A mammogram â€” the gold standard in breast cancer detection â€” failed to detect Lisa Hulber’s malignant tumor. But Effie, her rescued hound mix, did. The dog whose life Hulber saved helped save hers after she sniffed her to the point where she decided to get double-checked.
This time, doctors found Hulber’s tumor, and did an excisional biopsy. But Effie was ahead of them again. She started sniffing around and apparently detected the only lymph node that had the cancer. Hulber underwent a double mastectomy and 20 weeks of chemotherapy, and will soon start radiation.
“It’s hard to go through cancer and stuff like that,” the Michigan resident said. “I’m not a ‘woe is me’ kind of person and knowing what she did for me, that gift, that’s what makes me cry.”
Hulber thinks Effie got her “medical” training on the family’s kitten, who died of cancer. The dog may have associated the similar scent, and it’s easy to make the leap that Effie was trying to tell her rescuer that something was amiss.
As I wrote in yesterday’s article about the police dog, a dog’s nose can be better than any technology currently available, at least for detecting certain scents.
Way to go, Effie!
Now she has an equally important job: Being there for Hulber as she goes through the treatments, which can be so debilitating. Something tells me she’s already all over that assignment.
Readers, has your dog ever sniffed you in an unusual way and made you wonder if he/she is detecting something you should check out? Do you think rescue dogs sometimes feel an extra need to protect and even “rescue” their owners? Please share your experiences!