For those of us who have dogs, we know that they can become the centerpiece of a
family. They are the family member that everyone can rely on, they will always be there and they will always listen and make you feel loved. When they die it is devastating. Everyone chooses to deal with the loss in their own way. For some people they have a good cry and reminisce over photos, other keep the cremains of their beloved pet on their mantel, some have their pet pooch taxidermized – dog cloning is becoming very popular nowadays!
Barbara Streisand went one step further and had her dog Samantha cloned after she died. Samantha was a beautiful Coton de Tulear.
Stem cells were taken from Samantha’s mouth and stomach lining shortly before her death. These stem cells were set to a cloning lab in Texas where they were used to create embryos that were implanted in a surrogate. The process isn’t guaranteed to work, and according the company that Ms. Streisand used the success rate of dog cloning via gene cloning is only about 40%, which means there are a fair number of miscarriages in the process. Luckily for Ms. Streisand the embryos took and four cloned cute puppies were born with the same genetic code as her recently deceased Samantha.
Unfortunately, one of the cloned puppies died before it was old enough to leave its surrogate mother. The other three small puppies made their way to their new home in Malibu. Two of the Coton de Tulear puppies stayed with Ms. Streisand and one went to a close family friend.
These dogs are not Samantha and Ms. Streisand has acknowledged that they don’t have the same personality as Samantha had. There is no reason they should either. Cloned pets are more like twins than replicas. They have similarities but it the sum of their life experiences that make them who they are.
Ms. Streisand said that she had seen a friend’s cloned dog and had been impressed with the process which spurred her to try it. Clearly pet cloning is a new trend for celebrities and wealthy pet owners. Another part of her decision was that she wanted another curly haired Coton de Tulears and had been unable to find one, as the straight-haired variety is more popular.
If you fancy cloning your dog it will cost you around $50,000. If you don’t have the cash readily to hand you could just pay the paltry sum of $1,600 to save your dog’s genetic material until you are ready to clone them.
I’m not sure what I would of if I was given the opportunity of my dog cloning. Fortunately, that is not a decision I will ever have to face, or many of us for that matter. This is an option that is only available to the select few who have the cash to spare.
Personally, I think I might stick with the box of tissues and the photo album. I don’t think any dog could ever replace my pet dog, not even if they had the same genes. For me it feels like it might detract from the memory. What about you? If you had a spare $50,000 would you clone your dog?