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.
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.
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?”
May Sammie the original rest in peace and triplicity.