While shelters in many southern states remain overcrowded, some adopters in the Northeast have had trouble finding the perfect pooch amid the pandemic. Adoption numbers are way up, leading many southern rescues—like Dr. Dolittle’s Rescue Ranch in Texas—to send their pups to families as far north as New Hampshire.
Three New York City families recently discovered they not only adopted from the same rescue, but their pups happen to be blood relatives!
Marvin and Leo Sniff Each Other Out
Mattie Kahn and her boyfriend Jason Hellerstein adopted Marvin around Christmastime and moved the Texas pooch to their posh Upper West Side neighborhood. It was there that they ran into Tara Derington and her newly-rescued pup, Leo. Derington knew Leo’s dog-dad lived somewhere in the same NYC neighborhood, but the Upper West Side is a big place.
She had no idea the two pups would be nose-to-nose in no time. However, she made it a point to scope out other dogs on walks.
One day, as Derington and Leo were taking their morning constitutional, a shaggy pooch with a curly tail began sniffing Leo. The two dogs were similar in size with coats of the same length and identical, albeit different colored, tails. As Derington chatted with the dog’s owner, who turned out to be Jason Hellerstein, they discovered both pups were from Dr. Dolittle’s Rescue Ranch. Even more amazing, they were father and son!
That’s right! Hellerstein’s brown pup is the biological father of Derington’s snow-white Leo!
“We had no idea that he had a son,” Hellerstein told Inside Edition.
After arriving home and filling girlfriend Mattie Kahn in on the uncanny situation, she took to Twitter writing:
“Gather round for an unbelievable tale of dogs, DNA, and chance encounters. I can’t decide if this entire thing is a Metropolitan Diary, a Pixar film, or a children’s book that I simply must write.”
A Movie in the Making
And the story doesn’t end there. After having such a wonderful experience with Dr. Dolittle’s Rescue Ranch, Derington had encouraged her friend, Anne Sachs, to adopt Leo’s brother, Murray. A combination of his chocolatey dad and marshmallow bro, Murray is brown with a white muzzle, chest, and paws. And, of course, he has the same curly tail!
Murray officially became a New Yorker on January 7. The trio of dog families arranged a reunion this past Sunday at Bull Moose Dog Run, next to the Museum of Natural History. The dogs nipped, chased, and romped as their humans got to know one another.
“It’s so exciting to see the dogs just so happy to be together,” Derington noted. “It’s pretty special that we adopted three dogs all in the same family from Texas and ended up living in the same zip code.”
Now that everyone is friends, the group hopes to meet up again as spring comes to New York City. According to Kahn, a culture editor at Glamour Magazine, the story would make an excellent Nora Ephron film. Apparently, the screenwriter/director is a big fan of the Upper West Side.
“So I do feel like an Upper West Side family reunion with a little bit of drama, some barking, some loud characters, does feel like it fits in a Nora Ephron movie.”
Watch Marvin, Leo, and Murray’s adorable reunion romp!
H/T & Featured Screenshot via Inside Edition