Middleburg Heights, OH (WJW) – “What kind of dog is that?” is a typical conversation starter at dog parks.
Fox 8 spoke to the owners of two Northeast Ohio dogs who wanted to be able to answer that question. In the end, their curiosity expanded their family.
“We were looking at the Friendship APL in Elyria. We were in the Facebook group where they would post their puppies each day, and when we saw our now Ozzie’s picture, she just. Immediately, we were like, that’s our dog,” said Abbie Kokoski.
Kokoski is a Fox 8 producer and works on New Day Cleveland.
In June 2021, she and her husband adopted Ozzie, an adorable pup with two different-colored eyes. Kokoski said Friendship APL described her as a cattle dog mix.
“So, it wasn’t until she started to grow. Probably a couple of months in, we’re like, ‘Okay, I’m not really seeing a whole lot of cattle dog,” said Kokoski.
The Kokoskis had their guesses on Ozzie’s breed but ordered an Embark Dog DNA Test. The results showed Ozzie was about 46 percent Pit Bull, 29 percent Australian Cattle Dog, 16 percent Siberian Husky, and 7 percent Border Collie.
“It was cool because, on the website, it kind of showed you similar dogs around the country that have done the DNA test and just with similar makeups,” said Kokoski. “That was, we never thought anything of it.”
Months later, Kokoski received a message on Facebook from a woman who firmly believed her dog, Yoko, was Ozzie’s mother.
Yoko, too, was adopted from Friendship APL, and her owners, Christina Bell and Julie Vasu said they were made aware that Yoko had recently given birth to a litter.
Embark’s relationship finder found Yoko and Ozzie to be a 54 percent match, a likely parent and offspring relationship.
After nearly a year of Ozzie and Yoko’s owners exchanging photos, Fox 8 cameras were there when, tails wagging, Yoko and Ozzie were reunited.
“They’re kind of matching each other’s energy really well, said Bell. “Sometimes Yoko doesn’t get along, you know, with all dogs. That’s normal. They’re like people, and I guess Ozzie sort of is the same way, too. So, it’s nice they’re having fun together.”
All three owners said they could see the similarities.
“Ozzie has the white, one of Yoko’s eyes,” said Vasu. “And then we found out, Ozzie, I think cattle dog is what it was. So, that’s what Yoko must have mated with, and it’s just a really cool story that kind of unfolded.”
Like Yoko and Ozzie, Embark says 12 percent of the dogs who take their DNA Test match with a parent, sibling, or offspring.
“What we hear is, you know, the dogs, even if they’ve been apart for years, they react differently. Like they know, you know, like, they’re like a family reunion,” said Embark Veterinary CEO Ryan Boyko.
For Kokoski, Ozzie and Yoko are two loveable pups with loads of energy that a mix of curiosity and fate brought back together.
“We just wanted to know what breed she was, and now look what it’s become,” said Kokoski. “So, someone that was thinking about it and doesn’t know what their dog is, just do it. It’s fun because who knows what you’re going to find out?”