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Pensacola woman now cancer-free thanks to her dogs

Pensacola woman says dogs detected early cancer saving her life
Pensacola woman now cancer-free thanks to her dogs 03:04

PENSACOLA -- A woman is now cancer-free and it's all thanks to her precious dogs. 

Whitney Burdick's dogs Buddy and Stiel never leave her side. But after they became unusually attached to her she knew something was off.

"They were so clingy. It was on top of me all the time. Under my feet all the time. Wherever I was, they were. After a while, I figured I needed to get checked out. Something's not right," said Burdick.

She says she had noticed a lump in her breast and didn't think anything of it. But because of her dogs, she made an appointment last November.

After an ultrasound, a mammogram and a biopsy she got a diagnosis no one wanted to hear- breast cancer.

"We were pretty upset that first weekend. We were very caught off guard. Shocked because my family is healthy," said Burdick.

Burdick went through a double mastectomy, had lymph nodes removed, a hysterectomy, and a 12-week regime of chemo.

But she took on all of those procedures with a fearless attitude.

"You get the news. You deal with it. Life goes on so you have to," Burdick added.

She has been cancer-free since the mastectomy in January.

Whitney's nurse practitioner, Christina Senesac, said it's a story she's never seen before in a patient but not one that necessarily surprised her.

"I've read articles and different stories that you'll see here and there of dogs acting funny but she's the first one that's come in and said that the dogs were acting funny with her. If we pay attention to the cues you can see that the animals do know," said Senesac.

Burdick says this wasn't the first time her dogs have alerted her of a medical emergency.

Burdick says Buddy, her Dalmatian Pyrenees mix, alerted her of two miscarriages before the doctors did.

Burdick encourages women to get checked out if they feel anything out of the ordinary.

"Get checked out. Don't put it off. I put it off for maybe 3, 2, or 3, months and by the time I got checked out, I had four masses. Family history. Doesn't matter all that much."

Burdick thanks the support system of her family her friends and her faith for holding her hand throughout her cancer journey and of course, her dogs Buddy and Stiel.

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