Many have been dealt a hard hand in life, but few rise above their problems with as much cuteness as Rae! Afflicted by an injury at birth that left her with only one ear, this adorable golden retriever is now an Insta-famous “unicorn” with over 222,000 Instagram followers and millions of TikTok views! How’s that for a glow-up?!

Rae, which is “ear” spelled backward, is a special dog with a special story. Shortly after being born, she suffered a critical injury and had to be rushed to Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The breeder suspected that Rae’s mama was too enthusiastic when licking off the puppy’s placenta, causing an entire ear to peel off.

After undergoing major surgery only hours after birth, Rae’s future was in question. But against all odds, little Rae pulled through and went on to make a full recovery – albeit, with one unique feature: Her remaining ear strangely re-positioned itself at the top of her head!

It was during her initial trip to the clinic that Rae found her forever home with Brianna Vorhees, who worked as a receptionist at the hospital. Brianna, who had recently lost her own golden, Loki, to lymphoma, felt an immediate connection with the special-needs puppy.

After taking the two-day-old baby home, Brianna was a devoted and doting mom, providing Rae with around-the-clock care that included routine bottle feedings.

Around the time Rae was six weeks old, fully healed, and started growing, Brianna noticed that the lone ear had migrated to the top of her forehead. Brianna’s colleagues started calling the puppy “unicorn” because of this distinct feature, and her husband came up with the name Rae.

Rae’s journey to social media stardom started after a vet tech at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital posted a video of her on TikTok. People around the world couldn’t get enough of the unicorn puppy, and soon the video amassed millions of views. On her social platforms, Rae can be seen napping, getting lots of love, and playing with Brianna’s family.

@sambosmittyCheck Rae the Unicorn dog out on insta – goldenunicornrae #petparent #PlayWithLife #fyp #dog♬ New Soul – Yael Naïm

Rae’s “horn” ear doesn’t affect her hearing, cause her any discomfort, or detract from her lust for life. She has also blessed Brianna and her family with endless amounts of love and loyalty.

This just goes to show that every dog, or even a “unicorn,” can have her day! Read more about this pawsitively adorable and inspiring little pup inside the pages of our newest annual book, Out of the Box!

By Stephanie Weaver, contributor for


Experience the stories of adventurers near and far, from a three-year-old mountain climber to hair-hangers and acrobats. Leave inspired by unbelievable talents, breathtaking bucket list-worthy locations, and curious discoveries, all from people just like you as you uncover the pages of Ripley’s newest annual book!