Diagnostic Dog

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, September 24 2012 at 3:38 PM, Updated: Mon, September 24 2012 at 3:53 PM

A Klamath Falls couple says they're alive today because their dog helped to diagnose them in the early stages of cancer.

Priscilla Sharpe says her Akita named 'Joy' began exhibiting unusual signals early on...

"I worked in a drug and alcohol rehab center.  She picked out people that were having very serious issues."

When Joy was 7 months old, Sharpe says the long-coated Akita began to whine, and seem depressed when she was around Terry Sharpe...

"She kept alerting to one area, which was his lap.  And they told him the next day he had prostate cancer."

Joy returned to normal when Terry successfully completed radiation treatments.  But only a few months later, Joy showed the same odd behavior around Priscilla...

"She did the same alert on me, different area.  And I had colon cancer."

Now cancer-free, Priscilla says she understands that many are skeptical about Joy's mysterious abilities...but Priscilla says she's a believer. 

"Could have been coincidence, but to alert on me within two months, cancer again - that's just a gift from a Higher Power."

Terry Sharpe is currently hospitalized with heart problems, but Priscilla says Terry insisted she do this interview...

"He said that 'This is Joy's story, and I want it told.'  And he said, 'I'm just sleeping anyway."  Priscilla laughed.

Priscilla is diabetic, and notes that Joy gives her a whimper and a head bump when she senses her owner's blood sugar needs to be checked.

Priscilla says she heeds those warnings without question.

The American Kennel Club will award Joy with their 'Award for Canine Excellence' for being an exemplary companion this December.


About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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