A shepherd-Lab mix dog, Heidi, recently saved the life of her owner, Anne Wills, by detecting her lung cancer at a stage where it could be cured. The 53-year-old woman said her nine-year-old dog is a trained search and rescue dog who has found more than 2,000 missing pets over a period of seven years.
Wills runs a non-profit organization, named Dogs Finding Dogs, which provides professional training to dogs for finding drugs as well as missing people and pets. However, she never imagined that her loyal dog will one day save her life. "Around February this year, every time I would sit down, Heidi would start barricading me and literally not let me get up. She would scratch my arm, and she was very panic stricken and panting a lot”, said Wills.
She added that after a week-long persistent behavior, Heidi became more adamant and disturbed. She started stuffing her nose in Wills’ chest, while breathing deeply. She said this behavior of Heidi’s continued for several weeks before Wills took her to a veterinarian. It was only after no issues were detected with the dog that Wills realized that the problem might be associated with her and not Heidi.
After undergoing a CAT scan, it was found that her lungs had three cancer spots and treatment had to start immediately. Wills’ Oncologist and Chief of Medical Oncology at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Enser Cole, stated that it was Heidi’s devotion towards Wills which led to such determination. He further added that Heidi was able to detect Wills’ problem due to her highly professional training and extraordinarily sensitive nose.