Bullmarket French Bulldog Breeders

What We Do For Love

I’ve been really noticing Tessa’s age. That seems like a funny thing to say, about a dog who’s almost fourteen years old, but up until the last year or so, she’s seemed like the same old Tessa – a little slower, maybe, a little dimmer, but still Tessa.

Lately, though, she hasn’t been herself. She’s confused. She doesn’t seem to know where she is, or why she’s there. She goes outside, stands there confused, and then comes back inside, repeating the procedure all over again ten minutes later. She gets scared if she can’t see me, even if it’s just because her back is to me. I have to reach over and pat her, and let her know that I’m there.

She’s still Tessa – she’ll still growl at the young dogs, chase Petal across the deck, and play tug with her toys – but some of the spark is leaving her.

Tessa in her youth was, as a friend once said, “A fierce wee doggie”. She had fire in her eyes, and she feared nothing. She was perky and playful and fast! Oh, she could run like the wind. Her best friend was an Italian Greyhound named “Sparks”, and while she couldn’t keep up with him on the long stretch, on the short they could run neck and neck. It was lovely to see. She had a black mask that gave her the look of a januty trouble maker – she had mischief in her face. Her mask is gone, now, blended into the whiteness of her face. Sean says she looks ‘sweeter’ now, and she does, but sweet isn’t how I remember her, from her younger days.

What would I do, to keep Tessa with me? Another Tessa, young and fierce and black masked and tough? Would I sell my house? Maybe. Would I travel around the world? Probably. If I had deep enough pockets, deep enough that $150,000 was no barrier, would I clone her?

Oh yes. Yes and yes.

I know all the reasons why not to do it. I’ve read the snide, mean toned, nasty little emails and blog entries about that ‘stupid woman who sold her house to clone a Pit Bull’. And have you noticed that the part that seems to annoy people the most is that is was a Pit Bull she cloned? As I read on one blog “Doesn’t the world have enough vicious Pit Bulls?”. I guess not – although it seems to be filled to the brim with stupid people who write witless blogs about dogs they don’t even know.

Oh, how angry people are, at the ‘waste’ of this woman’s money. “She could have rescued 50,000 Pit Bulls for that money!”, people have bitterly complained. When Tessa was sick last year, when she couldn’t move her head, or stand up properly without falling over, I took her to vet after vet, none of whom could tell me what was wrong with her, in spite of all the tests and the diagnostics. I guess the bill was pretty high, for a 13 year old dog – something close to $3,000 when all was said and done.

I could have rescued a lot of French Bulldogs for that amount of money.

Bernann McKinney with cloned Pit Bull puppiesAre these new dogs, these clones, going to be ‘Booger’, the dog that Bernann McKinney had cloned? I don’t know. I believe that a dog, like a person, is the sum result of their life – how they were raised, who they were raised with, who you were at the time you raised them.

But did you see her face? The look on her face? That was joy, and hope. It’s easy to mock her for that hope, for that joy. For wasting money and being ‘stupid’ and doing it all for a Pit Bull. A Pit Bull!

But have you ever really loved a dog? Really? The kind that tears you in half if you think about walking through the world without them? The kind that makes it impossible for you to imagine the hole they leave behind? If you do, if you have – then I dare you to deny that woman her hope, and to tell her she’s a fool.

If she’s a fool, then all of us who’ve ever hoped for a dog to come back, to stay with us forever – we’re fools, too.

Five Pit Bulls Cloned in South Korea

Bernann McKinney says her beloved pit bull “Booger” saved her life when another dog attacked her, then learned to push her wheelchair while she recovered from a severe hand injury and nerve damage.

He died in 2006, but now he’s back – at least in clone form, after the birth last week of puppies replicated by a South Korean company.

“Yes, I know you! You know me too!” McKinney cried joyfully Tuesday, hugging the puppy clones as they slept with one of their two surrogate mothers, both Korean mixed breed dogs, in a Seoul laboratory. “It’s a miracle.”

The five clones were created by Seoul-based RNL Bio in cooperation with a team of Seoul National University scientists who in 2005 created the world’s first cloned dog, a male Afghan hound named Snuppy.

