NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Even if it’s different this year, Easter is all about families coming together.

That’s also true for a family of dogs, separated at birth, and reunited in a chance encounter on the Upper West Side, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Sunday.

It’s a “dog gone” good story.

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The three dogs were a father and two sons, all rescues from Texas. They were adopted by three separate families. And as luck would have it, the owners said they randomly re-connected miles away in New York City.

“We turn a corner and Leo goes to this dog who is near a tree and it was magnetic. The dogs truly recognized each other. It was a very different interaction than he had been having with other dogs,” Tara Derington said.

(Photo: CBS2)

Derington was walking on the Upper West Side when Leo, her Poochon mix, pulled her over to meet a similar-looking dog and its owners, Jason Hellerstein and Mattie Kahn.

“So this was totally unexpected,” Kahn said.

“I said he just came up from Texas. He says, ‘Our dog just came up from Texas. Is your dog from Dr. Doolittle’s Rescue Ranch?’ He was like, yes, and I was like, this is my dog’s dad!” Derington said.

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She said the adoption agency had told her the dog’s father was adopted in the same zip code and she had seen his picture.

In that moment they snapped a quick shot of their first encounter.

But the tail deepens.

They said the dog Murray is Leo’s brother, and was also surrendered to a Texas shelter and later adopted by Derington’s friend, Anne Sachs.

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Now, all three dogs live just neighborhoods apart and plan to all go to the same doggie day care.

“He’s got his brother and he’s got his dad. It’s like a slice of home wherever we go,” Sachs said. “We’ve all missed our families, you know. I miss my family, too, so it’s nice to be able to have a story about families getting back together.”

“You don’t think about doggie DNA, but they all sleep with their foot curled up underneath them. They all stand up on their hind legs when they get really excited to meet another dog. They all have the same bark,” Derington said.

The humans have now formed their own pack, and said after a long, isolated year the canine connection is a much needed bright spot.

Natalie Duddridge