Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Man’s Best Friend – For Good Reason!

Whether it is finding someone who's missing, tracking a renegade nogoodnick, or sniffing out high explosives, the amazing ability and uncanny accuracy of a dog's sniffer is the stuff of legend. Fill Texas Stadium with brown bears and one white bear, turn off the lights and dogs can smell there way to the white bear. Now that is some kind of smeller!!
Using this mighty sense of smell, can these K-9 marvels actually diagnose a life-threatening illness? At least two incredible dogs offer convincing evidence that man's best friend may be able to save lives in inexplicable ways.

Nancy, a mother of three, ran a thriving coffee business in California. Business was going so well, she had recently opened a new shop. Despite Nancy's hectic lifestyle, her beloved dog, Mia, was never far from her side. Nancy's mornings were spent running the coffee house. But about one o'clock each afternoon, Nancy set aside an hour just for herself and Mia. One afternoon, out of the blue, Mia began acting strangely. She came up to Nancy and started sniffing and licking at her breast. Nancy didn't pay any attention to it, but Mia was persistent. The following evening, as Nancy was struggling to fall asleep, Mia began tugging at the bedcovers. She began biting Nancy's shirt and tried to pull it away from her body. The following day, during Nancy's afternoon break, Mia repeated the same behavior. But this time Mia jumped on Nancy's lap and dove into her chest, causing Nancy pain.
was stunned to discover a lump in one of her breasts. She had had a negative breast exam four months earlier, she was only 39 and there was no cancer in her family. Medical tests revealed that Nancy had what appeared to be a cancerous tumor in her breast. A subsequent lumpectomy revealed that Nancy had been stricken with a stage-two breast cancer. In the midst of her health concerns, Nancy couldn't help thinking about Mia's unusual recent behavior. Veterinarian Marty Becker talked to an oncologist who surmised there was a certain smell that was being secreted. The type of tumor that Nancy had may have had a certain type of odor. Nancy underwent months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and has been cancer-free since 2000. Her physician believed that had her cancer not been detected at that time, within six months it could have entered her lymph nodes making it more difficult to treat.
If it's possible for a dog to sniff out an early cancer diagnosis, are there other unexplainable life-saving powers a pet can offer its master? Darlene believes her dog, Shadow, is the most vital prescription she's ever received. In 1991, Darlene was diagnosed with diabetes, which triggered a series of medical setbacks. While recovering from open-heart-surgery, Darlene suffered a stroke. For a time, she lost her ability to speak. By 2001, she had recovered her speech but struggled with a stutter. While attending a family reunion a little schnauzer began licking her hand. Soon the dog was in her lap and Darlene began petting her. Darlene noticed that as long as she petted the dog she was able to talk much easier. Darlene soon scheduled an appointment with her neurologist who ended up writing a prescription for a dog. So on doctor's orders, Darlene adopted a schnauzer of her own, and Shadow became a member of her family. The bond between Darlene and Shadow quickly grew. And, while petting Shadow, Darlene's speech significantly improved. Darlene's
endocrinologist says that we don't fully understand why dogs have such an effect on people but that in Darlene's case, perhaps the sensory effects of petting and paying attention to the animal could be putting her into a meditative trance.
A short time after adopting Shadow, the holidays were approaching and Darlene spent hours baking holiday cookies. But Shadow was alarmed by something and would not allow Darlene to sleep. Uncertain why Shadow was upset, Darlene checked her blood glucose level and found it was dangerously low. If
a diabetic's blood sugar level falls too low, it can trigger unconsciousness or even a coma. Darlene's ever-present canine companion had somehow diagnosed her medical dilemma before Darlene was even aware of it, and he continues to provide her with medical alerts to this day.
The lives of Darlene and Nancy may very well have been saved by the mysterious powers of their dogs. According to Dr. Becker, a dog's ability to detect a seizure or detect cancer is probably due to their incredible sense of smell, their incredible ability to read body language and possibly what he refers to as a "sick sense," or the ability to know when something's not quit
e right and the ability to help. The world of medicine is beginning to recognize this mysterious connection that can sometimes defy ordinary explanations. These awesome another reason to keep an open mind and to keep walking in this big Weird World of ours. Just be watchful!

I’m Average Joe


1 comment:

Julia Elvarado said...

On the Candidates' Blogs, Writing Right and Wrong
As a former Catholic schoolboy from the Bronx, surely Fernando Ferrer knows that falsehoods can trip you up.
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