Friday, July 29, 2016

Give That Clone a Bone

From Pet Age comes this story of the last thing the world needs: cloned Jack Russell terriers.

ViaGen Pets has delivered the first American-born cloned puppy, a spunky Jack Russell Terrier named Nubia, who is a genetically-identical twin of the owner’s beloved pet.

Why am I not enthusiastic?

For the simple reason that there are scores of thousands of Jack Russell in shelters right now that just need a home.

Most are good dogs that simply need a loving pet home and a little training and discipline.  Their only crime is that they are not puppies.

To be clear, this is the first time an American company has cloned a Jack Russell terrier, not the first time an American has cloned a Jack Russell terrier.

It seems fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg and her media mogul husband Barry Diller could not handle the death of their Jack Russell Terrier, Shannon, and so they paid a Korean company $100,000 to clone two of her.

Of course, even cloned dogs do not look exactly like their cell donors -- pigment drifts around and settles.  In the end, you get dogs that look very related, but are quite clearly different, as the two Von Furstenberg clones, at top, demonstrate.


Viatecio said...

Part of having a dog is respecting their short longevity in relation to our own lifespans.

It would be emotionally hard for me to lose a dog and then have to see its physical clone and know that THAT DOG is still not the dog I just lost. Personally, there is no attachment left to the vehicle once the life that drove it is gone. It was all too easy to watch and assist with my dog's postmortem knowing that the body was just a shell at that point since life that was Herself had gone.

I know, it's not for everyone. If you're that attached, clone the dog and look at it on a daily basis knowing that it's still not the dog you once loved, even if it's a damn close physical match. I'm not sure I believe the whole thing about intelligence and temperament being similar, though. Too many factors go into that; yes, genetics is one of them, but having to be raised bearing the owner's emotional albatross is not a good thing.

That is a nice capture of the two dogs, though. They are physically striking, and I hope the couple is happy with them even if that's not the choice you or I would have made.

PBurns said...

Yes, you have it exactly right.

Hunting and being out in nature has made me appreciate and accept death. These dogs are being cloned by people who are still struggling with the idea. That's a lot of fear to carry around. I start every day with the old Sioux warrior affirmation: "This is a good day to die."

JL said...

The markings can vary even if the twins share a placenta and amniotic sac. This article shows twin merle puppies. Yes, very similar but definitely different at that early age. I haven't seen adult pictures of the two, though, and 16 years later, they're most likely gone.