Photography by Emma O'Brien
Duey’s owner, Brenda Ryan, shares his story...
My Extra Special Boy
It is said that our beloved pets choose us, and I believe it’s true. How else could this special boy be left sitting at a rescue shelter for six months without any takers? When Duey joined our family he was already ‘big for his age’. We, my dad and I, thought Duey was going to be roughly the size of a Cocker Spaniel – taking after his own dad. But his mom, a Rottweiler, left him her legacy and, needless to say, he turned out rather bigger than expected.
On Duey’s adoption papers, he is listed as a Cocker-Rotti. As exotic as that sounds, nobody ever believes us when we tell them what he’s made of. For all intents and purposes he looks and behaves like a Labrador – and it’s easier to go with that than to try and explain!
My interest in MuttMix came about when Duey was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at the tender age of nine months. Because of his mixed heritage, his hip socket and femur did not develop properly. He had surgery at Valley Farm Veterinary Hospital in 2011, and a hip socket was carved out for him. His half-formed femur head was removed, to make way for a prosthesis that came with a lifelong guarantee. The procedure is known as a KYON Cementless Total Hip Replacement, and after a year of physio, Duey was able to run, walk, swim and play with the best of them! I call him my diamond boy – a nod to the diamond coating on the head of the prosthesis giving him super articulation and full range of motion!
Duey’s MuttMix results:
Level 2: Rottweiler
Level 4: West Highland White Terrier
Level 4: Dachshund
Level 4: Poodle
Interestingly, when Duey’s results came back, his dad’s DNA was nowhere to be found. What was discovered was a fabulous mix of Rottweiler, West Highland White Terrier, Dachshund and Poodle. Quite an eclectic mix made all the more precious by his endearing smile, his courageous heart, his playfulness and his sweet, gentle nature.
By getting Duey’s DNA certified, it gave me a clearer insight into my boy’s genetics, knowing what could potentially cause problems and the best preventative measures to take. He is a strong, healthy boy today, and not only am grateful to the surgeons who saved his life, and his vets who keep him in good health – I am very thankful to MuttMix for providing a wonderful insight into Duey’s world, and to what makes him tick!
Dominique from MuttMix says…
Mixed breeds have much more genetic variation than pure breed dogs. For example, 2 black mixed breed parents may each have a recessive gene that causes blonde colouring, and produce a litter of puppies with 3 blondes, 2 brunettes and 2 with patches. A mixed breed dog is also not guaranteed to receive the ‘breed’ genes from both parents (in some cases, one of the parents’ breeds can be completely missing in their litter) and is often the reason why a litter of mixed breed puppies can come out looking so different to each other.
All the more reason to love your absolutely unique mixed breed pooch; there are no two alike!