A King Charles spaniel has saved her owner's life by sniffing out her breast cancer.
Penny had been pawing at her owner Sharon Rawlinson's chest for months before the 43-year-old took action. It was only when the little dog trod on her that Sharon knew something was wrong.
“She would gently paw me as if she was trying to get something out of my left breast, but I ignored it,“ Sharon told The Sun. "When she stood on me in the middle of the night and wouldn’t get off, the pain was like a thousand bee stings and the next day I felt bruised."
Sharon checked her breast and found a lump, which turned out be breast cancer. She started chemotherapy in March and, according to the mother of two, the dog hasn't bothered her breast since.
“Dogs are not just a man’s best friend, they’re a girl’s best friend too," said Sharon who lives in Newark in Nottinghamshire. “She’s my guardian angel. We bonded straight away when she was a puppy, but this is just amazing. If it hadn’t been for Penny’s persistence, I wouldn’t have gone for a check-up."
This isn't the first incident where a dog has 'smelt' cancer and a team of researchers at Fukuoka dental college hospital in Japan, found that some dogs can detect traces of chemicals that circulate in the bodies of cancer patients. They used a specially trained labrador, which correctly identified 33 of 36 people with bowel cancer after sniffing their breath.