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Dear Rat, I Am Better Than You At Detecting Cancer

February 2, 2011
Black Lab

Who me? A HERO? Just because I save lives?

Let me just start off by noting that I’m not typically the bragging type. But have you heard the news? I can outsniff rats at detecting cancer.  How do you like them dog biscuits?!

Whoops. Sorry, I got carried away for a second there. Arrogance is just so unbecoming, isn’t it? Not charming in the very least. However, it can be tough to stay grounded when humans are just constantly leaning on you to help detect cancer. You know, that terrible illness that can kill you. You understand.

Of course, I’m not just any dog. My unique ability to you know, save lives, has been ingrained in me since birth. I think I got it from my mother’s side. Or maybe I just nurtured it on my own. That’s probably it, actually. Anyway, most dogs have about an 80 percent accuracy rate when it comes to cancer detection. What’s mine, you ask? NINETY-EIGHT PERCENT. (I put it in CAPS for those with poor eyesight.) Yes, you read that correctly.  That’s like almost 20 percent more than the average, for all you non-math animals out there. That’s right…I can do basic arithmetic too.  Jealous much?

Oh darn, I’m doing that “bragging” thing again. Totally unnecessary.  It’s just so hard sometimes, to like, stay humble, when your special abilities are in such high demand. I mean how many potential cancer patients have YOU saved today? Oh what’s that? NONE? Wow, then I guess you’re not as valuable to society as I am. Why did you even bother getting out of bed? Don’t worry, we can’t all be cancer-detecting heroes. Oh wait – did someone say “hero”? Oh stop, stop, stop. I’m no hero.  Just because I can pick up 12 different kinds of cancer through people’s BREATHING doesn’t make a hero. Or does it? I’ll only accept that title if it’s earned. And I’m not entirely sure that saving human lives really warrants that extraordinary honor.

Like I said, I’m totally not the bragging type.

Bruno the Hero Black Lab

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