Clever Pug Sniffs Out Cancer and Saves Her Human's Life
Marian Cooper runs the Animal House Rescue Center in Birmingham, U.K. She rescues dogs. It's only fitting that her own dog rescued her.
Meet Flo, the wonder dog. One day last fall, the six-year-old Pug stuck her nose into Marian's chest, found something that interested her on the right side, and wouldn't stop prodding it. No matter what Marian did, Flo wouldn't stop with the nuzzling-the-breast business.
"Flo kept nudging me and digging at me. No matter how many times I put her on the floor she would always climb back up," said Marian, according to the New York Daily News. "I thought she was just being annoying, but without her I'd probably be dead."
What exactly was Flo smelling? A stage 3 malignant tumor. Of course, Marian didn't know that yet. Unnerved by her dog's actions, she performed a self-examination.
"I tried using the flat of my hand like the doctors say, but I couldn't find anything," she said. "I only found the lump when I really poked around. It small and hard -- the size of a petit pois. The lump was so deep I wouldn't ever have found it without Flo the Wonder Pug."
When Marian went to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditchand received her diagnosis, she was shocked at how lucky she was. At grade 3, a tumor can be expected to grow rapidly. The doctor told her that "if I hadn't found it things would have been much worse."
"We were lucky to have found it so early. I would never have found it on my own," Marian said.
Marian underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and now she is cancer-free, according to her doctors. She made sure to get a second opinion from Flo, however, who agreed with the doctors. In other words, she was not interested in Marian's breast in the slightest.
Marian can't believe how her little wonder Pug saved her life. The dog has a heart condition, but Marian knew it was time to make an exception with her diet.
"I did buy her a huge steak the day I got back from hospital," said Marian. "It was doctor's orders."
"She can't understand what she's done for me. It's incredible. I don't know how she found the cancer, but I can never thank her enough."