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California family clones dog after it dies

Ziggy is like a lot like other dogs, family says

The Golden Retriever, with its intelligence and eager to please attitude, is one of the most popular breeds in the United States according toAKC registration statistics. The working ability that has made the Golden Retriever such a useful hunting companion also make him an ideal guide, assistance and search and rescue dog. The golden-colored coat is the hallmark of this versatile breed, and can range from light to dark gold.
The Golden Retriever, with its intelligence and eager to please attitude, is one of the most popular breeds in the United States according toAKC registration statistics. The working ability that has made the Golden Retriever such a useful hunting companion also make him an ideal guide, assistance and search and rescue dog. The golden-colored coat is the hallmark of this versatile breed, and can range from light to dark gold.

Losing a dog is tragic and most families would do anything to get their furry friend back.

One California family wasn't ready to say goodbye to the dog that helped save their lives, so they found an unusual way to keep their dog's memory alive by cloning him.

Ziggy the dog is like a lot of other labs. exuberant and very curious. He's David and Alicia Tschirhart's second dog.

Their first lab was Marley, who they had for 12 years.

They got Ziggy five years later and their similarities, uncanny. That’s because they are the same.

"It's like the same technology that dolly the sheep was cloned with a long time ago," David Tschirhart said.

Ziggy is a clone of Marley, made possible by a company called Via Gen.

The family made that decision right after Marley died. To them he wasn't just a dog, they owed their lives to him.

They were on a hike on Battle Mountain in 2014 and Alicia, who was about four months pregnant, was looking for a walking stick.

Marley sensed something Alicia did not.

"I saw this really big stick and so I was focused on grabbing that. I didn't even see the snake until Marley came and was clawing," Alicia Tschirhart said.

A coiled rattlesnake had been right next to the stick but slithered away when Marley jumped in.

"It was just really special," Alicia Tschirhart said.

Now, with their growing family, they were ready to bring Marley back.

"It's gone beyond my expectations as far as what Ziggy would be," David Tschirhart said.

Via Gen's website lists the cost as $50,000.

Tor the Tschirhart's, it’s a small price to pay to give life to a dog that saved theirs.

“I just couldn’t think of any better way do that, to have, you know, their years growing up to have Ziggy around,” David Tschirhart said.