Maureen Burns was concerned when her 9-year-old collie, Max, became depressed and started moping about. Turns out, Max was sad for a reason: he had figured out that Burns had breast cancer—before she even knew.
Max, who normally had a "boisterous" temperament, began sadly wandering around the house, leading Burns to believe he might be sick. But Max was apparently looking out for Burns' own health: after smelling his owner's breath, he began nudging her right breast. Burns gave herself a breast exam and discovered a lump which was later found to be cancerous.
"When the nurse told me I had breast cancer my first response was, 'I know, my dog told me!'. I expected her to laugh but instead she told me she had heard of similar cases," says Burns. She says she was convinced to get the lump checked out after catching a glimpse of Max in the mirror while she gave herself an exam: "As I felt it I just happened to look over at Max, who was lying on my bed. Our eyes met and I just remember he looked so sad. I knew in that instant that something was badly wrong."
Scientists claim that dogs, with their heightened sense of smell, can detect cancer cells in urine samples. However, the Burns' other dog, a retired greyhound, didn't seem to take any interest in Burns' lump. (Probably because there wasn't any peanut butter on it, my retired greyhound says.)
Burns is now in remission and expected to remain cancer-free, and Max is back to being his happy-go-lucky self: "It was as though he knew I was okay again. He stopped sniffing me and became very playful again. I owe him so much. Max helped to save my life - he was right all along."
Saved By The Dog-Tor [DailyMail]