“Lifesaving Husky”

Mia Jones, Staff Writer

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 Everyone knows the saying “dogs are a man’s best friend,” what people didn’t know was that Stephanie Herfel’s Siberian husky named Sierra was not only her best friend, but he can also detect cancer.  

In 2013 Herfel didn’t know that she has cancer. All that she knew was that she was having abdominal pain. Her doctor at the time even said that it was only an ovarian cyst and prescribed her antibiotics. Trusting the doctor, she thought nothing more of it. This was only until her two years old puppy at the time started acting very strange. It began when the pup would put her nose on her owner’s lower stomach and sniff very intently.  After this happened two more times, Sierra even went and curled herself in a ball hiding in the back of the closet. This was when Herfel became concerned. She then made an appointment with a gynecologist and went through a series of tests to later find out that she had stage 3C ovarian cancer. Thanks to Sierra, Herfel had received the diagnosis before the cancer spread further. Herfel then had a hysterectomy and remained on chemotherapy medication through 2014. When 2015 came back around, she knew that the cancer had returned when Sierra had given her another warning. Herfel then found out that the cancer spread to her liver. The same thing happened in 2016 when she found that it had spread even further to her pelvic area.  

Not only can Sierra detect cancer in Stephanie, but she has also detected it in others. When Herfel’s friend stopped by, Sierra did as always and hid in the closet. This also happened when a worker came to their home to remodel their kitchen. They later found out that they too had cancer. This was when Herfel really knew just how special her dog was. Stephanie Herfel later stated “I owe my life to that dog, she’s really been a godsend to me. She has never been wrong.”