Deep connection: Couple opts to clone dog who saved their life, to keep memory alive

  • California couple’s pet Marley passed away
  • The dog saved their life when they were on a hike
  • To keep Marley’s memory alive, they spent around $50,000 to have Marley cloned

There are individuals, animals, things or places that have provided us deep and profound connections that losing them hurts and we are willing to do everything just to keep them alive. A couple from California faced the same scenario when their pet Marley breath his last.

Image capture of video by
ABC 10 News via YouTube

CNN disclosed Marley’s heroism took place when the couple, Alicia and David Tschirhart, went on to a hike with their dog. She, four-month pregnant at the time, reached down to grab a walking stick. The dog moved quickly and went to the area where she was reaching.

“I just saw this really big stick and so I was focused on grabbing that. I didn’t even see the snake until Marley started clawing,” the couple narrated. Marley then chased the venomous rattlesnake away before it could harm them. The dog was later diagnosed with cancer and passed away five years ago.

To keep the dog’s memory alive and perhaps to honor and show their gratefulness for saving them. The two paid around $50,000 (around P2.5-million) to Viagen, a company offering cloning services for pets.

Satisfied as Marley and his clone Ziggy have uncanny similarities, the couple was quoted by ABC 10 News – San Diego saying, “They have the same personality, they play the same, they favor the same toys.”

David, as per Mercury News, said the cost was worth it: “It’s gone beyond my expectations, as far as what Ziggy would be.”

Image capture of video by
ABC 10 News via YouTube

Viagen said the cloning process happens through a veterinarian taking tissue biopsy from the living pet or shortly after its death. The biopsy will then be sent to Viagen to which they will culture new living cells from the sample and freeze them. Viagen will take one of the cells and replace the nucleus of a female dog’s egg with it; the egg and cell will join together and the embryo starts to grow.

The company clarifies that none of the genes in the original dog were changed; meaning, the clone is basically an identical twin, just born at a later time.

No words can fully describe the place of dogs deep inside us. It’s so special!

Watch this video by ABC 10 News San Diego for more information: