Barbra Streisand revealed this week that three of her dogs are clones, and now she's explaining why. Seems the death of her trusty dog Samantha led Streisand to ease the pain with DNA technology. "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," Streisand tells the New York Times. "It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA." So she had cells taken from inside Sammie's cheek just before her death and sent them off to ViaGen Pets in Texas.
Then came the deluge. Streisand missed Sammie so much that she adopted a rescue dog, and picked up another Coton du Tulear from her breeder (this one straight-haired; Sammie was curly). "And then I got a call from the lab," she says. "Not only did the cloning process take, but it produced four puppies!" One died, so she got three and suddenly had five dogs—"too much for me to handle," she admits. So she gave away the rescue dog and a clone and ended up with three puppies. "Every time I look at their faces, I think of my Samantha ... and smile." (Not everyone is smiling, though: a Guardian op-ed calls the cloning "a modern tragedy" and says "pets are meant to die.")