The Duponts have lots of stories about what made Melvin the best dog they ever owned, including the time Melvin found car keys Phillip had lost in the tall grass. The couple trusted the dog so much they let him babysit their grandson in the backyard all by himself.
“He listened,” says Phillip. “You could talk to him and you swore he understood what you were talking about. It was weird.”
So a couple of years ago, when Melvin was about 9 and starting to show his age, the Duponts turned to a lab in South Korea. Even though the process would cost them $100,000, the couple decided to do it. They’d already spent that much on a Humvee, Phillip notes. “So, what the heck?”
He sent some of Melvin’s skin cells off to the lab — the only place in the world that is cloning dogs for pet owners. The first cloned puppy soon died from distemper. So the lab tried again, this time producing two healthy clones.