7 min read

No One Wanted This Dog Because Of His Funny Teeth — Except One Family

"He lit our lives up and we love him so much."

In 2016, Tessie Johnson and her family went to KC Pet Project, a shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, to adopt a dog. Their eyes immediately fell on a 4-month-old Rottweiler puppy with a pronounced underbite, who’d been picked up as a stray.

“He was the cutest thing ever,” Johnson told The Dodo. “They were saying that normally it’s easy to have puppies adopted because everyone loves puppies. But because of his teeth, a lot of people were turned off by him. And because he’s a Rottie, people also weren’t interested.”

Dog with pronounced underbite and sunglasses
Tessie Johnson

While no one knew why the puppy had an underbite, Johnson suspects it has to do with bad breeding practices. But to Johnson and her family — which includes her two parents, two brothers and one sister — the puppy’s underbite was an asset.

“He was so cute, and his smile was hilarious,” Johnson said. “We were like, ‘Yup. That’s the one we’re getting,’ and he’s been the sweetest thing ever.”

Dog with pronounced underbite
Tessie Johnson

They took the puppy home that same day, naming him Biggie.

The Johnson family quickly learned that Biggie’s underbite wasn’t the only quirky thing about him. He turned out to be a big goofball who loves to play.

Dog with funny teeth wearing a hat
Tessie Johnson

“He’s very energetic,” Johnson said. “He loves to run around. He’s got the zoomies all the time. He’s just a goofy little guy.”

"Our whole family is super silly and goofy," she added. "We like to dance and be silly and weird, so my mom always says that Biggie fits in perfectly with us because he’s the weirdest dog ever."

Johnson also describes him as a “big scaredy cat” who’s frightened of vacuum cleaners, piñatas and certain stuffed animals.

They also noticed Biggie’s underbite became more pronounced as he grew up, which Johnson and her family find adorable.

Dog lying on couch
Tessie Johnson

“We thought that maybe it would go away, but it’s actually gotten worse as he’s gotten older, and I think it makes him more lovable,” Johnson said. “Some people might be scared of him at first because he’s a Rottweiler, but then they see his smile, and there’s no way you can be scared of him — he’s just too cute.”

Dog with pronounced underbite lying on floor
Tessie Johnson

Biggie does have some minor issues — he is very scared of men, which led Johnson to speculate that Biggie was mistreated as a small puppy.

“He’s just really skittish,” Johnson said. “He will not let them touch him. It takes him a while to warm up, and he kind of keeps his distance. But once he warms up, he’s the most playful thing ever.”

Dog playing with stick out in yard
Tessie Johnson

But when it comes to Johnson’s two brothers, Biggie has no fear of them at all, and he bonded with them right away. “He loves my brothers,” Johnson said. “Loves them.”

As for Johnson and her sister, they take on the role of mothering Biggie.

Dog cuddling with boy
Biggie cuddling with one of Johnson's brothers | Tessie Johnson

“My sister and I are obsessed with him, and we baby him to death,” Johnson said. “He sleeps in my bed a lot of the time. He’s a cuddler. I just love him. He’s the cutest thing.”

Right before they got Biggie, Johnson and her siblings started going through something very difficult — their parents got a divorce. Fortunately, Biggie was there to help them through it.

Dog wearing sweatshirt
Tessie Johnson

“Everyone was having a really hard time,” Johnson said. ”It was obviously horrible. Divorce is never fun. But as soon as we got Biggie, it was like the most comforting thing ever. I don’t know how to explain it, but he kind of brought our family back together. He’s the sweetest thing ever, and I love him to death.”

Dog with pronounced underbite
Tessie Johnson

Johnson said it’s impossible now to imagine life without Biggie, who’s become a cherished member of her family.

“He lit up our lives and we love him so much,” Johnson said.

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