Friday, February 6, 2009

Best friend, revisited

Is it just me, or does the thought of cloning your best friend seem a little creepy?

In this case, the best friend is Lancelot Encore – the yellow Labrador puppy owned by Edgar and Nina Otto of Boca Raton, Fla. … or rather LE v2, a DNA duplicate of the original lab who died a year ago.

“Lancy” is a scientific miracle, with a price tag of $155,000, which the Ottos bid at an auction with a San Francisco biotech company that had Lancelot cloned in South Korea.

"We just got him because we wanted to have Lancelot more than just the 11½ years," Nina Otto said.

Eleven and one-half years? This amount of time – some would say is about 80 “dog years” – was not long enough for this senior couple to share memories to last a lifetime? The couple’s additional nine dogs and menagerie of cats, birds and sheep wasn’t enough to keep them happy?

The cloning does say a lot about their love for LE v1, but couldn’t their money – which apparently is a non-issue; Edgar Otto is the son of Edward Otto, a co-founder of NASCAR – have been used for say ... a shelter or rescue dog?

Each year, the Humane Society reportedly euthanizes 3 million to 4 million pets in the United States. With the money the two spent, a lot of dogs could have new homes.

Although it’s a little strange, it is a sweet tribute to a cherished family member who has gone to the big kennel in the sky. I just hope when one of the Ottos do leave this earth, the other doesn’t have an extra $155,000 lying around.

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