BALTIMORE – A woman is crediting her trained search and rescue dog with detecting her lung cancer before doctors could.
Anne Wills and her dog, Heidi, help find missing pets and people. Willis founded Dogs Finding Dogs, a canine search and rescue team.
“In her almost eight years of working, she herself has gotten almost 2,000 lost animals home,” Wills told WMAR-TV.
Now, Heidi is credited with saving yet another life: Her owner’s.
Wills said she had no symptoms of cancer, but back in February, Heidi started acting differently around her. Wills says she started pawing at her arm constantly.
“She’s progressively getting more aggressive with that behavior, and then she started taking her nose and burying it in my chest and sniffing very, very hard,” said Wills.
She said she told her doctor the story, and he sent her in for a CAT scan.
“The next morning he was calling me telling me that he sees three spots of what looks like cancer,” said Wills. “It was right where Heidi was smelling my chest.”
Doctors told her Heidi’s warning most likely saved her.
“When they come when they develop symptoms, which is usually when we first see them, they typically already have advanced stage lung cancer that isn’t curable,” said Dr. Enser Cole.