Thursday, August 7, 2008

nature vs.nuture

Have you read about the woman who cloned her dog, into five genetically equivalent puppies? She is keeping 3, and giving 2 away.

Dog people can do some pretty outrageous things in the name of dog love. Me included. Some will remember that I lay on top of my precious Munchkin to prevent further injuries when he was being attacked by the evil german shepherd. That was a crazy, stupid thing for me to do.

I would do it again in a heart beat.

If you're a dog person, you understand.

So, I can understand why this woman would want to clone her dog.

I just hope she doesn't end up disappointed with the results.

If I had a "new" Munchkin brought into my life now, a brand new, fresh from the lab Munchie puppy, he may be genetically the same, but he wouldn't have the same soul.

I think dogs' "personalities" or souls develop as a result of life experiences and responses to their owners' personalities, in addition to their genetic make up. They, in essence, become a reflection of us, what we expose them to, and how we treat them.

I got Munchkin when I was a mere 23 years old. I have certainly changed since then. My lifestyle has changed. I no longer live in the city, near a little league field, where Munchkin and I would take our daily walk and be hounded by kids petting, tugging, and pulling at Munchkin, while he soaked in all the attention. I didn't know at the time that I was "socializing" him. He certainly wouldn't have those experiences as a puppy now, so I believe he would become a different adult dog.

Would a cloned Munchkin:

...wrap his body around my head at night?

...scratch his chin on the table?

...lick my fingers after I scratched him?

...bark at motorcycles? scared of his own farts?

I hope the woman is happy with her new puppies. Who doesn't love a puppy? I'm sure it will be fascinating to see what similarities do develop. For me, I think it is better to just let their memories live on in your heart. DNA does not make a dog, a soul does, and that cannot be found in any lab.


betty said...

FOREVER MUNCHKIN - your lovely sentiments have me weeping. Munchkin is so very close today. I think you may have your fingers licked or sense a chin being scratched.

Sara said...

I have been reading the book you had Michiko send me - Tell Me Where it Hurts. That had me crying yesterday for Munchkin!

Some days the memories just hit you like a ton of bricks, and you wonder - whoa, where did that come from?

Luckily, Oreo doesn't let me wallow for long. He will trot on over with a ball in his mouth, saying "come on, it's playtime!!"