I owe my life to my dog – she kept crying on me until doctors found killer disease



A dog saved her owner’s life after persistently crying and jumping on her chest, alerting her to a killer disease. 

For weeks, 11-year-old pooch Bella Boo harassed owner Karena Kirk-Drain’s, despite being pushed away multiple times.

The tiny Yorkshire Terrier wouldn’t settle in her usual sleeping place – but vets said they couldn’t find anything wrong with her.

Karena, 53, of Blackpool, Lancashire, said the protective pooch began acting up on her late mom’s birthday on October 14, 2013.

She recalled: “It was my mom’s birthday, which was really bizarre, and she started acting really weird.

“Bella always slept on the back of my legs, but she kept lying on my chest.

“I’m quite small framed, so with a Yorkshire terrier on me, I couldn’t breath, but every time I took her off me, she’d crawl back on again.

“She started laying there and crying, and it was a heart-breaking cry. It was soul-destroying hearing her like that.”

A few weeks later, Karena thought Bella Boo was unwell when she wouldn’t stop weeping, leaving her concerned about her health.

She said: “I took her to the vets and said ‘There’s something wrong with my dog, she’s lying on me and crying, she’s obviously trying to tell me something – she must be in pain’.

“But they checked her heart and did some basic checks and said there was nothing wrong with her.”

Karena said Bella Boo then began to lick her chest before she became even more aggressive.

Karena Kirk-Drain, 53, says she wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for her 11-year-old Bella-Boo.Karena Kirk-Drain / SWNSShe said: “Bella started bouncing on me, and at one point she caught me – and I actually thought she’d bruised me, as I was very sore there.

“And I was feeling around, and I actually felt a lump, and I was thinking, ‘Is that a lump inside?’”

“I wouldn’t be here without Bella doing that.”

Karena was advised by a nurse at a walk-in center to seek immediate assistance from a specialist cancer doctor.

She was then informed by medics that she had breast cancer, and worryingly the disease had already started spreading.

Karena then underwent life-saving treatment and believes the disease would have been missed if it wasn’t for Bella Boo’s actions.

She said: “I didn’t think dogs could detect cancer, I thought it was a lot of hoo-ha really, but this proves that they can and how amazing they are.

“I’m just so lucky to be here – little Bella Boo saved my life.

“The doctor said the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes – that’s probably why Bella was getting more determined because it was spreading.”

Karena Kirk-Drain, 53, says she wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for her 11-year-old Bella-Boo. Karena Kirk-Drain / SWNSAfter Karena’s cancer was treated, she went on to holiday around the world after realizing how lucky she was to get her diagnosis early enough.

And she now believes Bella Boo was sent by her late mom to save her life.

She said: “Me and my mom were very, very close, and she passed away quite suddenly at 62.

“I didn’t believe in that type of thing. I didn’t believe that dogs could detect cancer. I didn’t believe that there was anything after death. But I think differently now.

“That’s why I think my mom sent her for me, it was weird.

“Once I got the cancer removed, she stopped straight away, and she started lying behind my legs again.”

Karena has urged pet owners to pay attention to their strange behavior in the future.

She said: “Maybe if people see their dog start acting strange, they’ll be able to think twice.

“People underestimate dogs and cats and all animals. But they are amazing creatures. I’m just so lucky to be here. Little Bella Boo saved my life.”

Dogs’ incredibly sensitive sense of smell has become useful in the medical world, as they can detect all kinds of disease.

Cancer releases odors that are undetectable with a human nose. But dogs can pick them up in people’s breath, sweat, skin and more, research has shown.

In the UK, the charity Medical Detection Dogs is at the forefront of researching how dogs can help diagnose cancer, Parkison’s and COVID.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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