Many dog owners have heard that dogs can smell cancer. However, not many have ever seen it in action. It is believed that from 10,000 years of evolution side by side with mankind, dogs have been ingrained with the instinct to protect their owners who provide food and shelter for them. In history, this was protecting us from other predators, but today it seems that their instinct is evolving to protect us from sickness as well. One firefighter from Brevard County, Florida found this out first hand when his dog's unusual actions saved his life from cancer not once, but twice.
In 2005, whenever her owner Curtis Young would sit down on the couch, the 13-year-old Miniature Pinscher named Sabrina would ruthlessly start scratching, digging and biting the back of his head. At first, Young found his 13-pound pups' behavior a bit on the annoying side. However, upon mentioning it to his doctor, he ordered an MRI. It was then that Young learned he had a small tumor growing in the very same spot that his dog would scratch.
If Curtis Young had ignored his dog, he would have been paralyzed within six months and dead within a year. After the event, he heralded Sabrina as an angel.
In 2014, Sabrina started up once again. This time instead of scratching at the back of Young's head, she would lick a spot in his back non-stop any time she could. Curtis Young felt around and when he found a lump, he wasted no time going to the doctor. A biopsy confirmed that is was a basal cell carcinoma, or in layman's terms, skin cancer.
It seems that Sabrina is one of those dogs that is truly gifted with the ability to smell cancer even at early stages. While she might not be a licensed cancer specialist, in her owner's eyes, she is a one-of-a-kind hero.