They knew Marley was the perfect dog. So when it came time to say goodbye to their beloved Labrador, Alicia and David Tschirhart did what they had to do to keep a part of Marley alive — they cloned him.
Ziggy’s resemblance to Marley, the California couple say, is uncanny.
“They have the same personality, they play the same, they favor the same toys,” Alicia told CNN San Diego affiliate KGTV of the new animal in their lives.
While cloning your pet seems like something you’d see in a sci-fi movie, it’s actually been done more often than you’d think.
In 2018, actress and singer Barbara Streisand revealed that two of her dogs were clones of a previous dog. In South Korea, a sniffer dog that was known for his “legendary” nose was cloned to produce seven other sniffer dogs. And in 2009, five puppies were cloned from Trakr, a hero dog that is credited with finding the last survivor beneath the rubble of the 9/11 attacks in New York.
David and Alicia Tschirhart had their Labrador retriever, Marley since he was just a young pup. Marley was apart of their family through many years of their life and experienced all chapters. One, the birth of the couples first daughter, Madeline.
Marley was pronounced a hero in 2014 when the couple and Marley went on a hike at San Diego’s Battle Mountain in Escondido. Alicia was four months pregnant with her daughter Madeline.
About a quarter mile into their hike, Alicia veered off path to find a walking stick to help her with the rest of the hike. That is the exact moment Marley scurried away from David and ran to Alicia as she almost reached down and got bit by a rattlesnake. Because of Marley, Alicia and her baby girl are alive.
An Escondido family credits their dog for saving their life while on a hike. So it only makes sense that after 12 years, they weren’t ready to say goodbye after their dog died.
So David and Alicia Tschirhart found another way to keep “Marley’s” memory alive.
Enter Viagen, a company that offers cloning services for pets. The technology is the same used to famously clone Dolly the sheep in 1997.