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Lieutenant Dan is One in a Million


A German Shorthaired Pointer dog looks up, with his hind legs attached to a dog wheelchair.

Lieutenant Dan (Lt. Dan) was found on the side of the road in North Carolina in May 2017.

Named after the character Lieutenant Dan Taylor from the film Forrest Gump, Lt. Dan the dog is paralyzed in both hind legs. But that doesn’t stop him from running and playing with the help of his wheelchair.

Everyone who knows Lt. Dan knows that he is a very special dog with a unique story. We’re proud to say that this special pup became the one millionth dog tested with Embark.

A German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Lt Dan stands in his wheelchair.
Photo courtesy of Rick Miller

Lt. Dan’s story

Fortunately, Lt. Dan was rescued from the roadside and soon found his forever home. He was adopted on May 19, 2017 and started a new life with the Miller family in New York.

“He came into our lives thanks to the kindness of someone who found him,” Rick Miller says.

“Dan is one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever met,” Rick adds. “He thinks that every person and animal he meets is his best friend. People who know Dan come up to me and tell me what an inspiration he is to them, as he is so happy and full of life while coping with a significant disability.” 

A young German Shorthaired Pointer dog with his hind legs in a custom wheelchair.
Photo courtesy of Rick Miller

“What’s amazing is that he doesn’t know he is different from any other dog when he is in his cart,” Rick says. 

Lt. Dan’s Embark results

Curious about Lt. Dan’s DNA, Rick purchased the Embark Purebred Test.

The Embark test revealed that Lt. Dan is, in fact, a single-breed German Shorthaired Pointer. German Shorthaired Pointers are highly intelligent hunting dogs as well as energetic, family-loving companions.

Embark results for a dog named Lt. Dan showing he is 100.0% German Shorthaired Pointer.

Lt. Dan’s Embark results.

The Embark test also revealed that Lt. Dan has one copy of a variant associated with low ALT levels. ALT is a key indicator of liver health. Because Lt. Dan likely has lower-than-average resting ALT activity, an increase in ALT above this level could help his veterinarian monitor and catch future liver health issues.

“I really appreciate what Embark offers for dog parents wanting to know more about their dog’s genetic information,” Rick says.

Get started with Embark

Ready to find out what your dog’s DNA says about them? Get to know your dog even better with an Embark Dog DNA Test.

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We’ve tested over two million dogs, and that means a lot of one-of-a-kind names. Read more about dogs like Mason Mason and Bamm-Bamm, and check out the top dog name trends we’ve found among Embarked dogs.

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.

Read more about Mimi Padmabandu

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