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Cancer Sniffing Dog - Scott Adams' Blog

Cancer Sniffing Dog

Did you hear about the dog that can tell if you have cancer by sniffing your breath? It’s true. Apparently the dog can pick up a slight chemical signature for lung cancer.

This story made me sad because I spent years training my dog to detect bad breath by sniffing my ass. That stupid cancer dog makes my accomplishment seem less important. But detecting bad breath the way I trained Snickers to do it is a lot harder, so I still own that. And the good news is that according to Snickers, my breath is always minty fresh. Yours is okay too; that’s how good she is.

I also taught Snickers to detect the Elephant Man disease. The “all clear” signal involves humping the patient’s leg. Snickers checks out every visitor to the house. So far, knock on wood, everyone who has ever come to the house is clear. And that’s good on two levels, because I taught Snickers to attack if she detects the disease. I’m not being cruel; I just didn’t want Snickers’ signal to be something subtle that I might miss, and I hate barking.

If Snickers ever detects Elephant Man disease, it will be sad because there’s no cure. But if a patient decides to travel somewhere for plastic surgery, the least I can do is offer to help pack his trunk. Seriously, that’s literally the least I can do. Just above that is not being a douche bag, and I can’t always pull that off.

Meanwhile, my cat has trained me to detect obesity in cats. The signal is that my spine separates in four places when I try to lift her off the couch. If I lose sensation below the waist, I’ll know I have at least one spinal gap. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll know if I have the other three. I might have to rethink the whole system. But I refuse to sniff her ass. That’s just one of the reasons I could never be a veterinarian.

You might not respect all of my choices, but I don’t care because I’m comfortable in my own skin. And that’s good news for my neighbor who is about my size and doesn’t get many visitors. Perhaps I’ve said too much.