Walk up to Lancelot Encore, and he gently crosses his paws. It's one way the golden Labrador retriever mirrors his predecessor, the late Sir Lancelot.
This Lancelot is a doggie double. Owners Nina and Edgar Otto, of West Boca, had their beloved dog cloned after it died of cancer in 2008 -- and will talk about their experience in TLC's "I Cloned My Pet," airing at 10 p.m. Monday.
The documentary will feature three stories of dog lovers who lost their pets and turned to cloning to bring them back. In one story, a Los Angeles cosmetic surgeon struggled to raise money to have his Chihuahua puppy replicated after it was killed by a Rottweiler last year. It also delves into the costs of such a procedure, which can range from $50,000 to more than $100,000.
"This is not something for everybody. It's one way to get a pet in your life. People can clone. People can adopt," said Wendy Douglas, senior director of production at TLC, which earlier this year aired a one-hour program on the same topic that drew 864,000 total viewers. The network doesn't have plans for a third installment.
"We hope [viewers] will take away that there are these devoted animal lovers out there who have an amazing story that they want to share with people."
Inside the Otto residence, Sir Lancelot's presence is everywhere. An animated image of him bedecks the front entrance. A glass case holds his ashes. Photo albums and picture frames of the dog fill the library and top end tables.
"There was always that look in his eyes, so human that he understood," said Nina Otto who shares her estate with her husband and eight dogs including two other Labs, three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, a Bichon Frise and a Teacup Yorkie. Five feral cats live here, too.
Because of their special bond with Sir Lancelot, which they had for about 11 years, the couple had his DNA cryogenically frozen years before his death. Six months after, they learned about a five-day, dog-cloning auction by a California biotech firm. The Ottos threw their name in with a $155,000 bid and won.
The couple, who have eight children and 14 grandchildren, said their family had a mix of reactions -- some more excited than others -- but no one was negative about their determination to have Sir Lancelot replicated.
The second Lancelot, whom they call Lancey, was born from a surrogate dog in South Korea, where the procedure was done by a research firm specializing in pet cloning. That made the Ottos the first family in Florida and one of the first 15 in the United States with a cloned dog, according to TLC.
So, is a Lab made in a lab still a Lab?
The American Kennel Club does not track the number of cloned dogs and doesn't advocate for them either.
"AKC believes that the cloning of dogs does not advance its mission, which includes promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function," AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said in an email.
Still, that didn't stop the Ottos from having doggie de ja vu. As soon as they picked up their new puppy at Miami International Airport, they noticed similarities beyond looks.
"The former Lancelot always sat with his paws crossed and when Lancey came along sure enough, that's the first thing he did. He's done it ever since," Nina Otto said.
It's hard to tell one from the other in photos. The second edition pooch even inherited a similar knee problem.
"He is very sweet, very loving. Exactly the same personality," she said.
"Who would ever think that this dog would turn out so identical," Edgar Otto said. "He moves exactly the same. We seem to have gotten the same dog back ... If it ain't the same dog, it's damn close."
There's just one notable difference between the original dog and Lancelot 2.0. "This one has a much bigger tongue," Nina Otto, said with a laugh.
In the meantime, the couple, who acknowledge being afraid the new dog will also inherit cancer, are doing whatever they can to ensure that this Lancelot has a longer lifespan. The dog regularly swims and exercises with a trainer. (The dog is 11 pounds leaner than his predecessor.)
"Lancelot is in the pool at least four or five days a week," Nina Otto said.
"He's one lean and mean dog," said her husband, who also places sunscreen on the dog's nose.
The couple even provide their dog with hyperbaric chamber treatments, which helps boost the amount of oxygen in his blood. Edgar Otto, whose father co-founded NASCAR, is the chairman of Hyperbaric Veterinary Medicine in Boca Raton.
In the show, the couple also talk about how they're looking to breed Lancelot Encore, so they can have generations of their original Lab. The couple are waiting to hear back from a breeder who inseminated Lancelot's DNA into another dog.
"I wanted the essence of the former Lancelot," Nina Otto said, "and we got so much more."