Would you clone your dog?

When asked who would play us in the movie of Bark and Lunge, it’s easy to cast the roles of me and Rob. Right now, I’m thinking Kristen Bell and Chris Pratt, but I’ve also thrown out Claire Danes and Jennifer Lawrence for me, and Matt Damon and Andrew Garfield for Rob.

The real challenge though, would be casting Isis. Someone suggested we clone her, which actually, is a possibility because we have some of her baby teeth. Think of it … we could shoot the movie throughout her life, just like Boyhood!

It would be a true test of nature versus nurture. I’ve often thought that if we had socialized Isis correctly, if we’d never put a prong collar on her, Isis would not have been a totally different dog. She might have been less fearful or leash-reactive, but she still would have nipped our ankles with her needly puppy teeth, and pulled on the leash, and loved soccer balls and licking ears and lying across my body like a cuddly Isis blanket.

But if we cloned her … if we really could do it all over again, would a dog with Isis’s exact genetic make-up be the same as Isis? Would she be predestined to die young or could we prevent her early death?

I can take the fantasy pretty far. I picture bringing baby Isis into this house, where Leo would be way more accepting of a new puppy than Isis was of him. And she’d have big sister Mia to keep her in line. If Isis had Leo and Mia’s ankles to nibble on, would that make her less likely to nibble ours?

How much would I be willing to pay to create a genetic match? I feel like if I could pay on credit, I’d pay any amount to have four more years with Isis. But that would be selfish. I should spend that money on finding homes for shelter dogs.

Still … I’d do it for science.

Would you?

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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

16 thoughts on “Would you clone your dog?

  1. I don’t think I would. I’ve read a bit on cloning and even though they have the same exact genetic makeup they were not the same. There’s a wonderful book called Dogs INC http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Inc-Collection-Visionaries-Eccentrics-ebook/dp/B004C04TJW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-1&keywords=cloning+dogs that I would recommend you read. 🙂 I spend a lot of time, too, wondering about my first dog and if I hadn’t used punitive methods on him how he would of turned out but we can’t go back, we can only go forward.

  2. Short answer: no.

    Yes, there are things I wish I had done better. I don’t think cloning so I could get a “do over” is the answer. We don’t know how much of living being is nurture and how much is nature — so would a “do over” even be able to change what we didn’t like? And would changing those parts somehow affect the parts that we did like? (Think Butterfly Effect.) I think it’s just best to tell yourself you did the best you could with the knowledge you had, but now that you know better you will do better.

    1. Yes, that’s definitely my mantra: I did then what I knew how to do and when I knew better I did better. But I’m still curious what the butterly effect might give us!

  3. My family used to joke about cloning our Buddha husky, Katie. She was so perfect… except for the underwear eating. But while I often feel I would pretty much give anything to have even one more winter with Tynan or to have ignorantly not punished Brychwyn when his leash reactivity first reared it’s ugly head, I don’t think I’d really clone anyone. There are so many factors that make up what we like and don’t like about our pets, friends and family, that it could never be replicated, even the bad parts. And when it comes down to it I wouldn’t want a Katie that didn’t eat underwear, or a single thing different about each magical moment with Tynan or even a less barky, lungey corgi! Truly.

    Thanks for joining the Positive Pet Training hop this month!

    1. The above makes more sense if read “not ignorantly punished” as in I didn’t know better back then. So thankful for positive reinforcement training here!

  4. Yes, I would have absolutely cloned my Welsh terrier, Wally. He was a wonderful little guy in every way. But now, since I’ve become allergic to all pups, I would clone my hubster, Robert. It doesn’t get any better than with Bob.

  5. There is so much pain and cruelty involved for the surrogate mothers. I would never do it.

  6. No.
    Dogs are wonderful individual creatures, you’d never get your previous dog back. And their are many other wonderful pups in needs of homes that I think it’s silly to be so selfish. You won’t change the past by cloning a dog, better to have lived and learned.
    I agree with Cascadian Nomads on this one.

  7. While I love Donna, having a clone will probably just make me keep comparing the clone to the original, which really isn’t going to be fair considering their life experiences will be so different. Donna had a previous home before us after all. 🙂 Interesting thought though.

  8. Hi

    I think maybe my Mum would love to clone me and her previous dogs as she says we’re/were just pawfect! 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  9. No, I don’t think I would. As much as the thought could be tempting….we lost our beagle last winter, and he was one of the best dogs we’ve had. It seems like it would be wonderful to have him again, but he wouldn’t really be the same, and that could possibly make me miss the original even more. He was raised with some in-laws for his first year, and what if we found out he was a better dog being raised by them for that first year, than us? That’s a scientific experiment I don’t think I want to perform….it could turn out to be disappointing in many ways.

  10. Everyone’s made such good points. I thought a lot more people would say, “Yes. In a second.” But you’re right, it wouldn’t really be Isis. If Orphan Black has taught me anything, it’s that genetic identicals are not the same in every way.

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