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Meet Narwhal, the ‘unicorn puppy’

  • A 10-week-old puppy with a tail on its forehead was rescued by an animal welfare group this week.
  • The puppy donned a nickname “Narwhal the Little Magical Unicorn” was named after a whale with a single tusk.
  • A veterinarian said the second tail on Narwhal’s face will not affect the quality of his dog life.

MANILA, Philippines—Narwhal is by many measures a normal 10-week-old puppy. 

He also has a second tail sprouting from his forehead — an appendage that’s prompted the nickname “unicorn puppy” and captivated dog lovers after a Missouri rescue group brought him in from the side of a road.

“We are so stupid excited about it,” said Rochelle Steffen, who founded the Jackson, Mo.-based organization that’s caring for Narwhal.

Steffen’s group, Mac’s Mission, focuses on “special needs” dogs that require extra medical care due to birth defects, injuries or abuse. 


“I am super excited for being the poster child for ‘special is awesome,’ ” says a post written in the voice of Narwhal on the Facebook page that propelled the unicorn puppy to fame.

Steffen said Mac’s Mission took Narwhal in last weekend, after someone told her about the strange creature they’d found on the street. 

“It’s snowed the last couple of days, so I’m nervous,” Steffen said. But Narwhal and an older dog whom they suspect may be his father are now safe.

The puppy, whom rescue workers believe to be about 10 weeks old, was quickly named after the whale with a single, large tusk that’s sometimes called the “unicorn of the sea.”

Narwhal seems to be a dachshund mix with a wiener dog’s short legs. But he also has the tan coloring, soft fur and head shape reminiscent of a golden retriever. Taken in from the cold, Narwhal had frostbite on two of his toes and needed medicine for worms, according to Steffen. But compared with many of the animals Mac’s Mission treats, he was in great shape.

A visit Tuesday to the vet confirmed that Narwhal’s tail, unlike a normal one, doesn’t have bones inside. That’s why, much to Steffen’s disappointment, the head protuberance cannot wag.

Cape Small Animal Clinic’s Brian Heuring, who examined Narwhal, said he’s used to pets with cleft palates or extra toes but hasn’t seen anything like the misplaced tail in 16 years of veterinary practice. He’s confident, though, that the oddity won’t affect Narwhal’s quality of life.

Via The Spokesman Review

“This puppy could not be happier,” he told The Post.

Whatever the cause, Narwhal’s deformity has brought unprecedented media attention to Mac’s Mission — along with dozens of offers to adopt their latest rescue. Steffen is hoping some of the callers can be persuaded to take one of her group’s 20 or so other dogs.

There are no plans to remove Narwhal’s second tail.

“He’s pretty perfect,” she said.—The Washington Post

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