Siberian Husky Sniffs Out Owner’s Cancer Three Separate Times

December 6, 2018
Siberian Husky, Dog, Face, Blue Eyes

Stephanie Herfel feels like she is a living miracle.  

Not once, but on three separate occasions, her Siberian Husky Sierra has been able to successfully sniff out a future ovarian cancer diagnosis.  Herfel described the first time Sierra displayed her gift, shortly after Herfel moved to Wisconsin from her native California.  “She put her nose on my lower belly and sniffed so intently that I thought I spilled something on my clothes.  She did it a second and then a third time. After the third time, Sierra went and hid.  I mean hid.” A doctor diagnosed her with ovarian cysts, and sent her on her way with some pain meds.  Still, Sierra acted strange.  “To see her become so afraid was spooky in its own right.  So I made an appointment with a gynecologist and in a matter of weeks and some blood work with an ultrasound, on 11-11-13 I was sitting in the gynecology oncologist room in shock that I had cancer.”

Sierra was able to sniff out cancer two more times, first in her liver and then in her pelvis.  

While this gift may seem unusual, her primary oncologist, David Kushner, says that other dogs of various breeds have also been able to sense other various types, sometimes to as high as a 98% accuracy rate.

As a five-year survivor, Herfel is already defying the odds, and she has Sierra to thank for it, and she does her best to remain upbeat. “There are things that are coming out new every day. That's how I live my life. I'm going to do the best thing I can do at the time until the next best thing comes along.”