Barbra Streisand recently sat down with Variety and talked about everything from Harvey Weinstein to her extensive career. However, out of the entire interview, one piece of information that was casually mentioned and particularly stuck out to readers was that the icon cloned her late dog Samantha to make two new ones.
The news made headlines and caused a bit of controversy over why the actress would clone a dog instead of rescuing a new one and saving its life.
Now, Streisand explained the reasoning behind the medical marvel to The New York Times. “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. It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA,” she said.
“A friend had cloned his beloved dog, and I was very impressed with that dog. So Sammie’s doctor took some cells from inside her cheek and the skin on her tummy just before she died,” she continued.
While she waited to see if the cells would take at ViaGen Pets in Texas, Samantha’s breeder gave her another Coton de Tulear, whose mother was named Funny Girl. “It felt like fate, as if it was meant to be. How could I refuse that little girl? So I took her, too, and named her Miss Fanny.”
Eventually, the cells did take and made four dogs, one of which died soon after birth and the other she gave away. She kept two of the clones, and named them Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett. “You can clone the look of a dog, but you can’t clone the soul. Still, every time I look at their faces, I think of my Samantha…and smile.”
Read the full explanation here.