We’re a nation that loves a good long-lost family reunion. We’ve sobbed our hearts out at Davina McCall bringing families together on ITV, and an estimated 4.7 million of us have sought out our own answers through a home ancestry kit.
But a Tameside man has sent out a very special appeal after receiving DNA test results not for himself, but for his beloved four-year-old dog Paddy – who it appears has a nearby mystery relative.
Joe Kirkham, who lives in Hyde, is hoping to reunite Paddy with his canine connection after tracing his ancestry through a DNA test. Joe adopted Paddy, a Staffie cross, when he was a six-month-old puppy from a home unable to look after him properly.
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He was curious about his pooch’s genetic make-up, so found a doggy DNA testing company, and sent off for the results. When they arrived earlier this week, Joe was surprised to find he was also supplied with a list of dogs who are related to Paddy – including one in his hometown of Hyde.
“He’s not…not strange looking, he’s a lovely looking dog,” Joe told the Manchester Evening News . “But we’ve always wanted to know what his ancestry was.
“So we sent off his DNA and we got the results. It gives you a breakdown of what breeds of dog he is, but it also gives you a list of all the dogs that are related, and one of them was in Hyde.”
Joe paid £69.99 for his test from Wisdom Panel, who claim their tests are “more than 98% accurate” in determining a dog’s genetic background. And he’s hoping to reunite Paddy, who is 59% Staffie, 13% Greyhound and 7% Whippet, with his long-lost relative for his fourth birthday today.
“I just thought it was unbelievable, because I live in Hyde, and when the results came back they said he had a relative in Hyde,” Joe said. He has been posting pictures of Paddy in local Facebook groups, hoping to find information about who his pup’s mystery relation could be.
Joe knows that Paddy’s relative is called Blue, and is a Staffie with a blue/grey colouring. He’s appealing to the Hyde community to help him bring together his doggy family.
Joe, who is retired, said that it is “amazing” how many people stop and speak to him when he is on a walk with Paddy. “A lot more people chat to you when you’ve got a dog on a lead. We got him because he gets us out, even when it’s the middle of winter you’ve got to take him for a walk.
“He’s a real ladies dog.”
Joe is yet to find Paddy’s relative, but has had a lead from one Facebook group which he is looking into. “I didn’t expect it, I didn’t expect to find a name,” he said. “But if anyone knows Blue, give me a shout.”