead, she created the account to give her friends and coworkers a way to keep tabs on Rae.
Turns out Rae has more friends than she thought!