March 5, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Shelter Pup Reunited With Sister After DNA Test


This pup was waiting in a shelter to be adopted for over a year and had an emotional reunion with his sister pup thanks to a DNA test from his foster family.

Source: Embark Vet/Youtube

Vardis, a golden retriever/American bully mix, was waiting for a home at Chicago’s One Tail at a Time since September 2021 when he came in with a severe case of pneumonia. While he was waiting to be adopted, his foster parents decided to get an Embark DNA test for the pup. The results revealed some interesting information about Vardis.

“When Vardis first came to OTAT, his original foster family was curious about his big head, strong muscular body, and friendly personality and decided it would be fun to see what his DNA could tell us,” Vardis’ current foster mom, Jessica Jones, tells People.

“He is 50% golden retriever,” Jones says about the DNA test’s first surprise. “A lot of people are surprised to learn that because Vardis is anything but golden in color! Although, if the sun hits him just right, I see golden highlights in his fur. In addition to golden retriever, Vardis is 45% American bully, so I like to call him a Golden Bully!”

Then, months after the DNA test in September 2022, Embark’s Relative Finder feature revealed that Vardis had a sister. An adopted dog named Brunch had also taken the DNA test, and Vardis and Brunch were matched as siblings and littermates.

“We were planning his ‘Vardiversary Party’ to celebrate his one year of being at OTAT. The original foster family received an email from Brunch’s adoptive family, who also live in Chicago and were looking to connect and find out more about the relationship. We quickly decided it would be great to get the two together for a play date!” Jones told People of how she learned about Vardis’ sister.

The foster parents arranged a meeting between the siblings and decided to start things slow and on leases just incase.

“The initial meeting went very well. Vardis greeted Brunch like he greets his dog friends we see on walks all the time! He was very excited to see her and give her some sniffs!” Jones says.

After they had gotten used to each other, Brunch and Vardis’ parents removed their leashes and let them play.

“It was really fun to watch them play. Both Vardis and Brunch have similar play styles,” Jones says.

“Vardis was his usually happy self during the meeting. He was super excited, which showed in his happy, wiggly body and wagging tail!” she added.

Vardis is still looking for a forever home and Jones describes him as the ‘best boy’.

“Once he’s met you, you are a friend for life, and he will greet you the next time he sees you with a wagging tail and a polite request for belly rubs! Vardis is also incredibly smart and thrives with daily enrichment activities that keep his mind busy and engaged. And best of all, at the end of the day, Vardis enjoys nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with his people; if you let him, he makes the world’s best weighted blanket,” she adds.

“What he needs most is someone who will give him time to adjust to his new life and a little structure to his day to keep his busy brain engaged. Vardis has done well meeting older children (12+) and would thrive with the opportunity to interact with many people. Vardis is dog friendly but would probably be happiest as the only dog in the house with a lot of outside dog friends to visit and play with,” Jones says.

Jones plans to share Brunch’s contact info with Vardis’ future family so the siblings can continue to have their play dates. Those interested in adopting Vardis can submit an application at One Tail at a Time’s website. To keep up with Vardis’ adventures, check out @vardi_party on Instagram.

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to only adopt instead of shopping. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

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