“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,” the music icon, 75, detailed in an op-ed for the New York Times, published on Friday.
“It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA,” Streisand recalled. “One of the reasons I chose cloning was because I couldn’t find another curly-haired Coton.”
Before the dog crossed the rainbow bridge, the proud pet owner had cells taken from Sammie’s mouth and stomach.
“We sent those cells to ViaGen Pets in Texas. We weren’t even sure if the cells would take,” Streisand explained, adding, “A friend had cloned his beloved dog, and I was very impressed with that dog.”
While anxiously waiting for the test results to determine whether cloning was possible, Streisand adopted not one, but two dogs in the absence of Sammie.
The first was a rescue: Maltipoo dog Sadie, who is lovingly named after her first dog which was gifted to her by the cast of Funny Girl when she turned 22.
And the second was a straight-haired Coton de Tulear named Miss Fanny, whom Streisand got from Sammie’s breeder after it was revealed that Miss Fanny’s mother is named Funny Girl.
After welcoming two four-legged members into her family, Streisand was surprised with the call she had been anticipating.
“Not only did the cloning process take, but it produced four puppies! Unfortunately, the runt of the litter died before the puppies were old enough to be delivered to me,” she said.
So the puppies plus Sadie and Miss Fanny meant she suddenly had five dogs in her home — which she admitted was a lot even for her.
Describing herself as a “person who was used to taking my dog everywhere with me, and who never had more than one dog at a time living in my house,” Streisand said she chose to give away Sadie to her manager’s assistant and one of the puppies to the teenage daughter of her A&R rep.
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Ultimately, leaving her with three Coton du Tulears: Miss Fanny and cloned Sammie look-alikes she named Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet after putting one in a red sweater and the other in a purple sweater.
“It’s a bit overwhelming. But we love them so much. Each puppy is unique and has her own personality,” Streisand said, though she added: You can clone the look of a dog, but you can’t clone the soul. Still, every time I look at their faces, I think of my Samantha…and smile.”