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Comparative Medicine: Saving Canine and Human Lives


With guardian Sean Kilcoyne there for support, Gunther’s sarcoma is measured. © Aram Boghosian
A dog receives an exam at the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Cummings Medical Center at Tufts University. Photo courtesy Tufts University.

On an early spring morning, Gunther, an unflappable, ginger-colored Terrier mix, pads into an examining room at Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center outside of Boston. Dogs in casts, bandages and plastic cones stream past the room’s open door. Gunther doesn’t seem to care, not even when a large, gray dog passing in the hall lunges through the exam room’s doorway before being reeled back.

Gunther’s owner, contractor Sean Kilcoyne, says the nine-year-old Terrier sleeps on the back of the couch in the sun like a cat, and perches on the middle armrest in his truck as they travel to construction sites. Gunther doesn’t even mind when Kilcoyne’s wife dresses him in costumes, like the mini New England Patriots T-shirt she pulled over his head for the Super Bowl.

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