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Tara Leonard of Rochester, Minnesota is alive and cancer-free today and, she says, it’s all thanks to her dog, Willow.
As Leonard, a 40-year old vet tech, was in bed studying for a test, her Golden Retriever/Saint Bernard mix, Willow, began acting strangely.
“Willow jumped up on the bed, put her nose to my left side, I told her to get down I was busy studying,” Leonard said, noting strange behavior from her normally very well-behaved dog.
“She got down on the floor and was sneezing and doing whatever she could, just being weird. Jumped back up on the bed, pushed on it and this time, it was wet slimy and gross and I went to go wipe it off and that’s when I felt the lump.”
Leonard immediately scheduled a doctor’s appointment where a mammogram and biopsy revealed she had invasive ductal carcinoma, breast cancer.
The doctors told Leonard they’d discovered the cancer just in time, before it spread to the nodes.
As for her relationship with Willow, Leonard explains, “You just have to give her that extra hug and that extra kiss and realize that she’s there for a reason.”