Sabrina has had no formal medical training to speak of, and is far more likely to perform a cat scan in the front yard than one in a hospital - but for her owner, Curtis Young, the 11-year-old miniature pinscher has been instrumental in two life-saving diagnoses.
Back in 2005, not long after Young bought the playful pup at the flea market where he met her, Sabrina began behaving strangely around him. Without any clear reason as to why, she began to bite, scratch and lick at the back of his head whenever he'd sit on the couch.
"It was pretty annoying," Young tells Florida Today. "Very annoying."
Young says that at first he didn't give it much thought, chalking it up to his dandruff or possibly some skin condition. Eventually though, after Sabrina failed to let up, he decided have his doctor check it out just in case. And sure enough, a brain scan revealed a small, cancerous tumor inside Young's head.
The growth was still small enough to be removed, but Young insists that if Sabrina hadn't alerted him to it early on, he would have been dead within a year.
"She's my angel," says Young.
But Sabrina's intervention in helping her owner stay alive doesn't end there. Just two weeks ago, the persistent dog started licking a specific spot on Young's back. When she refused to stop, Young gave the area closer inspection and found an raised bump. His doctor later confirmed that it was a form of skin cancer, called basal cell carcinoma, which was small enough to be removed.
"She gave me a second chance at life, honestly," says Young.
Science suggests Sabrina's remarkable cancer detecting ability probably isn't imagined. Recent studies has found that dogs can detect a variety of cancerous growths in humans with an accuracy rate of 98 percent. Though some medical researchers have raised doubts about the accuracy of those finding, others see cancer-sniffing dogs as a potential game changer.
"The possibility of using dogs identifying cancer is something most would never have considered possible a decade or two ago," Dr. Brian Stork tells NBC News. "It's an interesting concept that ‘man's best friend' could help save your life."
But if you ask Curtis Young, his best friend already has.