It is headed by Lee Byeong-chun, a former colleague of disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk, whose purported breakthroughs in stem cell research were revealed as fake. Independent tests, however, proved the team’s dog cloning was genuine.

Lee’s team has since cloned some 30 dogs and five wolves, but claims Booger’s clones, for which McKinney paid $50,000, are the first successful commercial cloning of a canine.

The rest is here, in case you haven’t read it twenty times already.

12 replies
  1. Lori
    Lori says:

    Her money, her priorities,and her choice. People have spent much more money on stupider things than LOVE. That’s what she was spending the money on. I hope that everything turns out the way she dreamed it would.

  2. Jennifer Price
    Jennifer Price says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Yes I have loved a dog more than I ever thought I could. When he died from complications from bloat surgery. I thought my world had ended. When my marriage of 22 yrs ended earlier that same year it wasn’t even close to the devastation I felt when when I lost Rufus. I think about him everyday.
    That was almost 10 yrs ago, if I could have cloned him then I would have done anything……….he was my once in a lifetime dog.
    While I have loved many others and will love many more none will ever compare to him.
    But on the other hand if I hadn’t lost Rufus….I would never had found Bear my rottie…I couldn’t bring myself to get another male akita, but I wanted another large male dog. I found Bear through rottie rescue, I honestly believe Rufus led me to him…..he is the kindest most gentlest loving sweet boy and now he has bone cancer…..life sucks but he is still here and at 10 yrs old has been a loving member of this family for 8 years.

  3. Fuzzy Logic
    Fuzzy Logic says:

    dammit, now you’ve made me think about this.

    Personally I *don’t* want another Qor or Qay or Targ.. or ChaDich for that matter.. when ChaDich died and we got Qor, so many people told us she was the reincarnation of ChaDich…and although she does have a lot of the same mannerisms and behaviors (and does stuff just to freak me out) I don’t WANT her to be ChaDich.. I want her to be herself.

    ChaDich was here for a reason.. we all learned from him and him from us.. and I don’t want his spirit to be tied to me because I’m selfish and miss him.. I want it to move on to other things.. better things… different things..

    and we will learn new things from Qor and her from us…

    that would be my exestensial (and poorly spelled) reason for not cloning my dogs.

    Fuzzy Logic’s last blog post..Open mouth: insert foot

  4. nestra
    nestra says:

    I’m not sure about this.

    In theory I would love to clone some of my past dogs but they would have different experiences and therefore different dogs. I worry that I would expect them to be act exactly the same, and it would be heartbreaking when they were not.

    Twins are genetic duplicates but not the same person and I am not sure I could live with a twin of one of my dogs that did not act like the dog I want them to be.

  5. frogdogz
    frogdogz says:

    I agree with both Nestra and Fuzzy – it’s unfair to expect them to be the same dog, and it’s unfair to tie them down.


    I can’t say – not really, really say – that if I lost Tessa, and I could afford to do this, that I wouldn’t think about it. Hard. Would I do it? I don’t know. Probably not. But a grieving heart isn’t a heart prepared to deal with logic, is it?

    Turn back the clock, to the day you lost those dogs. Think of how you felt. Now, imagine. Imagine someone saying to you “I can bring them back”.

  6. Sew Crazy Dog Lady
    Sew Crazy Dog Lady says:

    yeah, but they can’t bring them back… they can only give me a reasonable facsimile…

    It’s like the Monkey’s Paw (or Pet Semetary for the updated version) … be careful what you wish for…

    Sew Crazy Dog Lady’s last blog post..ReVamp

  7. The Cletus Residence?
    The Cletus Residence? says:

    You’ll lose Tessa, and very soon I’m afraid, and you’ll be in so much pain you won’t think you can survive it, and then another little face will look up at you, and say, hey fool! LOOKIT ME! I’m the new love of your life!

    It’s true that every time a door closes, a window opens. I had my marvelous dog Blue, and when he died, I thought I would die too, and then Tessa’s brother Hammer stuck in his thumb to plug the hole in the dam and the grieving stopped. Now, it’s Cletus looking up at me and saying, don’t waste anymore time grieving for something that isn’t and can never be again. He is a true philosopher in a dog skin, that Cletus.

