1Sharlene and Mark Cannon always thought it a bit odd that their 182-pound Dogue de Bordeaux, Alfie, would place himself next to their son’s right side when together.

“We always just thought it was a funny coincidence that Alfie would only sit or walk on one side of him,” Sharlene says.

Then last year Mark Jr.’s visit to the eye doctor revealed his right eye has a severe astigmatism, causing extremely blurred vision. If the 5-year-old hadn’t been diagnosed so early, he could have lost his eyesight.

There was that realization when suddenly it all made sense. Alfie was always there by his right-hand side to guide him,” said Sharlene.

The dog had realized the child’s condition before the rest of the family, and even before Mark Jr.

You think as parents that you know your children, so for a dog to notice something like that is special,” Sharlene says. “I think Alfie’s been on this planet before. There’s just something all-knowing about his nature.”

This isn’t even the first time Alfie detected an illness ahead of the rest. The dog would often lick the leg of their other dog, Cass.

“We took Cass to the vet in December and she was diagnosed with a tumor in her back leg, exactly where Alfie had been sniffing and licking,” Sharlene explains.

The Cannons couldn’t be happier to have Alfie in the family, and note that young Mark and Alfie are inseparable. Mark has been receiving treatment for his eye and his vision has stopped worsening.

“They have this unbelievable bond,” Sharlene says. “Alfie’s instinct is incredible. He knows when something is wrong with Mark before we do.”3