A Tennessee pup named Diego is a lovely Pitbull/Australian Cattle Dog mix, and he’s sadly losing his eyesight. His owner Jane Flanders Salazar had obtained a doggie’s DNA test from Boston-based Embark Veterinary and learned of this health condition, which has the potential to cause Diego complete blindness over the next three years. Distraught, Salazar researched and discovered that Diego’s condition might best be helped by having a sighted companion to bond with before losing his sight, so she went looking in shelters for a new furry sibling for her beloved pup.
Of course, she didn’t expect to find his literal sibling, but that’s exactly what happened. Salazar successfully adopted Dixie, explaining to Newsweek that she “…looked a lot like Diego, but smaller.” She opted to DNA-test Dixie with Embark as well, just in case, only to discover that the two were full siblings.
PR Manager Emma-Jean Weinstein for Embark told Newsweek that this is the first story she’d heard where adopted siblings were actually related. Interestingly, Salazar used one of Embark’s services to track down a third sibling in the nearby Tennessee area – just for a friendly reunion, not adoption – but she hasn’t received a response from the owner thus far. Maybe the news coverage will spark interest?
Sadly, much like her brother, Dixie also seemed to have some genetic predispositions which could lead to health problems down the road; according to Salazar, “She has two copies of something that might lead her to disc disease.” Regardless, the two pups now have each other to lean on, so the family looks to be in great shape.