Celebrity hairdresser Roberto Novo’s dog days of the coronavirus lockdown are a little less lonely now.
Novo, 61, dropped $50,000 to clone his beloved French bulldog Machito — and the new pup arrived just in time to keep him company during quarantine. In an unexpected turn of events, the replacement pooch — dubbed Machitwo — arrived the day the original DNA donor died.
“Machito was the son I never had [so] 14 years was not long enough. I needed him for at least 14 years more,” says the man whose hands have shaped the hairdos of Britney Spears, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell and Alec Baldwin, to name just a few.
“Machito was always there for me,” Novo tells SWNS. “I knew when he was gone I would suffer and cloning him was the best thing I ever did.”
At a time when hair professionals like him are temporarily out of business to stem the spread of COVID-19, the eccentric stylist appreciates the four-legged company. He also says that New Yorkers getting their daily exercise coo over Machitwo’s “soulful eyes” — shorty sports a stylish mask, btw — but only from a safe social distance.
“Machitwo is as cute as can be and people want to pet him — but because of coronavirus no one can touch him so they take a picture from 6 feet away,” Novo says. “People want to play with him but it is a very strange feeling because I can’t share my happiness with them even though everyone loves puppies. It does make it easier to stay inside because he is with me.”
The proud puppy daddy began the cloning process with Texas company ViaGen Pets in early 2019, when Machito’s health was beginning to decline. To clone a pet, the company requires at least two skin samples to collect the DNA, according to Melain Rodriguez, client services manager at ViaGen Pets. Most skin samples are taken from the belly or the inside of a pet’s leg.
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