When the volunteers at an animal rescue in Missouri discovered a tiny brown puppy in the freezing cold in early November, he had an extra-special part. The little guy was sporting a little brown tail on his forehead, right between his eyes.
Other than the beginnings of frostbite on one paw, the 10-week-old pup was healthy and happy, reports Mac's Mission, a nonprofit that focuses on special needs dogs. Of course, they named him Narwhal. Or "Narwhal the Little Magical Furry Unicorn."
Unlike the narwhal "unicorn of the sea" which is a marine mammal with a horn that's actually a long, straight canine front tooth, this puppy's extra tail is soft and short and only flops around when he plays. He has another real tail located on his bottom which wags furiously when he's happy — which he always is, the rescue says.
Narwhal went to the veterinarian for a checkup and X-rays show that there's no reason right now to have the extra tail removed.
"The million dollar question about Narwhal's extra tail on his face. Is it connected and does it wag? The extra tail is not connected to anything and has no real use other than making him the COOLEST PUPPY EVER!," the rescue posted on Facebook. "One of our followers said, 'It appears they assembled the puppy wrong. Always follow the directions people!'... The unicorn face tail does not bother Narwhal and he never slows down just like any normal puppy."
Although he seems healthy, the rescue said it wanted to keep an eye on him to make sure the tail doesn't become an issue.
As the rescue pointed out, "Sometimes there are other genetic factors in cases like these so we are being super cautious and want to ensure he has everything he needs. We will do whatever is best for our little Narwhal."
People all over the country reached out to the rescue, offering to give the unique puppy a home. Although he received more than 300 adoption applications, Narwhal is going to stay with the rescue.
Trying to sift through all those applications and making sure the adopters had the best intentions for the high-profile puppy was difficult, Mac’s Mission’s founder Rochelle Steffen told Southeast Missourian. Plus, the friendly puppy attracted some scary attention, including death threats. Those factors made her decide to keep him.
"The whole rescue cannot fathom him leaving. We all fell in love with him," she said. “If somebody is going to make money off of him, I would love to see it go toward the rescue, and save thousands more dogs.”
The playful pup has certainly been popular with fans as thousands of followers have shared, liked and gushed over his videos and donated to the rescue in his honor.
"Right now he is pretty much the most unique amazing example of what we do here and we are so thankful to have the chance to be part of his journey," the rescue posted. "Thank you everyone for helping us help them!"
Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information since it was published in November 2019.