Monday, June 10, 2013

Listen to your animal companions, they may save your life

I had heard mention of this phenomenon in some magazine articles some time back, but this was the first time I heard it from someone first hand the other day.
I will call her Marcy...a very active, heathly, fit 50 some year old.
Her 13 year old black lab became very whiny a few months back.  You know how it is as a pet owner, you kinda ignore things...until you something clicks and you say to yourself...wait a minute...what's up. We humans can be very dense.  I have personal experience in this area with my cat, Fitz.
Anyhow, back to the story...the whining became so prevalent and constant that she became very worried that something was wrong with her dog. So, off to the vet the dog goes, gets a check up.  Nothing wrong. 
Whining continues.  Marcy's lab comes to work with her and she would settle under her desk and hug her legs and the whining would commence.  Blood tests were next. Nothing.  All A ok.

Usually Marcy's lab would sleep at the end of the bed.  This one fateful night, her lab came right up beside her while she was reading, whined, pawed and snuggled her nose to the upper part of her breast and stayed there whining.
Light bulb moment...although Marcy had had a regular mammogram just recently, she looked at her husband..he looked at her and she went in for a checkup.
She had very dense breast tissue and nothing had shown up in the xrays, but the specialist did a hands on exam right in the office and right at the spot Marcy's lab had snuggled in, sure enough he could seem to feel a mass.  She had a tissue sample taken that same day and sure enough...she had a very small pocket that turned out to be a very fast growing cancer.
They got it all.
And Marcy's lab stopped whining.

You got the chills yet?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio

                                                                                                  copyright 2013 Stepka

Just a little addendum to story.  My "pay the rent" job is in a retail setting...part of which is selling fine linens.   'Marcy' came into the store wanting to buy some nice linens to go with an older coverlet she had.  Her most dogs...usually leaves footprints and can damage bed linens, so she wanted something nice for herself, but durable to hold up under daily dog use too.
Before she told us the story above, we said, well just use the older coverlet on top of the bed over the comforter for the dog to sleep on.
After the story, we were suggesting maybe a Cashmere blanket would be more fitting and much more deserving for this wonderful dog!