Pets: For Better And For Worse

Pet lovers and pet owners consider their pets as a part of their family and shower them with love and affection aside from providing their needs. In a sense, pets are like your children, albeit in a rather furry way. In America, most pet owners have cats and dogs at home and for good reason. There has been news now and then of pets saving their owner’s lives from accidents or even a medical emergency.

And it is actually true, especially with dogs. Their heightened senses make them more sensitive to certain things than their human counterparts. There is a reason why dogs are made into guard dogs and guide dogs by many. Indeed, man can always rely on his trusty furry best friend to save the day for him.

Most people are aware of the incredible talents of #Dogs to sniff out such things as explosive, weapons, drugs, lost people and their “enemies,” the feline. There is just something special about their sniffers that cannot compare to us as a human. A dog has a sense of smell anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than that of any person. This is due to their 300 million olfactory receptors in their nasal passages compared to a human’s six million. This is just a minor factor that contributes to the remarkable snouts of the canine species. Dogs are known to have saved numerous lives through military employment, law enforcement and laboratory medical research, all due to their extraordinary canine noses. With this exceptional talent, recent studies show that dogs all over the world can detect medical conditions in humans. 


And these animals also help humans in more ways than we know. In research labs, cats and dogs also serve as animal subjects to various clinical trials that will benefit mankind.

Frankie, a 15-year-old brown dachshund with a gray muzzle and tired eyes, rests on a pillow and pink blanket on an exam table at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet). A catheter draws blood from her neck into a gray machine the size of a minifridge, which clicks and whirls as it returns clear fluid to her body through another tube. The dog is strapped down by a red leash, but the restraint hardly seems necessary; she looks like she could fall asleep at any moment. At least until veterinary internist J.D. Foster sticks a thermometer in her butt.

A black mass has engulfed Frankie’s bottom-right canine tooth—a melanoma that could eventually metastasize. If her owner had taken her to a traditional vet clinic, the doctor would have likely recommended removing part of her jaw, followed by a strong course of chemotherapy. But here at Penn Vet, Foster and his team are trying a new approach: cleaning Frankie’s blood with an experimental polymer that removes immune system blockers, which may allow her to better fight the cancer. If the treatment works, it probably won’t extend Frankie’s life—but it could make her last few months a lot more pleasant. It also just might lead to a new way to combat skin cancer in people, Foster says. He scratches Frankie behind the ears as she closes her eyes on the pillow. “You’re a good girl,” he coos.


We do have a lot to be thankful for, for animals that come to our rescue when no one is willing to lend a helping hand. These animals only love unconditionally and will be there for their owners through thick and thin, for the long haul, actually. While it pains some people to see pets in pain because of these trials, their sacrifice does serve a bigger purpose.

Now, what we can do to give back to them is to make sure no stray animal lives in the streets anymore. Animal cruelty should be stopped. We should let wild animals live and thrive in the wild. Respect their personal spaces. And as for our domesticated furry friends, let them feel that they are a part of the family and that they are secured in the love you have for them. The world becomes a better place when everyone living in it is in harmony with one another, both man and animals alike.

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