Meet Teva, the Rescue Dog Who Sniffed Out Her Owner’s Cancer

To this day — and I've had her five or six years — she's still afraid to go to the bathroom. I think from being in that cage [in the shelter]. When I brought her home, she started running [from corner to corner] in the yard. She panicked when she was sent to go to the bathroom. She didn't want to do it. And if she did it, she'd want to eat it right away because she was so upset with the whole thing. And I think it’s from being in a cage for that long.

Q: Have you taken her to a trainer or a behaviorist for this behavior?

I took her to dog school. She’s been to three. When I first got her, she had hardly been in a house really. She was like a 2-year-old. She was just bouncing off the walls.

The behavior person said to always praise her when she goes. And I do that. So as soon as she goes, she looks up at me like, "Can I have a cookie now?"

I have osteoporosis, and my bones are getting stronger because of Teva. She makes me walk so far because of her fear of going to the bathroom. So I actually get more exercise. She forces to me walk farther than I normally would walk.

Q: What do you love most about Teva?

Her Petfinder ad said she was a very joyful dog looking for someone to share her joy. And she is that kind of dog. She makes everybody happy. Even if you're doing something else, she'll find a toy and throw it in the air and hug it and play all by herself. She's a very happy little dog. She knows words. You have to practically spell or she'll listen to what you're talking about. She rolls over, she shakes hands, she dances and she crawls. When I have time, I'm going to teach her more because she's very smart. She pays attention so well.

Recently, I trained her to be a therapy dog, and she goes to nursing homes. People are so happy because I taught her how to do a little dance where she stands up and goes around in a circle.


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