Andrew Knapp

Megan & Hazard

Andrew Knapp
Megan & Hazard

Plenty of evidence shows that dogs have an ability to sense and predict major events. It’s likely due to their keen sense of smell. They can detect an outlying particle within one part per trillion. Since earthquakes can release dust and dirt as the ground shakes, and heart attacks release enzymes, it’s no stretch to conclude that a dog’s nose can be a helpful precursor to a lot of things in our lives.

Megan & Hazard

Megan, a clinical supervisor, works with and manages the care of medically fragile kids. In her line of work she sees a lot of service dogs who detect seizures and other life threatening events. Hazard, her own rescue and an “unofficial service dog” is from the Denver Dumb Friends League, a rescue in Denver, Colorado. His name stems from his infamy in his ability to knock things and people over. What she ended up with was a companion and a whole lot more.

it’s Hazard that centers her in a way that her other dogs can’t.

Hazard has a scar on his face and a broken tail from being in a really bad previous homing situation. His scarring is a relatable characteristic for Megan, who’s endured 24 surgeries, 16 of them for her heart. She also has SVT, an abnormally fast heart rhythm arising from improper electrical activity in the upper part of her heart. This doesn’t seem to get her down, and it’s nothing short of inspiring to witness her courage and candour with all of it.

Megan & Hazard

Megan’s previous dog Kazan was a service dog, a golden retriever who detected oncoming heart problems and had a habit of staying at her feet and calming her down. Hazard learned the same from her. When she’s having a rough night, he’ll lay on top of her, and the weight will make her heart feel better. As she understands it, the weight minimizes the space between the electrons in her heart and helps her calm down as her heart resets.

On a hot summer day, Megan’s heart started acting up. The door to the back yard open, she recalls watching Hazard swiftly make his way into the house to lay by her side as she once again rebalanced and reset. 

Hazard Scar

She has a family of dogs (Pepper and Yazhi), but it’s Hazard that centers her in a way that her other dogs can’t. Maybe it’s simply the idea of having something that’s bigger than her to keep her going, or someone to sit next to her and ground her while she meditates or goes about her home life. Without Hazard, Megan says she’d be an emotional mess. But with him, she survives day after day, not only feeling a calmness in her own life despite her health, but also giving her an ability to provide the same for the children she works with.



If you liked this story, consider donating to the Dumb Friends League in Denver, Colorado, or donate or spend some time helping out at a local rescue you prefer.





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