HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Actress Shannen Doherty has been very public about her plight with breast cancer, and she now credits her German Shepherd, Bowie, with being the first to detect the presence of her disease. Doherty, who is best known for her roles on Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed, shared with Entertainment Tonight that Bowie would regularly sniff her right side even before she located the lump.
The Shepherd, who is named after David Bowie, is regularly seen by Shannon’s side, and has been a source of comfort, love, and security following her mastectomy and chemotherapy. Bowie seems keenly aware of her owner’s condition, and Doherty shares that her sniffing hasn’t ceased since she began treatment.
“When I had my first chemo, she would sniff my entire body up and down. And she was always protective before, but she has become this crazy, protective dog. It’s hard to get close to me when she’s around.”
Doherty’s not the first to share that a canine was first responsible for detecting cancer, and she certainly won’t be the last. There have been several confirmed stories of both canines and felines sniffing their owners’ cancer prior to them being officially diagnosed by medical practitioners. It’s often a pets persistent sniffing, pawing, or scratching at an area that will prompt the owner to get that particular spot checked.
Further proof that our dogs can save our lives in so many ways.