pugAs women, we're always told how often we need to be getting mammograms or doing breast self-exams to stay on alert for breast cancer. And of course these tests are invaluable, but every now and then, the first warning of the disease could come from woman's best friend. Such was the case for Marian Cooper, who knew something was up when her 6-year-old pug, Flo, was fixated on her right breast. Cooper explains, "Flo kept nudging me and digging at me -- no matter how many times I put her on the floor, she would always climb back up. I thought she was just being annoying, but without her I'd probably be dead."

That's because when Marian finally decided to perform a self-exam, she realized she had a lump. Which turned out to be a grade 3 malignant tumor, doctors confirmed. Wow.

Even with it being at stage 3 and expected to grow rapidly, spreading the cancer faster, Flo had caught it soon enough that it could be successfully removed. Marian admits the lump was "so deep I wouldn't ever have found it without Flo the wonder pug." Awww!

Sure, at first blush, it may seem all sorts of crazy to think your pet could provide an accurate medical warning and end up being the factor that saved your life, but it's happened more often than we probably realize ...

In a 2011 Japanese study, a black Labrador was able to sniff out colorectal cancer with 98 percent accuracy -- a better rate than common medical tests. Whoa, right? And remember the cat who saved another woman's life by "diagnosing her breast cancer"? Goes to show Flo the wonder pug is just one more example of how our animal friends can be incredibly intuitive. And "listening" to them could make all the difference in the world.

What do you think of Marian and Flo's story?