In mid-April, not long after Robert Mahoney learned that he had Covid-19, his dog Buddy—a seven-year-old, 130-pound German Shepherd—started having breathing problems. Four weeks later, Buddy became the first dog to test positive for the coronavirus in the United States. Though the big shepherd was expected to recover, sadly, he died on July 11, but it’s unclear if the virus caused his death.

According to a report in National Geographic, the original samples were collected on May 15; follow-up testing done on May 20 came back negative. (The family’s adolescent German Shepherd, Duke, was also tested; his results were negative, but he did have antibodies, indicating that he’d also been exposed.)

In the month between the start of Buddy’s breathing problems and the day he was tested for Covid-19, his Staten Island, N.Y., family had taken him to three different veterinarians, trying…

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