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We love our dogs to bits. There is not a single thing that we want to change about our little best friends, and the thought of ever having to live without them makes our stomachs bunch up into massive knots. While your dog is the perfect epitome of what a best friend should be, if you could have an exact replica of the dog you know and love, would you?
It sounds a little “Back to the Future,” but could you imagine what it would be like to care for the genetic twin of your beloved pooch? Well, this winner of a “dog cloning” competition, Rebecca Smith, just found out.
But before you read Rebecca and her cloned dog’s story, we have to wonder whether it is responsible for anyone (no matter how much you love your pets) to commit to cloning their beloved dogs and cats when there are, literally, millions of healthy animals waiting to be adopted in shelters.
In addition, the cloning process has received a bit of criticism for being “ethically dubious.” When Dolly the sheep was cloned, she was riddled with health problems and needed to be put down at the age of five. Mini-Winnie has been given a clean bill of health and scientists don’t believe there is any reason why she won’t live to be at least 15, the standard age for a dachshund.
Check out the photos of Winnie and Mini-Winnie and let us know what YOU think!
Meet Winnie and Mini-Winnie
The UK Daily Mail reports that, “the cloning process would normally cost £60,000 [almost $100,000].” That’s a pretty steep price, but Smith, a resident of Battersea, England, was able to have her precious Dachshund, Winnie, cloned for free.
Winnie is a very special part of Smith’s life.Smith explained to the Daily Mail, ” she was given Winnie as an 18th birthday present and credits the dog with helping her through spells of bulimia and depression.”
Smith often joked about wanting to clone her, especially as Winnie began to age. Smith wants Winnie to be in her wedding as her maid-of-honor. Mini-Winnie will also follow Smith down the isle.
Mini-Winnie was cloned using the same process that was used to clone Dolly, the sheep.
Scientists at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation created a genetically identical embryo from a skin sample from the original Winnie. After fertilization, the embryo was implanted in a surrogate Dachschund.
Mini-Winnie was born March 30th in South Korea.
Smith says Mini-Winnie looks exactly like the original Winnie did when she was a puppy.
The resemblance between the two is pretty uncanny.
Smith does notice a difference in their personalities. Original Winnie is more placid where Mini-Winnie is very playful and energetic.
When the pair first met, Smith says, “We put them both on the carpet and they went up to each other and had a little sniff.”
The pair sleep together in Smith’s bed and seemingly are very content in each other’s company.