Gary & Nana by CHRISTOPHER LANGE
Let me tell you about Gary and Nana.
I was walking down 5th Ave. back in mid-March, on my way over to Union Square when I stopped to look at something across the street. I heard a voice behind me.
“Gee, that’s an old camera, isn’t it?”
The voice belonged to an older man with a service dog at his side.
We struck up a small conversation, and I learned that his name was Gary, and that his dog’s name was Nana. I also learned that Nana is quite an extraordinary canine.
Nana, you see, was born with a genetic mutation in her olfactory organs, endowing her with a nose as sensitive as that of a black bear, rather than a normal dog. For what it’s worth, a black bear has one of the sharpest noses in the animal kingdom, if not the sharpest.
That brings me to the reason she was with Gary on this particular day. Gary is unfortunately afflicted with a rare blood condition that could cause him to seriously hemorrhage at any point in time. Nana however, is able to sense these attacks before they actually occur, thanks to her incredible nose, and she is able to tell Gary what dosage of medication he should take out of the pouch she wears over her back, in increments of 1, 2, or 3 pills. She is also able to signal him to take the full dosage of 3 pills, and to call an ambulance or get to the ER as fast as possible.
When Nana isn’t helping Gary, she volunteers at a breast cancer clinic, where she is able to detect complications with more certainty than the doctors.
They’re quite a pair, aren’t they?