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Buddy Check 12: Do Dogs Really Know If We're Sick?

6:59 AM, Oct 13, 2006   |    comments
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  • By Jeannie Blaylock First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Do Dogs Really Know If We're Sick? Just ask Laureen Grady Robinson. She says absolutely it's true. Her dog, Shadow, is a loyal companion. He runs around her house in Fernandina and follows her everywhere. Laureen says when she was going through chemotherapy Shadow seemed to know she needed a boost. She says ever since Shadow was a puppy he always gave her a "smooch" on the cheek every night in bed. But during chemo he'd walk across the covers, give her a smooch and then go back to the bottom of the bed….twice! Two smooches for Laureen instead of one. Laureen says it's not just a fluke. Shadow is back to his routine now that her chemo is over. "He hasn't done it since. He kisses me once but not twice now," Laureen says. It's a fun story. And here's another one. Laureen found her breast cancer in a very unusual way. She's a nurse but she figured breast cancer would never happen to her. So she didn't check. One day, though, Laureen was packing up to move to our First Coast from Boston. Her son-in-law then, Jack, came up to give her a big goodbye hug. "He's a hard body," Laureen says. Well, when Jack hugged her she felt something. Laureen thought it might have been a button on his shirt. "I thought it's either he or me and it was me," she says. Laureen checked and figured out the lump was in her own breast. She did not call a doctor. Then she moved to Fernandina Beach and started watching me do Buddy Check 12 every month. "You hounded me," she jokes. "You were driving me crazy." But it's a good thing because our reminders every 12th finally sent her to the doctor. The diagnosis: breast cancer. Laureen didn't crumble to pieces, though. She fought back. She had chemo and then opted for a double mastectomy even though breast cancer was just in one breast. Her doctor, Dr. Gary Bowers, was puzzled at first. But she told him, "I'd rather be a flatsy than a singleton!" She explained she was a D cup and didn't want to be out of balance. Dr. Bowers, she says, cleared the way for insurance to cover that situation. Now Laureen says she wears her "fake boobs" for "boob occasions" but not when it's hot. She has a terrific spirit and laughs at everything. "Yesterday's history and tomorrow's a mystery," she says. So you might as well laugh to get you through. We're proud of Laureen for paying attention to Buddy Check 12 on First Coast News. She has 14 grandchildren and now she's alive to enjoy all of them. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I'm reminding all women to do self exams, get a doctor's exam and go get their mammograms. If you want a free Buddy Check 12 kit just call our partner, Baptist Health, at (904)202-CARE. We'll mail you the kit with reminder stickers for your calendar. It's that easy!

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