Probably the biggest difference between me and the internet-famous dog known as Narwhal is that I have never become famous for even one of the many things about my body that are fucked up. Unlike me, Narwhal came to international prominence by virtue of a second tail growing out his forehead — basically the exact opposite place that a dog’s tail is supposed to grow out of.
It is, all in all, a very heartwarming story. The shelter got so much attention over it that they made commemorative t-shirts and, while they are currently waiting to let him grow a bit more to see if he has any health problems relating to the tail, they received an abundance of adoption applications for Narwhal.
While nothing could stop this from being a wholesome story about an adorable dog that will almost certainly find a home, The Independent certainly tried its best to take some of the shine off it, declaring that Narwhal’s tail is almost certainly the ass of a parasitic twin.
Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Margret Casal told The Independent that a small ridge of fur above the tail seems similar to the ridge you would find on some dogs’ backs, indicating that it could well be an entire ass, not just a tail.
Casal told the paper that, in the case of parasitic twins, the ‘top half’ of the twin would be required to grow bones in the bottom half, which would explain why the tail is boneless.
Parasitic twins occur when two developing embryos remain attached — like with conjoined twins — but one of the embryos does not completely develop, remaining only partially formed and subsisting on the other twin.
According to Casal, parasitic twins in dogs is extremely rare, which either means there is some other explanation or Narwhal is what we suspected all along: a very unique pup.