“Whenever I’d sit down on the couch, she’d cuddle next to me and start sniffing this little spot on my nose, then she’d sit and stare at me,” said Lauren Gauthier.
Two years ago, an attorney from East Amherst, New York, adopted a hound dog from an animal shelter filled with hunting dogs abandoned by their owners. Imagine her shock when, months later, little Victoria returned the favor by sniffing out skin cancer that Lauren had assumed was a pimple on her right nostril.
“When the spot went away, Victoria kept sniffing,” Lauren said. “I thought, ‘Why do you keep putting your wet nose in my face?’ It was so odd that I finally decided, ‘OK, since she’s being so persistent, I’ll go get it checked it out.’“
Here’s more from People:
Lauren was shocked when a biopsy last summer revealed that she had basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer that accounts for about 32 percent of all cancers globally. She believes that regularly using tanning beds as a teenager could be the reason she developed skin cancer.
Unchecked, that irritating little bump on her nose could have spread through all of her nasal tissue and then other portions of her face, requiring invasive surgery and causing disfigurement, even death.
“I’m so grateful to Victoria — as you can imagine, she’s received lot of treats and hugs,” says Lauren, who was left with minor scarring after the cancer was removed, but is relieved that it wasn’t worse.
“I always knew that hounds had an amazing sense of smell, but I never dreamed that it would have such a huge effect on me personally,” she says. “I might not have gone to a doctor until it was too late, if it wasn’t for my dog’s persistence.”
Lauren, who is devoted to saving abandoned hunting dogs as the founder of Magic’s Mission Beagle and Hound Rescue, Inc., brought Victoria home in October 2016 to join her and her husband, Ben Chatman, and their beagle named Lily.
“I saw Victoria in a shelter in South Carolina and immediately wanted to foster her,” she tells PEOPLE. “Sadly, in South Carolina, it’s legal to abandon hunting dogs, so we spend a lot of time rescuing hounds down there and trying to get that state provision changed.”
“These dogs are devoted to their owners and are affectionate and tolerant,” she adds, “and it’s appalling how many of them are tossed aside once hunting season is over. They deserve much better treatment.”
If this isn’t the best example of karma in action, then I don’t know what is! When we step out in faith to help another being, we are rewarded for our generosity and compassion in oftentimes unexpected ways.
Whether it’s a simple thank you, the feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference, of being saved from cancer… one good deed is always rewarded by another.
What’s the last thing you did for someone else
and didn’t expect anything in return?