Woman says her hero pet dog ‘saved her life’ after detecting her breast cancer


Anna Neary, 46, from Bradford, said that her four-year-old dog Harvey began nudging her chest and she found that she had a lump in the same spot that turned out to be breast cancer

Anna Neary told how her Labrador dog detected her breast cancer
Anna Neary told how her Labrador dog detected her breast cancer

A dog owner has told how her Labrador was telling her that she had breast cancer as he started to paw and nudge her before she had it diagnosed.

Anna Neary, 46, said that four-year-old Harvey began to prod her and nudge her chest with his nose for about six weeks before she found a cancerous lump in the exact same spot on her right breast.

The mum-of-two from Bradford, West Yorkshire says she initially didn’t think much of it but then found the lump and went to the doctors.

Anna was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes but now three years later, the specialist support worker is in remission and hails Harvey as being responsible for saving her life.

“It was September 2018, he just came and sat on me like he does and began nudging and sniffing like he’d lost something,” said Anna.

Four-year-old Harvey started nudging Anna to tell her something

“I told him to stop but he carried on this behaviour for a couple of weeks. I thought nothing of it. He was just laying on my right breast, very persistent.

“Six weeks later I checked I had a lump, went to the GP and was referred to the cancer pathway. I have to have yearly mammograms and will probably be told in 2028 I’m all clear, still have the odd scare and spend a lot of time at appointments but I’m still here thanks to my Harvey.”

Anna shared her incredible story with other dog owners on Facebook, writing: “So long story short this beaut saves my life, my Harvey.

She said that Harvey was prodding her for about six weeks before she discovered the lump

“In 2018 he wouldn’t leave me alone and kept laying on my breast so after six weeks I checked and found a lump. I was diagnosed with stage 3b aggressive cancer.

“Now three years on I’m in remission and Harvey hasn’t left my side. I love him so much. He’s my Lab hero, just look at that smile.”

Anna’s post has received over 900 likes and dozens of comments from pet owners who were blown away by the story.

Michaela Baker said: “What an amazing boy. Glad you’re in remission. Best friend for life right there.”

Another, Stephen Young said: “Really are life savers, glad you’re in remission. Have a wonderful life together. Fur babies are precious.”

Anna took to Facebook to share her story about how her dog “saved her life”

While Melanie Nicholson said: “Wow. A true hero. I hope you are well now.”

Lesley Miller agreed: “Hooray for Harvey. What a clever boy. So happy you are well.”

Jill Eley said: “Omg made me cry reading this. What a beautiful bond you have and such a clever dog. Well done for kicking cancer into touch. Sending you love and best wishes.”

Rebecca Masters said: “Unconditional priceless pure love. An unbreakable bond.”

And Jeanette Charambura wrote: “Amazing, so pleased you’re ok. I had a former neighbour whose Lab did exactly the same thing. We underestimate the unconditional love and loyalty they give.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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