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Who's Blu? How I Used A DNA Test To Discover My Dog's Past

By Alisa Hauser | August 22, 2017 7:41am
 Images of Blu
Images of Blu
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — If Blu were my actual baby, we'd share the same DNA. I would know more about his genetic makeup and what illnesses he might be predisposed to and need to battle.

But Blu is not my child. He's a dog.

It's common for people — especially those who are child-free, like me — to think of their pets as kids. Some women even call themselves "dog moms."

And, doggone it, this mom has questions.

Here's what I know: Blu was "Pup 14630-02" at birth. He was sired by Etul Nuar Tomas. He was born to dame Lucy Pendleton on March 31, 2014. Those details are from his health records supplied by Conrad's Cuddly Canines in Frankford, Mo.

The records from Blu's first owner, a woman who bought him at a pet store in southwest suburban Tinley Park on July 2, 2014, were tucked into the back of a folder I was given when I adopted him on Dec. 13, 2015, from the Pets Are Worth Saving Adoption Center in Lincoln Park.

Blu's prior owner said he was a Havanese, though the shelter described him as a schnauzer/terrier mix.

Recently, a story pitch from Australian company Orivet landed in my inbox, presenting a way to discover more details on my furry companion.

Orivet Genetic Pet Care sells genetic DNA testing services for dogs and cats, allowing pet owners to learn more about their pet's unique personality traits, health needs and inherent risks.

The at-home test kits start at $94.

Orivet offered a complimentary testing kit to media folks with dogs. The company had been looking for reporters who might be game for putting their dogs through a DNA test to solve mysteries related to breed and health.

A DNA collection kit was mailed to me and I was given a link to an account on the Orivet website where I could view the results of Blu's "Canine Attributes Profile PLUS Breed Identification Test."

The test would determine Blu's breed and provide a personalized wellness plan based on the breeds and screen for all available heritable diseases and traits.

It would finally give me the answer to the question we get a lot on the street: "What is he?"

WEDNESDAY: Taking the sample isn't easy.

THURSDAY: Blu's genetic history revealed.


Alejandra Moreno and Jeremy Winn discuss #dogDNAtesting h/t @orivetgenetics

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Blu meets a young friend #bucktown #walshpark #inthebeat

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Happy Sunday

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Carthartt sells dog overcoats/jackets.

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Happy Monday. Dream big, Blu says.

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Who's in @the606chicago small dog park at Walsh? Just 1 dog, eager for more pups

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We have a new office and are no longer by the carpets! Find us behind the bunk beds

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No comment, not even a 'woof' h/t #wgnnewschicago #abc7 #dogsofinstagram

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No judgement, he just sees a car and wants to go for a ride #wickerpark #carsofinstagram

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