Anyone who watched the long-running TV show “Lassie” or the movie “Benji” knows that no barrier could stop those dogs from helping their humans.
It turns out there’s some fact to that fiction.
That’s the conclusion of a recently published study called — in a nod to Lassie — “Timmy’s in the well: Empathy and prosocial helping in dogs” co-authored by a now-Johns Hopkins University graduate student.
Many dog owners have a story about their dog comforting or coming to aid them or even a stranger in a time of need. A Google search of “dog helps human” turns up hundreds of millions of hits.
But the new...