You may not be able to live forever, but for a pretty penny, your dog certainly can. In a true medical miracle and a marvel of modern technology, a British couple has successfully created a clone of their dog … their dead dog. On Saturday, a tiny boxer puppy was born, but this was no normal birth — baby Chance is an exact clone of a boxer named Dylan, who died suddenly of a heart attack last year, leaving owners Laura Jacques and Richard Remde heartbroken. But in this case, money really can buy happiness in the form of a brand new identical dog. So if you’re really attached to your pet, don’t worry — you can sort of bring it back to life. It’ll just cost around $100,000.
— Dylan Dog (@WeLovedDylan) December 26, 2015
Chance will soon be joined by another brother, who is scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday. Because if you’re cloning a dog, you might as well make two, right? Dylan’s DNA was harvested from his muscle tissue, and was then sent to Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, the only institute that performs such procedures. Currently, the Foundation’s website states that “you have approximately five days to successfully extract and secure live cells,” but Jacques and Remde actually collected DNA from Dylan 12 days after he died.
“This is the first case we have had where cells have been taken from a dead dog after a very long time,” David Kim, a scientist at Sooam, told the Guardian. “Hopefully it will allow us to extend the time after death that we can take cells for cloning.”
Chance, who was born via caesarean section after being carried to term in a surrogate, has the exact same genetic makeup as Dylan, a fact that Remde and Jacques are still trying to wrap their heads around. When witnessing the birth of their brand new puppy, Jacques said she was overcome with emotion.
“The whole thing just feels surreal,” she said. “I lost all sense of time. I have no idea how long everything took, the whole thing made me feel very disoriented. I was just clinging on to Richard for about an hour and a half after Chance was born.”
“After they got him out I still couldn’t quite believe it had happened. But once he started making noises, I knew it was real. Even as a puppy of just a few minutes old I can’t believe how much he looks like Dylan,” she continued. “All the colorings and patterns on his body are in exactly the same places as Dylan had them.”
Remde was equally taken by the whole experience, telling the Guardian, “I was much more overwhelmed with emotion at the birth than I expected to be.”
The couple hopes to not only take home their two new puppies, but also their surrogate mothers, all of whom will be available for adoption following their seven-month quarantine. Who says cats are the only ones with nine lives?
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