Rescue dog's nose helps save owner's life by identifying her breast cancer

PORT HURON, Mich. (WXYZ) - The owner of a rescue pet says her dog is a life-saver.

"She decided that she needed to save my life," said Lisa Hulber, of Port Huron.

Effie the dog is a hound mix who Hulber credits for discovering a tumor in her breast that a mammogram failed to detect.

"Effie was right,  twice," said Hulber. "She found the original tumor and after they did the excisional biopsy, she found the only lymph node that it was on. She started sniffing and that's what she found."

Hulber underwent a double mastectomy and 20-weeks of chemotherapy. Radiation therapy will begin soon.

Effie came into the Hulber's home through their work with Last Day Dog Rescue in Livonia. The couple fosters dogs for the organization. They found homes for Effie's litter of seven puppies but kept her because of some issues that made her difficult to place.

They couldn't be happier with their decision.

"It's hard to go through cancer and stuff like that," Hulber said. "I'm not a 'woe is me' kind of person and knowing what she did for me, that gift, that's what makes me cry."

Hulber believes Effie learned about cancer because of a pet kitten of the Hulber's, who died of the disease.

The Hulber's have insurance but it does not cover all their medical bills.  Friends are organizing a fundraiser on April 14 at Studio 1219 , a public art facility in Port Huron. Paintings and other donated items will be sold during a silent auction to help pay the couple's expenses.

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