Judy's Reviews > Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend

Dog, Inc. by John Woestendiek
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: animals, non-fiction, extreme-pet-ownership

For the record, my family has a dog, a beautiful, neurotic border collie named Bailey. And we love him dearly. There's never been another dog like him and there never will be. He's sweet and crazy and we can't imagine life without him. Seeing as how he's six years old now, in about eight or nine years, we'll have exactly that--life without Bailey. And we'll deal with it.

Woestendiek's book is about dog owners who love their dogs so much, they refuse to have a life without their one-of-a-kind companion, as well as the scientists and entrepreneurs who endeavor to recreate their pets--for a hefty fee, of course.

The book chronicles how a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast discussion at the home of millionaire John Sperling led to a ten year long quest to clone Missy, the family dog. The book traces this journey through the labs at Texas A&M and its attempts at cloning various species, including cats, bulls and pigs; to the Korean scientists who managed to clone dogs and market the business to grieving pet owners; and of course, the eccentric dog owners and the amazing dogs they loved so much.

Woestendiek also relates the irony of just how many animals are required to re-create a handful of pets. "It took 319 egg donors and 214 surrogate mothers to produce the first five dogs and eleven cats--sixteen animals resulting from the creation and implantation of 3,656 embryos." (p. 218)

I was especially fascinated by the story of a reclusive animal lover Bernann McKinney. Living on disability and handouts from her parents, McKinney still managed to have her beloved pit bull Booger cloned by RNL Bio in South Korea.

The message of this book is obvious to everyone but the people who shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to recreate their canine friends. When that little ball of fur arrives, it is a genetic copy of the original, but isn't the same dog. Dogs, like people, are more than their genetic code. And when there are so many dogs out there in need of a home, who are every bit as special as the one you lost, how can anyone possibly consider this folly?

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Reading Progress

April 6, 2012 – Started Reading
April 6, 2012 – Shelved
April 6, 2012 –
0.0% "I met John Woestendiek at the Lunch With An Author event yesterday and I'm really looking forward to reading his book. I have my own opinions on this. First, a cloned dog is not the same dog as it was cloned from. Second, you can get another dog. Especially a purebred. Twenty-five percent of abandoned dogs have a pedigree."
April 8, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: animals
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: extreme-pet-ownership

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