When Variety casually mentioned in a profile that Barbra Streisand had her beloved dead dog cloned, readers weren’t sure what to do with the information.
Then The New York Times gave Streisand an entire column dedicated to her furry duplicates ― and so an internet-wide existential crisis broke out.
“I was so devastated by the loss of my dear Samantha, after 14 years together, that I just wanted to keep her with me in some way,” begins Streisand’s column, not intended to be the opening scene of a sci-fi novel.
“It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA.”
Sammie the dog died in 2017.
Streisand’s Times piece ― which revealed that DNA from Sammie’s cheek and “tummy” skin produced not one but four clones ― sent readers into a black hole of questions about life, love, identity and what it all really means.
I just feel like you'd have to have such fraught feelings toward a dog that was a clone of your old dog.— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) March 1, 2018
Can you love the clone(s) as much as the original? Do you see it as an individual entity or just a xerox of the old one?— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) March 1, 2018
Do you resent it for not being exactly like the original?— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) March 1, 2018
and I feel like this is something that Barbara Streisand has thought about since she noted in the interview that “They have different personalities"— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) March 1, 2018
According to legendary singer/songwriter/actress/filmmaker, a veterinarian obtained DNA from Samantha, a curly-haired Coton de Tulear, right before she died. They sent the DNA to a genetic lab and waited for the clones to be engineered into existence.
In the meantime, Streisand adopted a Maltipoo she named Sadie and a straight-haired Coton de Tulear, a distant relative of the original Samantha, whom she named Miss Fanny.
Then the lab called. Streisand’s four puppy clones were ready. One died, but three were ready for delivery to her home to join her two newly adopted dogs.
“But still, five dogs were too much for me to handle,” Streisand wrote, emphasizing the number of dogs now in her possession.
To cull the dogs in her care, she gave the adopted Maltipoo to her manager’s assistant and one of the Sammie clones to “the 13-year-old daughter of my A&R man.”
Streisand now has three puppies: Miss Fanny and clones Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett.
Kinda upset that, from now on, no matter what happy or sad event I recall from my past, I now know at that same time Barbra Streisand was out in Malibu cloning dogs— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) March 2, 2018
Streisand has always been an iconic figure in Hollywood, but now, thanks to the editors at The New York Times, her influence lives beyond the silver screen and into a strange future where celebrities clone dogs while the rest of us wonder endlessly: “How?” and “Why?”
Barbara Streisand said she cloned her dead dog twice. I think I finally figured out the level of rich and crazy I want to be.— Michael Bennett (@BennettOnAir) February 28, 2018
The funny thing about Barbra Streisand's "Why I Cloned My Dog" piece is that it just basically boils down to, "Because I could."— Max Weiss (@maxthegirl) March 2, 2018
“And then the 13-year-old daughter of my A&R man bonded with one of the clones...” BARBRA STREISAND IS AMERICA’S MOST EXCITING NEW SCIENCE FICTION WRITER https://t.co/yocGrJiELm— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) March 2, 2018
Who said the NYT op ed page ain't lit?— Geoffrey Rickly (@GeoffRickly) March 3, 2018
did the new york times send a photographer to document barbra streisand's dog clones looking mournfully at their source dog's grave? did barbra streisand already have this picture on file? WE NEED ANSWERS— Claire McNear (@claire_mcnear) March 2, 2018
I only want to live in a world where Barbra Streisand is writing personal essays about cloning dogs for the NY Times. https://t.co/fWrawFKb0Z— Alligator Man (@yosoymichael) March 2, 2018
barbra streisand - she's just like us https://t.co/lhiJXxTxPc— Byrd Pinkerton (@byrdala) March 2, 2018
May Sammie the original rest in peace and triplicity.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.