How science went to the dogs (and cats)

Max, a 2-year-old German shepherd, Belgian Malinois and husky mix, photographed in Greenlake Park in June in Seattle. (M. Scott Brauer/The New York Times)

Every dog has its day, and July 14, 2004, belonged to a boxer named Tasha. On that date, the National Institutes of Health announced that the barrel-chested, generously jowled canine had become the first dog to have her complete genome sequenced. “And everything has kind of exploded since then,” said Elaine Ostrander, a canine genomics expert at the National Human Genome Research Institute and who was part of the research team.