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Brothers Rowan + Milo Reunite Through Embark


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Rowan (formerly known as Clarence) arrived at Muddy Paws Rescue in New York as a young puppy in the fall of 2023. Muddy Paws used one of their donated Embark Dog DNA Tests to help match him with the perfect family. They were in for a surprise.

This fluffy puppy not only had a shocking breed mix—he also found his long-lost brother, Milo!

A fluffy puppy named Rowan next to his full sibling, Milo

Brothers Rowan (left) and Milo (right)

Rowan’s adoption story

Patrick Engel and his partner Laura adopted Rowan in December 2023, when he was 8 weeks old. They had been looking for a young dog, specifically a rescue, and Rowan was a perfect match.

“His personality is really outgoing,” Patrick says. “He wants to meet every person and every dog. He’s comfortable in any situation. He’s warm, cuddly, and enjoys being in his space more than anything. It’s been a wonderful couple of months with him.”

Rowan’s Embark results were surprising. “We were shocked by a couple of the breeds in his breed mix,” Patrick says. In spite of his long coat, Rowan’s dominant breed is American Pit Bull Terrier, along with a mix of Mountain Cur, Australian Cattle Dog, Chow Chow, and more.

Breed results for a dog named Rowan (fka Clarence) showing 22.2% American Pit Bull Terrier, 20.4% Muontain Cur, 12.0% Australian Cattle Dog, 11.7% Chow Chow, 8.5% Labrador Retriever, 7.1% Great Pyrenees, 6.8% Miniature Australian Shepherd, and 11.3% Supermutt.

Rowan’s DNA test results revealed that he’s at increased risk for Type 1 Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – a back/spine issue that affects the discs between vertebrae. This means Patrick can help minimize the risk of an IVDD event by reducing stress on Rowan’s back by taking measures like weight management and preventing him from jumping off of furniture or other high places.

Rowan’s results also showed that he is at increased risk for Multiple Drug Sensitivity. Dogs who have the genetic variant he has are sensitive to certain types of drugs. The good news is that Patrick can share these results with his veterinarian to flag in Rowan’s medical file, and together, they can avoid giving him any potentially dangerous medications.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Rowan’s Embark results was the fact that he had a brother! The Relative Finder feature identified Milo as his full sibling.

Milo’s adoption story

Kamini Persaud adopted Milo from Muddy Paws on a rainy day in February 2022. Milo was five months old at the time. He had come to Muddy Paws after being found on the side of the road with his mom and seven littermates in Kentucky. Kamini was looking for a cuddly, fluffy dog and fell in love with Milo at first sight. It helped, of course, that he ran into her arms and gave her a massive hug upon their first meeting.

Milo’s unique appearance was intriguing. “I had no idea what his breed was, and he doesn’t look like any other dogs. So I immediately went to Embark and bought a DNA test,” Kamini says. “I was completely surprised when I got the results!”

Breed ancestry results for a dog named Milo showing 25.0% Mountain Cur, 23.7% American Pit Bull Terrier, 9.9% Chow Chow, 9.4% Labrador Retriever, 9.1% Australian Cattle Dog, 8.9% Great Pyrenees, 7.3% Australian Shepherd, and 6.7% Supermutt.

Milo’s Embark results show that his breed ancestry is a mix of Mountain Cur, American Pit Bull Terrier, Chow Chow, Labrador Retriever, Australian Cattle Dog, and more. “There’s so much going on, which was amazing to see,” Kamini says. She also noted that the Embark test helped her better understand where many of Milo’s physical attributes came from, including his double dew claws (from his Great Pyrenees ancestry).

“Milo has a very protective personality, and loves to maintain certain boundaries with strangers and unknown dogs. He can be wary of new situations, but is highly intelligent and has learned how to remain calm and collected. He does think that he’s a guard dog (and a massive one, at that), but he’s actually a big cuddle monster,” says Kamini. “You have to know him for a while to see that soft, sweet side of him. He loves his people and takes his time to warm up to new people. It’s well worth the wait, though. Milo’s love is hard-earned but incredible to receive.”

Milo also shares the same increased risk for Type 1 Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) that Rowan has. Armed with that knowledge, Kamini can take steps to reduce the risk of an IVDD incident and talk to her veterinarian about preventative care and monitoring.

Rowan and Milo reunite in New York City

The team at Muddy Paws didn’t know Rowan and Milo were related until the Embark results came back, revealing them to be full siblings. Patrick and Kamini messaged each other through the Relative Finder to organize a reunion in New York City. 

Rowan and Milo reunited in Central Park, near the Balto statue, on a beautiful spring day earlier this year. We love seeing the brothers’ resemblance in their matching head tilts!

Dog brothers Rowan and Milo with their humans in Central Park.

We’re happy to hear that Patrick and Kamini are planning to get the brothers together again soon.

Get started with Embark

Join Rowan and Milo by testing with Embark, the dog DNA test trusted by millions of dog owners.

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Keep reading to see how dog DNA testing helps shelter dogs get adopted and check out the heartwarming stories of other Embark dogs who found their forever homes:

Mimi Padmabandu Contributor

Mimi Padmabandu is a scientific writer and Content Strategy Lead at Embark Veterinary. She has over a decade of experience writing about science and genomics for leading biotechnology companies. She holds a bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and a master’s degree in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College London.

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