Dogs

A day later, Manteufel's 25-year-old son Michael heard his father stirring early in the morning, speaking gibberish. He could barely walk and had diarrhea. As Manteufel, 48, attempted to reassure his son, the only person home at the time, Michael called family members. Manteufel was taken to a hospital near his West Bend, Wisconsin, home.

Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a bacterial pathogen found in healthy dogs and cats. There are more than 700 different types of bacteria in a dog's mouth. While rare, people have contracted this bacteria, usually through dog bites, and died.

Her collie, however, came at a run and started digging her out. Aha, she wondered, why not use dogs and people instead of rats? The people would cry for help and the dogs would, or would not, respond. She discussed the idea with Emily M. Sanford, then an undergraduate at Macalester College where Dr. Meyers-Manor was then teaching and they designed an experiment. No one really doubted that dogs show some kind of empathy. The question was whether they would act on the feeling, thus the science-sounding rest of the title of the article in Learning and Behavior: “Empathy and Prosocial Helping in Dogs.”They tested 34 adult dogs, big and small, purebred and mutt. The owners were in a small room with a window and a door easily pushed open by even a small dog’s nose or paw. Some owners said, “Help” in a neutral tone of voice and hummed “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Others said “Help” in a distressed tone and cried.The crying performance varied from owner to owner. Dr. Meyers-Manor said they produced “anything from real tears falling down their faces to things that sounded like laughter.”

“We have decided that we’re going to send all of the dogs out this year to other zoos and continue to work on conserving them in the wild and working with our partners in the wild,” Baker said. “But we won’t exhibit painted dogs here, and give the community and the zoo family and the family a chance to heal.”

Manteufel, a painter who enjoyed riding his motorcycle, was otherwise healthy days before the symptoms set in, Dawn said. He's known for carrying a bottle of sanitizer in his truck and wiping down grocery cart handles before shopping.

James Gorman is a science writer at large and the host and writer of the video series “ScienceTake.” He joined The Times in 1993 and is the author of several books, including “How to Build a Dinosaur,” written with the paleontologist Jack Horner.

Within minutes, bruises and blemishes appeared on his face, chest, legs, stomach and back, Dawn said. The hospital determined a life-threatening sepsis infection had set in and they didn't have the equipment needed to handle his bacteria-packed blood, Dawn said. Manteufel was sent to a hospital about 30 miles away from home for antibiotics and surgery.

A case report published by the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ recounted the story of an elderly woman who may have been licked by her household pet and later suffered sepsis and organ failure. The woman recovered after two weeks in an intensive-care unit, says the report, which aptly called the sepsis-causing bacteria the “lick of death.”

They tested 34 adult dogs, big and small, purebred and mutt. The owners were in a small room with a window and a door easily pushed open by even a small dog’s nose or paw. Some owners said, “Help” in a neutral tone of voice and hummed “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Others said “Help” in a distressed tone and cried.

First, he must move back in with his parents, at least temporarily, because theirs is a one-level home where he can move around easily. Then his wife will sell their house in West Bend, Wis., just north of Milwaukee, so they can buy a one-story house. He can no longer ride his Harley, or drive his stick-shift truck, or paint houses.