Cloning your dog – who does that? Barbra Streisand apparently. I didn’t even know it was a thing until I read her article about it in the New York Times a few weeks ago. Obviously, seeing the headline, I had to know more. Could it be that someone else in the world loves their pet(s) to an even more fanatical extreme than I do? I guess so.
Allow me to summarize: after suffering the devastating loss of her beloved dog Sammie, Barbra decided to make a duplicate copy of the little fur ball – a rare, curly-haired “Coton De Tulear”, to be exact. I told my husband this story – and without blinking an eye, he simply replied, “Don’t repeat the name of that dog breed aloud ever again.” He has a fairly hard heart.
Now Barbra – spelled B-A-R-B-R-A which yes, is minus one normal A, and which adds to the freakiness of this event – must have known about the availability of this “creating a new pet to look exactly like your old pet” process before the whole “death of Sammie thing” though, because you don’t just clone a dog like you move a sofa. It’s takes some doing, read: slicing flesh and gathering DNA, etc. etc. etc. It’s more like reupholstering that sofa. You have to pick out some new fabric, take the unwieldy piece of furniture to the shop, wait a while, and then pay a whole wad of money before getting it back, the entire time, praying to god that the guy doesn’t fuck it up.
Anyway, while Barbra was waiting to see if the cloning process “took” so to speak, she got a little impatient, both adopting a dog AND getting another puppy from the breeder from whence she’d originally gotten Sammie (the now deceased, but unquestionably not forgotten canine). With two new dogs, she then found out that four clones had been generated. Sadly, the runt died, which left three. In the end, she gave one clone away, and kept two – understandably. You get the opportunity to have more than one clone of your favourite little pup, you take it. She also gave away the adopted dog to her manager’s assistant. A person can only handle so many. She now has three dogs. That’s pretty much it.
So what did I learn from reading about Barbra’s experience? Well, first off – as hard as this is to believe (according to my husband) – I am NOT the craziest pet owner on the planet. He can zip it. Cats are good for reducing blood pressure. Given the crazy hours he keeps for work, he should be thanking Lionel and Cleo and Jackson for saving his ungrateful life.
I also learned that cloning your dog (or cat for that matter) is not an exact science. While you may go into the whole deal asking for just one dog, you could very well end up with four (or more presumably). Like that show Kate Plus Eight and/or Outdaughtered, you need to be careful what you wish for. More is not always better. You may wind up having to pimp out your family as the objects of a trashy reality show to pay for your unmanageable existence.
Now as much as I love my pets, I’m not sure that cloning is such a great idea. Another problem with it (and this info I got from scouring multiple animal protective services sites) is that in order to make one little clone, you need a few other – what one might call “contributor” animals – like the egg donor, and the surrogate. Question then is, how are these other animals treated? Who provides them? And do they live in a cage in the basement of the “lab”, eating month-old hotdogs and drinking marginally clean water, not a fuzzy blanket in sight. I mean, that’s what I imagine a dog cloning factory would be like. OK, it’s probably not that bad, but some female dog has to give her body up for the purpose of spawning someone else’s beloved fur child (and someone else’s and someone else’s), and you can bet nobody asked her about it.
Sure, you say, but cloning your dog is just a form of experimentation. People test make-up and toilet bowl cleaner on monkeys and mice all the time. What’s the difference? In some places, people even eat dog sandwiches. Luckily in this case, it’s not like any animals are being killed. Or are they? Certainly, not all clone attempts turn out perfect. For the ones that don’t, what happens? Is there a garburator or a fire pit for the rejects? Hmmmm…
Besides, how would anyone ever know? If McDonald’s can get away with putting rat entrails and horse meat in their burgers (I’m not sure about this, but I wouldn’t put it past them) then dogs WILL be cloned.
You know, I’m an open-minded person, and I try not to judge. And I do love you Barbra. You are good at singing, but this dog cloning thing seems a little “not for the greater good” type of deal. But then again, I actually enjoy watching Vanderpump Rules on the regular – Lisa Vanderpump is a boss – so who am I to talk?
What do you think about cloning your dog? Is it something you would do – yes or no? Comment down below…
Also, if you want to see my husband Chris draw rectangular dogs in an effort to explain the cloning process using his science-y doctor brain, click play on the following video and enjoy!