    Don’t imagine Tessa dead. She is alive, enjoy that for the months or days or hours you have left, and when she is gone, there will be someone else to take her place. Even as much as you love her now, there will always be someone else…

    The Cletus Residence?’s last blog post..Recreational Bulldogs?

  8. Emily
    Emily says:

    “But have you ever really loved a dog? Really? The kind that tears you in half if you think about walking through the world without them? The kind that makes it impossible for you to imagine the hole they leave behind? If you do, if you have – then I dare you to deny that woman her hope, and to tell her she’s a fool.”

    Ya know, I agree with this completely. I really feel it. After reading this story the day it came out, I sat on the couch, snuggled with my heart dog, the love of my life, and the ‘person’ closest to me. The only one in this world, who I’m sure knows me inside out.

    I looked in his eyes, and asked myself, “If I had the money to clone Traum, would I?” I looked in his beautiful eyes, teared up, and decided, no. I would not. The dog may resemble my Traum, but could never be my Traum.

    Do I fault someone for making a differnt heart decision than me? Ya know, we all take risks, we all make sacrifices, and some of us, are daring enough to follow dreams, goals, and ambitions. This women, simply choose to take the leap, and to try in every attempt, to have a dog like him, in the most likely t be successful manner possible.

    My leap, would be to do what I did before Traum came into my life, and heart. After Robbie passed, I swore I could never love a dog so much again. Traum showed me I was wrong. I know someday, when Traum is gone, another canine blessing will show me that my heart still has room for another ‘heart dog’.

  9. Katie
    Katie says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I look at my Eevil Red Dog and oh how I love her. I love her so much and I wonder what could have been, if I’d had her as a puppy, if I’d known when I got her what I know now. She wouldn’t be good cloning material- making more dogs with bad knee heartaches- but oh my heart understands the desire. It wouldn’t be the same dog, but it would be a dog with the same building blocks.

    The joy on that lady’s face indeed. I do hope those pups aren’t disappointments to her in the long run.

    Katie’s last blog post..The cost of ?Love?.

  10. watermelonpunch
    watermelonpunch says:

    At first glance this woman might look like a garden variety animal lover who is so overwhelmed with sentimental grief and so clueless about science that she doesn’t understand that there’s no real way to bring her deceased pet back to life.

    But I don’t think it’s the science that is lost on this woman. I think it’s the humanity that’s lost on this woman.

    She’s been accused of plotting crimes with and corrupting a minor. She’s accused of lying, rudeness, making threats, mistreating animals. And was charged with the kidnapping & raping of someone and later stalking him across 2 continents. She’s masqueraded as a deaf mime, a Hollywood writer, a nun, and a brunette, all while fleeing justice as a fugitive from the law.

    I believe this woman is clearly a sociopath. As well as a liar & a fake.
    She’s clearly attention seeking, selfish, clueless, blames others, seeks pity, breaks the law, acts outside social norms, and is completely without shame… all the signs are there.
    I wouldn’t for a moment think that you could judge the true motives of a sociopath using a normal healthy human viewpoint. And I wouldn’t for a moment trust anything she says.

    Her asserted idea that she was “doing something good” by cloning puppies (as if it’s akin to Mother Teresa caring for the sick), and in her asserted idea that she could “bring Booger back” by cloning, definitely betrays her extremely superficial & meaningless understanding of human emotion & attachment to other people & to pets.

    She likely sees pets as objects, so why shouldn’t one be just the same as another if they’re from “the same mold”? She has a history of not caring about PEOPLE and their rights as individuals, why would she care about the individuality of a dog?

    This story doesn’t have anything to do with love of a pet or joy or grief, or any of the finer human emotions. It has to do with selfishness, notoriety, and someone who’s successfully gotten the fame she seeks while simultaneously getting off scot free on the crimes she’s committed repeatedly over the years!

    I feel bad for the puppies, and whatever other animals she’s mistreated – but I feel worse for her human victims who have to live with the fact she’s never been held accountable for anything… and I’m sure they are more numerous than just the ones that have made it into the international news.

    I would NEVER want to be associated with the likes of this woman in any way! And I certainly wouldn’t hold her up as an animal lover.

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